Google partnered with the third-party company Framework to create a customizable and upgradeable Chromebook (opens in new tab) Laptop.
Framework is a company specialized in: developing Do-It-Yourself (DIY) laptops that people can upgrade themselves with nothing more than a screwdriver, the parts the company supplies, and a little patience. Now with the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition (opens in new tab)adaptable laptops have reached a new frontier as repairability takes a firmer stance in the tech industry.
Keep in mind that not everything on the Chromebook Framework is customizable.
Starting with the more static aspects, the laptop comes with a high-resolution 13.5-inch display (2256×1504 pixels) and a 1.5mm keyboard, all housed in a chassis made partly from recyclable material. Under the hood, it’s powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1240p CPU made up of 12 individual cores and a 55Wh battery that lasts up to 10 hours on a single charge.
As you’d expect, the Chromebook Framework runs on ChromeOS, something previous company offerings could technically do. But as a company representative told us, those older models used Chrome OS Flex (opens in new tab) while this new device has the full ChromeOS experience. This gives the laptop the ability to download Android apps from the Google Play Store, something the Flex models couldn’t. Users can also use Linux apps as they develop software and play games thanks to Steam on Chrome OS Alpha
What’s customizable are the ports, RAM, and storage. According to the company, the expansion card system allows you to choose the ports you want and which side you want them on. Supported inputs include USB-A, USB-C, MicroSD, HDMI, and Ethernet, just to name a few. For the RAM and storage, the Chromebook comes with 8 GB DDR4 and 256 GB of space. They can be upgraded to a maximum of 64 GB DDR4 and 1 TB storage space. In addition, you can expand the storage by another terabyte via expansion cards that go under the laptop.
Privacy and availability
For privacy, the Framework Chromebook has a series of switches around the case that cut power to the camera and microphone when not in use. Google’s own Titan C (opens in new tab) security chip is in place to protect you from phishing attempts and hacking. Thanks to this chip, the Chromebook will receive continuous updates from Google until June 2030.
The same rep told us that the Titan C cannot be removed because it is “an integral part of the electrical system”. However, you can put the laptop in “Developer Mode” so that you can download custom firmware and software outside of Google.
The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition is currently available (opens in new tab) for pre-order with a price tag of $999, but only in the United States and Canada. You don’t have to pay the full price tag initially, as “only a fully refundable $100 deposit” is required at the time of pre-order. You pay the rest when the laptops ship in early December.
As for a global rollout, it appears there are no plans to do so yet, but the same rep hinted at a possible announcement.
Overall, it’s good to see more and more companies embracing customizable or repairable devices. This new attitude will go a long way towards reducing e-waste and saving money. Undoubtedly, one of the more robust repair programs comes from Samsung, who partnered with iFixit for the parts. We strongly recommend you to check out GadgetMasti’s coverage of that story to see where the industry might be headed.