simple GPU upgrade, adding audio and other device features


The modular laptop Framework Laptop 16 became known in March 2023 – the developers reported that such a device was being developed and would soon be on sale. Now the project team has finally presented the characteristics of the device and told the details of which modules will be available to users. It also became known that the device will appear on sale at the end of 2023, so the wait is not long. Well, more about the possibilities of new items – under the cut.

Overall, it can be considered one of the best options among modular laptops. Most of these devices look like a DIY project created after hours. And here we have thought out design, ergonomics and that’s it. And of course, the development team took care of a fairly large number of different modules.

The new device received a 16-inch screen, plus a metal case and 6 connectors for installing modules at once, including USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet. It is also possible to add modules with an SSD, and without having to open the lid and install it all inside. The advantage of the company’s modules is that they are backwards compatible with other models – we are talking about laptops with a screen diagonal of 13.5 inches.


Unfortunately, nothing has been said about the price yet, but this laptop is unlikely to cost more than $1000. Despite other advantages, the price can hardly be added to the advantages. On the other hand, there is no need to buy a new laptop every 3-4 years, so the cost can be considered justified (or not?).

The developers have introduced a new module – audio, 3.5 mm connector, which can be added to any of the above ports. It is possible to install several of these modules at once, of course, if you need to get several 3.5 connectors.


The updated Expansion Bay allows you to install a module with discrete graphics – also without having to disassemble the device, which, in general, is also easy to do. True, this is an optional module, but if you need eGPU functionality, then you can add it without problems. Cool – outdated graphics, you can replace it with a more modern one, without having to buy a new device or motherboard. Of course, this module itself will not be cheap (the cost is unknown yet), but in any case it is cheaper than buying a new laptop. The size of the modules themselves also varies, so some of them, which are larger, may include more powerful video systems.


A PCIe x8 interface has been added specifically for the GPU. It allows you to install not only an external discrete adapter, but also high-speed modules of other types. For example, the company has developed a dual M.2 SSD interface. As a result, up to 16 TB can be installed in a laptop in the form of expansion modules. It will also be possible to add AI accelerators, video capture devices, additional batteries or card readers. Most of these modules are already ready or are being developed now.

According to the company, most of the input modules are based on the Raspberry Pi RP2040. The creators of the device post the source code of the firmware – both the device and the modules. So third-party developers can create add-ons and extensions on their own – there are no restrictions on this.


As for the extension modules currently available, they are:

The company regularly has other updates, including both devices and modules for them. But, of course, I would like to see a 16-inch modular laptop on sale.

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