Framework, the maker of the 13.5-inch modular Framework laptop, has created a marketplace that sells replacement parts and upgrades. The company stated that the marketplace currently focuses on expansion cards and replacement parts, but it plans to add customization modules such as additional language keyboards in the future.
This is a crucial step for the modular laptop which has been shipping for just over two months. It doesn't really matter if the laptop's 10/10 iFixit score isnt good enough for repairability if it can't be replaced when a part fails. It doesn't matter if the laptop can be upgraded if there aren't any modules that you could use to do so.
Framework Marketplace now available for order replacement parts and upgrades This is the foundation of a exciting ecosystem roadmap expanding the customization, upgrade, and repair of incredible products: https://t.co/26ApysPerf pic.twitter.com/iKe8TTSVfk Framework (@FrameworkPuter) October 12, 2021
There are already a variety of expansion cards available for the laptop on the marketplace. These can be inserted into the four compartments and added features such as microSD card slots or additional USB ports. You can also purchase user-upgradable RAM and storage. The store is still in development and will soon list a variety of items, including replacement CPU-equipped mainboards, keyboards and spare parts such as batteries and displays.
Framework has made a good start in making laptops repairable when they break. However, it will be some time before we can see if it really delivers on its promise to be able to upgrade over time. This promise has been repeated many times over the years. Last year, Dell's attempt to upgrade its laptop using the Alienware Area 51m failed.
Similar high-profile attempts have been made to bring modular designs into smartphones. However, companies such as Motorola, Google and LG have not been able to make a significant impact over the years. Fairphone, a sustainable smartphone manufacturer, has had more success and just announced the Fairphone 4 smartphone. Fairphones main focus has been on simple repairs to ensure longevity and not offering newer components.
Framework laptops start at $999 for an assembly model with an Intel Intel i5-1135G7 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. If you're willing to do some assembly, there is a $749 model. There are also pre-assembled models with faster Intel i7 processors and more storage. All models come with a 13.5 inch 3:2 2256x1504 display, a 1080p Webcam, and a 55Wh battery. Frameworks website states that new orders will ship next month as of the time this is written.