Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

"Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

Talk about "WhatEVER !"..
Post Reply
Message
Author
Summilux
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 494
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:02 am
Location: Paris (Latin Europe)

"Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#1 Post by Summilux » Fri May 14, 2021 5:01 pm

As we all know, a disreputable company going by the name of "Lenovo" has completely ruined the Thinkpad keyboards which we enjoyed up until the *20 generation.

A few years ago, we all had high expectations about a possible revival of the True Thinkpad, which thanks to the input of David Hill, would come complete with 7-row keyboard, Thinklights, plenty of status lights, etc. Alas, this was a total letdown.

It's been clear for some time now that the community will have to make do with the official owner of the Thinkpad brand ; trying to find or engineer the best Thinkpad ersatz that we can.

Last February, the startup "Framework" introduced its concepts and first models :
Framework presents the world's most customizable laptops with swappable motherboards, ports and displays

Framework, a new laptop maker founded in 2019, believes that laptops can benefit from the same level of upgradeability we see on a desktop rig and now presents a completely upgradeable notebook that is easy to customize and can also help reduce e-waste in the long term.

Image

What really sets this model apart is the unparalleled customization and upgradability features that include:

  • An Expansion Card system that lets users choose exactly which ports they want on the desired side of the notebook. With four bays, users can select from USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, MicroSD, ultra fast storage, a high-end headphone amp, and more.
  • Fully swappable motherboard that can be upgraded with new versions that support better CPUs, plus socketed storage, WiFi, and two slots of memory.
  • Easily replaceable components like the battery, screen, keyboard, and color-customizable magnetic-attach bezel. QR codes on each item directly point to guides and listings on the official site.
  • Framework Marketplace - an entire ecosystem that enables community members and partners to build and sell compatible modules.
What this company is doing isn't new - but holds the potential to get more traction thanks to its marketplace approach.
Also, the company's stated philosophy resonates nicely with our values : customisation to suit users' needs, repairability-centred design.

Seeing as the keyboard is replaceable, the Classic Thinkpad community could perhaps join forces under the form of a bulk order, and ask either the company or a third-party to build a keyboard (and its associated palmrest) that would emulate as closely as possible the look and feel of Classic Thinkpad keyboards.

Image

Obviously we'll have to wait for some time until the company's first models have been shipped and reviewed, and also until the current electronic components shortage has been solved. But I suggest that we keep that possible option in mind.
Deathwisher
T60 2007-FSG (stolen)
X220 4287-CTO

Mindfulness Quebec
Freshman Member
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:29 pm
Location: Quebec, QC, Canada

Re: "Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#2 Post by Mindfulness Quebec » Sun May 16, 2021 3:12 am

You can't please everyone. I see that machine and I see the keys too close up to the screen in order to make space for a gigantic track pad, which I don't even use. Not to mention what looks like a 15:9 screen. So the ergonomics are of the modern, conventional kind where your arms are extended too far toward the screen, which you're looking down into with head tilted forward. My Frankenpads and even my 14.1" T61's let me slouch back in my operator's chair and type while looking at my screen, the top of which is at eye level or even a bit higher. And those ergonomics are the true epitome of luxury to me.

Summilux
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 494
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:02 am
Location: Paris (Latin Europe)

Re: "Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#3 Post by Summilux » Sat May 22, 2021 6:47 am

Agreed, giant trackpad certainly is a disease, with nefarious repercussions.

But seeing as the palmrest is removable as well, there could be room to reconfigure the keys to our liking ; especially after the trackpad would be either dramatically shrinked or removed altogether.

The flexibility of this laptop offers enough leeway to get around Fruit-style, un-ergonomic design.
Deathwisher
T60 2007-FSG (stolen)
X220 4287-CTO

Ibthink
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 910
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:28 am
Location: Gelnhausen, Germany

Re: "Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#4 Post by Ibthink » Sat May 22, 2021 7:14 am

Summilux wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 5:01 pm
Seeing as the keyboard is replaceable, the Classic Thinkpad community could perhaps join forces under the form of a bulk order, and ask either the company or a third-party to build a keyboard (and its associated palmrest) that would emulate as closely as possible the look and feel of Classic Thinkpad keyboards.
Framework keyboard has a travel of 1.5 mm, same as the most recent ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Classic ThinkPad keyboard was 2.5 mm travel - so even if you could make something like this, it would be a low travel version, even more so than the 1.8 mm travel keyboard of the ThinkPad 25.
IBM ThinkPad R50e | lenovo ThinkPad X301 | lenovo ThinkPad Z61t

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 3034
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: "Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#5 Post by axur-delmeria » Sat May 22, 2021 9:44 am

It's simple for me: no Trackpoint, no buy.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

