Framework Laptop 13 Review (2023): The Repairable Laptop Gets Even Better

The Framework Laptop computer 13 is a kind of machines virtually everybody can buy (if there is a want for a brand new pc). It’s highly effective, user-serviceable, upgradable, repairable, and extra futureproof than any other laptop in the marketplace. I may solely provide you with two causes for not shopping for this machine. The primary is that you just’re a video editor or gamer, wherein case you need a dedicated video card, which this laptop computer doesn’t supply. The second is that you just don’t need to spend greater than $1,000 on a laptop computer (the bottom prebuilt model begins at $1,049).

For nearly each different use case I can consider, the Framework Laptop 13 is nearly as good as its opponents, and it’s repairable, upgradable, and customizable, saving you cash down the street. It is not excellent, however this third model of the Framework Laptop computer 13 is fairly darn shut.

The Excellent Improve

To essentially take a look at the 2023 model of the Framework Laptop computer 13, I ought to have stored the mannequin I reviewed last year as a substitute of sending it again to the corporate. That approach, I may take a look at the improve course of, which includes swapping out the motherboard for the brand new one. Framework did ship me the DIY equipment once more with the brand new mannequin, which is considerably just like the improve bundle in that it have to be put collectively. (You’ll be able to go for the prebuilt model, which can be fully assembled for you.)

Whether or not you improve or are a first-time purchaser choosing up a brand new one, there are three issues within the new Framework Laptop computer 13 that make this a worthwhile improve. The primary is the bigger battery, which acquired a bump from 55 watt-hours to 61 watt-hours. I don’t know if it’s purely the battery or the Thirteenth-generation Intel chip (or some mixture of the 2), however battery life is significantly better this time round—even on Linux, however extra on that in a minute.

The second motive to improve is the matte display, as a result of there are matte screens and crap screens, full cease. There’s no annoying glare or reflections. The third enchancment is that there’s now an AMD Ryzen-powered Framework. It’s not transport but, however you may preorder the AMD boards, that are slated to ship later this 12 months. You’ll be able to cross-upgrade from an Intel mannequin to an AMD too, although you’ll have to get new RAM and a brand new Wi-Fi card as effectively, which makes it a little bit costlier.

{Photograph}: Framework

For this evaluation, I’ll be wanting on the Intel i7 mannequin (with the Thirteenth-Gen i7-1360P processor) or the improve equipment when you’ve already acquired an older Framework laptop computer. The unit Framework offered got here with 16 GB of RAM and a 1-TB SSD (a Western Digital SN770, one of our favorite SSDs). This configuration retails for $1,738.

You’ll be able to configure your Framework with as much as 64 GB of RAM and use nearly any PCIe Gen4 SSD. A completely maxed-out Framework Laptop computer 13, with 64 GB of RAM and a 2-TB SSD will set you again $2,018. It can save you some cash if have already got an SSD, or you can begin with a slower chip and improve simply the motherboard down the street.

In spite of everything, that’s the primary enchantment of the Framework—you’re in management. No less than, much more than you might be with a laptop computer from a high producer. Each element within the Framework has a QR code on it that may take you to webpages that present you the right way to improve and alter out your SSD, RAM, audio system, motherboard, and extra. I’ve come to suppose that the existence of the MacBook made the Framework inevitable. It’s the repairable yin to Apple’s locked-up yang.

I occur to suppose that nothing goes as effectively with repairable, customizable {hardware} as Linux, a user-centric, customizable working system. Final time round I put in Linux on the Framework, however this time, the corporate offered me with a Home windows 11 key. I dutifully put in and used Home windows lengthy sufficient to run some benchmarks, carry out a battery drain take a look at, and get a really feel for day-to-day life on a Home windows Framework. After which I pulled that drive out, caught my very own in, and put in Arch Linux. Ah, significantly better.

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