When Framework Laptop was released, it had all the potential in the world to be a great laptop and a repairable and upgradable one. But, and there is always a but, it would only work if the ecosystem worked. Framework necessary to build a market around the laptop, so it can be bigger than a company’s feature ideas and release cycles. And more immediately, he needed to show that he was committed to the idea itself, that the Framework wouldn’t just move on to newer, shinier things that stray from its upgrade path.
On the larger ecosystem front, the success of the Framework is still largely undetermined. But his own intentions do not seem to have wavered. This week, Framework announced that the Framework Laptop motherboard, which includes storage and memory slots, connectors for four of Framework’s expansion cards and four displays, and three different configurations of 11th Gen Intel processors, is now available. available. available separately through the Marketplace Framework. The cheapest version, which comes with an i5-1135G7 chip, costs $399. The most expensive, with an i7-1185G7 processor, costs $799.
Framework also shared all the documentation and 3D printable designs you’d need to build your own case or device around the motherboard. And you really could build just about anything: add some storage and power and the Framework Mainboard quickly becomes a functional computer like an improved (and much larger) Raspberry Pi.
Framework Market has continued to grow since the laptop launched last year, though it’s still mostly about simple computer parts: lots of swappable ports, swappable memory, and different types of keyboards, but not much in the way of bold new device ideas . That makes sense, given that the Framework’s focus has always been more on updates and fixes. And Framework’s main plan for motherboards seems to be to give people ways to reuse old ones after buying new upgrades. (Like, for example, when the Framework is expected to offer 12th Gen Intel chips.)
But making the motherboard available separately could also be a way to drive a different kind of ecosystem, where users and developers can build different kinds of computers from the Framework template. All of which is to say, someone make a framework based on cyber coverand tell me where to buy it.