Omineca
Sophomore Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:40 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: "Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#6 Post by Omineca » Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:19 pm

The first reviews are out. This one discusses the keyboard: https://www.digitaltrends.com/laptop-re ... op-review/

You can find the others linked on this page: https://frame.work/ca/en/blog/the-frame ... ss-reviews

If I needed a new laptop, I'd have a look. The Digital Trends reviewer liked the keyboard, but I'm particular about keyboards (and like the ThinkPad chiclet versions), so I'd be more likely to buy if I could test one out in a store. I'm not a trackpoint user, so that's not an issue for me, and the repairability is a great selling feature, though I haven't had any trouble with repairing ThinkPads.
Home: L440 | R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260

atagunov
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 911
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:11 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: "Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#7 Post by atagunov » Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:35 pm

Interesting. I'm wishing them well. Of course I'd rather have it with a X201/X220/T420 style body and keyboard.
But it's a child of 2021...

The promise of upgradability will hold true only if the company survives long enough to produce new motherboards.
Will be interesting to see if they manage to.
X220, 2 *T520

tpbreacmn
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:03 pm
Location: London, United Kingdom

Re: "Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#8 Post by tpbreacmn » Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:32 pm

I like what they are doing, but the keyboard is a deal breaker for me. I've posted in their forums to show interest in a potential laptop variant with more space for a classic-style keyboard, but for the time being I'll stick to my T430.
T430 (Mods: FHD screen, classic keyboard)
X220

teamde78
Freshman Member
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:18 pm
Location: Amherst, MA

Re: "Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#9 Post by teamde78 » Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:09 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Sat May 22, 2021 9:44 am
It's simple for me: no Trackpoint, no buy.
Agreed 100%.
Thinkpads: X1C 5th Gen (daily Driver), T430, T60, Z61, T410

Saucey
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 952
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:22 pm
Location: San Diego, California
Contact:

Re: "Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#10 Post by Saucey » Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:03 pm

Internal battery, non-socketed CPU, no dGPU option... it comes off quite limited.
The bottom USB-C ports are neat, but they could of added more, made them bigger or smaller, quite limiting for only 4 of them.
I'm not sure why they didn't do the same when it came to the headphone jack.
That and the CPU fan exhausts towards the rear, yet would be blocked by the lid.

The 13.5" 3:2 screen is nice, but I don't know how many laptops are made with that type of screen.
If it was a traditional 12.1", 14.1" or 15.6", you might have options to outsource a replacement or upgrade from other manufacturers.

The design is somewhat minimal, it looks like a chromebook or a base Windows laptop...
At this point, with no trackpoint, I'll stick to my Pixelbook.

Consider that Alienware has already botched their "upgradable" Area 51m, I wouldn't be surprised if this suffers the same fate.
Coffee, ThinkPads & Nikon Fan.

Current: PixelBook & W550s
Old Favorites: A31p, T43p, 2521, 755, T60

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 22344
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Wexford, Éire
Contact:

Re: "Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#11 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Jul 27, 2021 1:38 am

Just looking at that laptop puts me off already.
And after reading the Digitaltrends review, I'm put off even more.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Covid-19: Stay safe, so still Mask it or Casket!

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 3034
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: "Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#12 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Jul 27, 2021 4:02 am

They were touting its cooling system, but the Digitaltrends review shows it's mostly hot air. :P
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

jdk
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:08 pm
Location: Pinehurst, NC
Contact:

Re: "Framework" laptops - a possible ersatz for us Thinkpad keyboard lovers ?

#13 Post by jdk » Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:58 am

Not for me, but I wish them well. We really need more startups in this category to succeed. Unless you are okay with current trends from the major manufacturers. That is, iPads, Surface devices with carpet palmrests that wear out after six months, and ThinkPads that wear so poorly under general use that it looks like you only use your laptop while eating fried chicken.

The major manufacturers are mailing it in these days with their designs. Repairability and durability are no longer prioritized.

Reviews aren't going to be kind to this kind of machine, since small companies aren't the ones paying the bills. This is nothing new, it's been happening since Dell and NEC bought their reviews in PC World and PC Magazine back in the 90's, and everybody parrotted how "robust" and "reliable" they were. Speaking of the 90's, here's a term from back then: stop being a sheep. Don't trash a device because the "reviewers" told you to.

Framework, System76, Purism, we need these companies to be successful. Not just because of the repairability and their focus away from locked-in computing (SecureBoot, Apple Silicon), but because their ability to succeed will present an alternative way forward to the larger companies (i.e. Lenovo) that people actually *want* something with longevity and repairability. Something that isn't a poor man's Apple. Right now Apple is killing it with $$$, and the other manufacturers follow their direction.
--
Cyrix 6x86

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Off-Topic Stuff”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests