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New laptop from Oculus founder is truly future proof — here’s how

New Framework Laptop challenges MacBook Pro with completely upgradeable design
(Image credit: Framework)

An upstart computer company is looking to shake up the entire laptop market. Meet the Framework Laptop, a 13.5-inch system where practically everything can be replaced.

How customizable is it? Start with the expansion card system, where you can pick the ports that matter to you (and stop Apple, Dell and the rest for deciding for you). The Framework Laptop is going to have four bays, and you can select from USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, MicroSD, additional storage and a headphone amp among other options. 

Users can also swap out the mainboard, when it comes time for a new processor (so your laptop isn't obviated by the passage of time). Framework will even sell easily replaceable batteries, screens, keyboards, and different-colored bezels, through its own store.

If that sounds crazy, and a bit risky, know that this laptop was made by folks with experience in the industry. The new upstart, which was established in 2019, was founded by Nirav Patel, one of the original team members of Oculus VR. He worked on that team in 2012 and is now the founder of Framework.

The Framework Laptop will be 0.6 inches thick and weigh 2.8 pounds, making it as thin as the MacBook Pro M1 but 0.2 pounds lighter. Its screen will have a 3:2 aspect ratio and a 2256x1504 resolution. While sharp, it's not as pixel-dense as a MacBook Pro's Retina display.

But, it will have something Apple doesn't have: a built-in 1080p, 60fps webcam with a hardware privacy switch. Expect 11th-Gen Tiger Lake Intel Core processors, and up to to 64GB of RAM and 4TB of storage.

New Framework Laptop

(Image credit: Framework)

Today's announcement is lacking three things though: starting specs, pricing and a pre-order date. The Framework Laptop is set to ship this summer, and all of the missing details are expected to arrive in the next weeks on its website.

When we asked Framework about pricing, Patel gave us this reply, "We won't be making consumers pay a premium for longevity. We want to make the Framework Laptop the obvious choice." And it sounds like it will be competitive, as he notes, "we'll land on par with other well reviewed notebooks with similar silicon."

Built with the intent to reduce the waste of replacing whole laptops so often, the Framework Laptop is also engineered with a "green" mentality. It's made of 50% post consumer recycled (PCR) aluminum and an average of 30% PCR plastic. On top of that, its packaging has no single-use plastics and is fully recyclable.

As for what's inside by default, the Framework Laptop will ship with Windows 10 Home or Pro. Power users can get the Framework Laptop DIY Edition, which has more options, including Linux.

Henry T. Casey

Henry is an editor writer at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and Apple. Prior to joining Tom's Guide — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and looking for the headphone adapter that he unplugged from his iPhone.