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This PC comes without memory, storage, or an operating system, and it's the best thing to happen to laptops this year

 Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition.
Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition.

What you need to know

  • Framework is a PC manufacturer that creates modular laptops that are easy to repair, reconfigure, and upgrade.

  • The company just dropped the price of the Factory Seconds Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition, which is under $500 for the first time.

  • As a Factory Seconds device, that laptop is made with excess parts that allow Framework to use components it would otherwise throw away.

  • Pre-orders of the Framework Laptop 16 have also started shipping.


Framework announced this week that it has lowered the price of its B-stock Factory Seconds Systems. Those systems are made with excess parts that allow people to purchase the PCs at a lower price and Framework to use components it would otherwise throw away. Factory Seconds systems align with Frameworks mission or reducing e-waste and also serve as a great opportunity to talk about the company's efforts as a whole.

The Factory Seconds Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition now costs $499, though it's important to understand what the laptop is before you order one. This is a barebones configuration that does not come with memory, storage, Wi-Fi connectivity, expansion cards, or even an operating system pre-installed. The laptop is an essentially an affordable entry point into Framework's modular ecosystem.

What is Framework?

Changing parts on a modular framework laptop 16
Changing parts on a modular framework laptop 16

Framework is a unique PC maker that sells modular laptops that you can configure, customize, and upgrade. Repairability is a top priority for the company as well, which is backed up by the fact that parts are available and documented online. Framework states that the consumer electronics system is broken and that devices often need to be completely replaced even if just one component breaks.

Even if it's possible to repair an electronic device, it may not be economically viable to do so. I've seen smartphone repairs cost more than a replacement or even an upgrade to a newer model. The same thing happens to an extent on laptops, creating a large among of e-waste.

Framework aims to tackle the problem by making laptops that are repairable, upgradeable, and modular to meet different needs as a user's workflow evolves. It's a bold strategy, but it's resulted in impressive hardware.

Factory Seconds Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition | $499 at Framework

This barebones version of the Framework Laptop 13 is an affordable entry point into the modular ecosystem of Framework laptops. You need to add your own memory, storage, Wi-Fi, expansion cards, and OS.

Note that this version is made with excess parts.

Framework Laptop 16

Framework Modular Laptop
Framework Modular Laptop

While the price drop on B-stock Factory Seconds systems is interesting, it wasn't the only news from Framework this week. The company also shared that Framework Laptop 16 devices have started shipping to those who pre-ordered the unique PCs. Preorders for the Framework Laptop 16 first opened in July 2023.

The Framework Laptop 16 is a customizable gaming laptop with similar benefits to other systems from the company. It's modular, allowing you to upgrade peripherals and ports separately from the rest of the laptop. You can also customize its input, such as including a number pad on the keyboard or having your keyboard centered and without a number pad.

One of the keys of the Framework Laptop 16 is that it's configurable and customizable after purchase. While some laptops let you upgrade RAM or certain parts, you can swap around the Framework Laptop 16 to your heart's content. You can also upgrade to new CPUs as they come out.

The Framework Laptop 16 is compatible with a Graphics Module, giving it more power and graphical capability.

If you don't want to built your laptop yourself, you can pre-order a pre-built configuration as well. Those are more costly, with a starting price of $1,699 compared tot eh $1,399 starting price of the DIY Edition.

You can still preorder a Framework Laptop 16 even though some devices have already shipped. The company is working through pre-order batches now.

Framework Laptop 16 | preorder for $1,399 at Framework

This modular laptop lets you pick your ports, layout, and internals. You can swap your parts later and even upgrade the laptop's CPU.

The most affordable version of the Framework Laptop 16 is the DIY Edition. Just note that you need to install an OS, which can cost extra. The Pre-built Edition comes with Windows pre-installed.

Truly innovative

Framework laptop 16 taken apart to show its components
Framework laptop 16 taken apart to show its components

I said it above and I'll say it again, devices like this are why I'm a tech journalist. I love companies who fill a void or push the envelope, and Framework is doing both. The concept of a fully modular and configurable laptop is wild in 2024. In a time when it was considered an accomplishment for Microsoft to stop glueing everything down within a laptop, Framework is letting you upgrade your CPU and change if you have a number pad.

Framework has a level of openness that's refreshing as well, such as documentation and repair guides being available. Replacement parts are also available, of course, as the laptop is modular.

Sustainability is a buzzword you hear a lot as a tech journalist. To the credit of companies other than Framework, there are genuine efforts to make the tech industry more sustainable. Everything from mice made of recycle ocean plastic to an All-in-One PC made from coffee grounds are nice to see. I'd argue that Framework takes things a step further by making its tech upgradeable and customizable, but I'm happy to see that the environment is on the minds of many in the industry.