The Framework Laptop 16 is the modular gaming laptop that some gamers have dreamed of. That’s because this new notebook follows in the footsteps of the first Framework Laptop and offers access to a wide range of modular components. This not only lets you customize the laptop how you want, but it also makes it easy for you to repair the device.
The Framework Laptop 16 has six expansion slots as well as access to an eGPU module sporting an AMD Radeon RX 7700S graphics card you can upgrade. Other specs include the option for an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS or Ryzen 9 7940HS, support for up to 64GB of DDR5 RAM, and SSD storage starting at 250GB and going right up to 4TB. You can buy your own SSD if you want.
With pre-orders for the Framework Laptop 16 now live, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about this innovative laptop — including its price, modularity and more.
Framework Laptop 16: Price and availability
You can pre-order a DIY Framework Laptop 16 today for $1,399. If you want a pre-built model that arrives fully assembled, that’ll cost you $1,699.
The laptop should start shipping at the end of 2023. However, if initial pre-orders are sold out, the next batch of units won’t ship until the first quarter of 2024. British readers can pre-order the Framework Laptop 16 from £1,399 and Australian readers can pre-order from AU$2,319.
Framework Laptop 16: Design
We had a chance to see the Framework Laptop 16 during this year’s GDC event and found it was effectively a larger version of the current Framework Laptop — only with a more complicated design that gives it more versatility and power.
The Framework Laptop 16 has a new Expansion Bay system on the rear which lets you swap in various modular components, from graphics cards to AI accelerators, sold by either Framework or members of the Framework community. That’s basically how the Framework Laptop's Expansion Card system works, minus the fans. On top of that, the Laptop 16 supports the Expansion Card system which offers six slots instead of the four of the smaller Framework Laptop.
At 14.03 x 11.42 x 0.82 inches with a weight of 5.29 pounds, the Framework Laptop 16 is on the big and bulky side but not exceedingly so. However, adding new modules can change its size and weight. The aluminum/magnesium construction should make it feel sturdy.
Framework Laptop 16: Display
The Framework Laptop 16 features a 16-inch 2,560 x 1,660 display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. In terms of performance, the 165Hz display supports AMD’s FreeSync technology — along with a 9ms response time. Framework says the screen can achieve 500 nits of brightness and can cover 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. We’d need to put the display through our lab tests to see the accuracy of these claims.
All of that sounds good on paper, but I’m curious to see how much the 9ms response time will produce notable input lag. I say this since I’m used to playing on monitors and gaming laptops that have 3ms at most (though 1ms is now becoming the minimum). It might not be anything to worry about, but it’s something I’m sure other gamers will want to test out.
And since this is a modular laptop, you'll be pleased to know you can swap out its bezel. Framework promises a selection of different bezel colors, which should help give your laptop its own style.
Framework Laptop 16: Ports
The Framework Expansion Card system lets you select the exact ports you want and place them wherever you wish.
You have more options than before since the Laptop 16 has six expansion slots instead of four like the previous Framework Laptop 13. Whether it’s USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, MicroSD, Ethernet, audio or storage — you can add everything you’d need.
Framework Laptop 16: Performance
The Framework Laptop 16 packs an AMD Radeon RX 7700S graphics module with 8GB of GDDR6. It also features two DDR5 SO-DIMM sockets, and M.2 2280 and M.2 2230 NVMe sockets. Both the DIY and pre-built models lets you upgrade up to 64GB of RAM and up to 10TB of storage. With the DIY model, you can connect your own components. It’s also possible to scale up further with a Dual M.2 Storage Expansion Bay Card or 1TB Expansion Cards.
An AMD Radeon RX 7700S is equivalent to an RTX 3060 laptop graphics card. That being the case, you should be able to play the best PC games at medium to high settings at 1080p resolution. But of course, since this is a modular laptop, you can swap in a more powerful current-gen GPU.
The company seems to have a partnership with AMD but it’s reasonable to assume you can also swap in an Nvidia GPU if you’d like. Regardless, the promise of a laptop that could effectively never age out because it’s modular is enticing.
Framework Laptop 16: Keyboard and touchpad
The original Framework Laptops always had replaceable keyboards and trackpads but you were limited to changing one layout of keys for another. The Framework Laptop 16 features a new “Input Module” system that gives you a greater degree of customization.
You can connect a numpad, change the input modules, have a centered or off-set keyboard, install an RGB Macropad, LED modules and more. This new system is divided up into small, medium and large components which can be arranged in custom configurations to create your own (relatively) unique keyboard and touchpad arrangement. As long as the module works via USB 2.0 and is under 3.77mm in height, according to Framework's documentation, the sky's the limit.
Framework Laptop 16: Webcam
Like the current Framework Laptop, the Laptop 16 features a 1080p 60 fps webcam. We found the Framework Laptop’s webcam a welcome change from the grainy 720p cameras we still see in some modern laptops. That camera captured vibrant images and we expect the Laptop 16’s webcam to produce similar results.
Framework Laptop 16: Outlook
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a PC gamer is a desktop’s modularity. Having that same level of customization on a laptop could be a game-changer (pardon the pun). That’s why the Framework Laptop 16 is so exciting. We’re already fans of the regular Framework Laptop so we have big expectations for this gaming-focused notebook. It seems poised to end up on our best gaming laptops list.
Check back to this post with all the latest Framework Laptop 16 news as we receive it. We’ll have a full review when we test the laptop later this year.