Framework has kept its word: After the repair-friendly laptop had been available exclusively in the USA and Canada since mid-2021, the pre-order phase has now begun for three European countries: Since the late evening of (yesterday) December 16, the notebook has also been available from Germany, Pre-order England and France.
Framework offers the laptop in three specified equipment variants to: Prices start at 1149 euros for the (meager) basic configuration with Core i5-1135G7, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD and Windows 10 Home. The medium performance variant is more sensible: Core i7-1165G7, 16 GB of RAM, 512 SSD and Windows 10 Home – but it costs 1599 euros. For 2279 euros you get the laptop as a professional model with vPro-capable Core i7-1185G7, 32 GB of RAM, 1 TB SSD and Windows 10 Pro. A Wi-Fi 6 module from Intel is on board everywhere – and the RAM and SSD can of course be exchanged at any time due to the concept.
There is also one for hobbyists DIY-Edition on. Here the prices start at 899 euros for the pure barebone with the (already soldered) Core i5-1135G7 and – that’s new – a preinstalled WLAN module. Framework decided to take the latter step because the antenna cables have awkward connections and there was probably a lot of frustration and defects in North America.
As before, the DIY version lacks an SSD and RAM. You can order suitable modules and cards from Framework (you can choose from Western Digital SSDs between 500 GByte and 4 TByte and DDR4-3200 RAM from 8 GByte to 64 GByte), but of course you can also get them yourself – at your own compatibility risk. You can also order Windows 10 licenses, take care of one yourself or install Linux.
In the interests of sustainability, the DIY edition, unlike the prefabricated configurations, does not come with a power supply; Framework’s compact 60 watt USB-C power supply with GaN technology costs 49 euros extra.
In the case of the three ready-made equipment variants, the prices mentioned apply to configurations with four USB-C ports; these expansion modules are missing in the DIY model. If you want or need other interfaces, you can put them together individually: in addition to USB-C (10 euros), there are USB-A (10 euros), a MicroSD card reader (20 euros) and monitor outputs in DisplayPort or HDMI format (20 euros each ) for optional. There are also memory expansions with 250 GByte (75 euros) or 1 TByte (160 euros).
Regardless of the model selected, you can order one laptop per (free) order. Payment is only possible by credit card. At the time of ordering, a deposit of 100 euros is due, the remaining sum follows shortly before shipping. This should take place for the first still available load of laptops (batch 8) in February 2022. There are no dates for later trips; In North America, various loads were carried out on a monthly basis.
European customers do not get the initial model of the laptop: Due to a shortage of chips, the originally intended audio codec from Realtek is no longer available, so Framework has switched to one from Tempo. This should also make strange standby problems caused by the Realtek audio driver a thing of the past. The current BIOS version 3.06, which is necessary for Tempo mainboards, has another bug that prevents charging when the battery is completely empty, but the problem has been recognized and should be resolved with an update by the time it is shipped here.
While Framework in North America has also been offering an alternative panel frame in strong orange since the European advance sales start, in Europe you can get the frame in any color according to Henry Ford, as long as it is called black. The marketplace through which Framework officially sells its spare parts has not yet started in this country. This is also reminiscent of North America, where the marketplace only went online a few months after the laptop went on sale.
With the start of advance sales in France, the rating according to the repair index required by law there is also certain: The Framework Laptop is rated with 9.7 out of 10 possible points. Framework founder Nirav Patel justifies the slight deviation from a perfect 10/10 score with the fact that the availability of spare parts was stated rather conservatively, which is what makes the difference. Nothing has changed in the concept, and there is still a promise in the room that the laptop should be able to be upgraded in the future as soon as there is a mainboard with newer, better processors.
Since further keyboard localizations (Belgium, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan) are already listed in the US marketplace, Patel also addressed possible displeasure from interested parties in these countries: You have the current preselection according to customer interests (email notification of availability in Country X) and logistical backgrounds. The start of sales in the countries mentioned and other countries is expected to start in 2022.