The Framework Laptop 16 is the modular gaming laptop we’ve been waiting for. Announced at this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC) during Frameworks’ “Next Level” event, the company claims this modular laptop will be capable of “delivering on the holy grail for gamers,” with a laptop featuring modular upgradeable graphics — in addition to other components.
You can now pre-order the Framework Laptop 16 starting at $1,399, which is expected to arrive later in 2023. Framework plans to release documentation on the expansion bay, keyboard and expansion card system on GitHub as open-source material for the public. This means you can start coming up with ways you plan to customize the Laptop 16.
With pre-orders now live, let’s take a look at everything you can upgrade on the Framework Laptop 16.
GPU and mainboard
The Framework Laptop 16 packs an AMD Radeon RX 7700S graphics module with 8GB of GDDR6. But if you want, you can swap out this GPU and use another via the laptop’s Expansion Bay Shell.
The company says this will let you “use the impressive integrated graphics capabilities of Ryzen 7040 Series.” Framework seems to have a partnership with AMD, but you should also be able to connect Nvidia GPUs since this is a modular system.
Memory and storage
The Framework Laptop 16 packs two DDR5 SO-DIMM sockets, and M.2 2280 and M.2 2230 NVMe sockets. Whether it’s the DIY or pre-built model, you can upgrade up to 64GB of RAM and 10TB of storage. The DIY version lets you bring your own. If you want, it’s possible to scale up even more with a Dual M.2 Storage Expansion Bay Card or 1TB Expansion Cards.
The fully customizable keyboard is one of the Framework Laptop 16’s main selling points. You can connect a numpad, change the input modules, have a centered or off-set keyboard, install an RGB Macropad, LED modules and more.
Framework says it has opened the Input Module system to developers to enable them custom input options beyond what the company has made.
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.
Swapping out the Laptop 16’s graphics card and memory is all well and good, but what if you want a different bezel? Thanks to the magnet-attach bezel, you can change to some of the available bezels the company offers. The company says there will be a range of colors to choose from.
We’re big fans of the Framework laptops so it’s great that we’ll eventually get the gaming-focused Framework Laptop 16. I’m personally looking forward to going hands-on with this laptop to see if its customization helps it become one of the best gaming laptops.
The Framework Laptop 16 releases later this year, with the DIY model at $1,399 and the pre-built version coming in at $1,699. We'll keep you updated as we learn more in the months leading up to this laptop's release.
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Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.