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Framework 7040 Series Laptop: Modular Marvel

The Framework 7040 laptop’s modular design stands out as a refreshing approach, showcasing that engineering extends beyond cost-efficiency in laptop production. It serves as a blueprint for a potential industry-wide shift, rather than a mere display of constructional finesse. Prominent brands should pay heed to this development, as it aligns with customer preferences.

Advantages:

  1. Innovative Modular Concept
  2. USB 4.0 Support
  3. Exemplary Engineering
  4. Satisfactory Battery Life

Drawbacks:

  1. Limited One-Year Warranty
  2. Absence of Windows Hello Compatibility for the Camera
Framework 7040 Series: A Revolution in Modularity

Framework 7040 Series: A Revolution in Modularity

In a world where giants like Apple and Dell encourage disposability, Framework takes a different path. They empower users with modularity, offering adaptable, cost-effective systems.

Beginning with Intel or AMD as a base, the Framework 13 Laptop (AMD Ryzen 7040 series) allows users to customize their machine effortlessly. It’s the first laptop with a tool for case access, where upgrades to memory and storage are a breeze—just five screws stand in your way.

The highlight of the 7040 Series? All side ports are modular. You choose the ports you need, and they’re easily interchangeable. This flexibility comes at a minimal cost, delighting customers.

Successful businesses cater to customer desires, and Framework nails it. While the 13-inch model may have a slightly higher price, its unparalleled flexibility justifies it. Some competitors would charge more for fewer options.

If this trend takes off, industry giants like Apple and Dell may need to reconsider their approach.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Exceptional ModularitySlightly Higher Price
Framework 7040 Series: Pricing and Specs

Framework 7040 Series: Pricing and Specs

Pricing and Availability:

  • Cost: Starting at $1,049
  • Availability: Currently in stock
  • Purchase: Directly from Framework’s website

Framework offers the 7040 series, available as ‘DIY’ or ‘Pre-built,’ depending on your specifications.

For UK customers, three SKUs are available:

  1. Base: £1,049 ($1,049) – AMD Ryzen 5 7640U, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, 55Wh battery, Windows 11 Home.
  2. Performance: £1,469 ($1,469) – Ryzen 7 7840U, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, 61Wh battery, Windows 11 Home.
  3. Professional: £1,659 ($1,659) – Same CPU, 32GB RAM, 1TB storage, Windows 11 Pro.

U.S. customers get identical SKUs in dollars, making them approximately 25% cheaper than in Europe.

Alternatively, Framework offers a fully customizable hardware and I/O module selection for the DIY edition.

Notably, adding Windows 11 Pro costs an additional $199 or £220. You can choose to have no OS installed and add your preferred operating system.

Framework also offers an Intel platform version of the Laptop 13 with various processor options.

Compared to other brands, the Framework 7040 Series is slightly pricier but offers a unique level of customization.

Specifications:

  • Model: Framework Laptop 13 7040 Series
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7840U (8 cores, 16 threads)
  • GPU: Radeon 780M Graphics
  • RAM: 6GB DDR5 (expandable to 64GB)
  • Storage: 1TB NVMe M.2 2280
  • Screen: 13.5″ IPS panel, 1500:1 contrast, >400 nit brightness, 100% sRGB, 2256 x 1504 resolution
  • Ports: User-definable, including USB-C, USB-A, DisplayPort, HDMI, MicroSD card reader, Audio Jack
  • Networking: WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
  • Camera: 1080p 60fps
  • OS: Windows 11 Pro (pre-installed)
  • Biometrics: Fingerprint reader
  • PSU: 60W (20V 3A)
  • Dimensions: 297 x 229 x 45mm
  • TPD Limit: 28W

Value Rating: 4/5

Framework 7040 Series: Innovative Design

Framework 7040 Series: Innovative Design

  • Modular Ports: Enjoy customization options.
  • Aerospace Engineering: Precision engineering for durability.
  • Easy Access: Simple maintenance and upgrades.

Over time, modular concepts often failed due to complex connections or structural issues. Framework’s 7040 series redefines modularity, inspired by USB’s plug-and-play simplicity.

Unboxing reveals an apparent incomplete laptop with prominent side holes. Customers are provided with a unique screwdriver-spudger tool, a rare encouragement to delve inside.

Additional accessories consist of neatly packaged modules for customizable ports. Options include USB-C, USB-A, DisplayPort, HDMI, Ethernet, MicroSD, and Audio, costing $10 to $40 each.

One caveat is reliance on USB 3.2 or 4.0, limiting support for PCIe-based technologies.

The modular slots vary in capabilities, with top places supporting USB 4.0 with DP, and lower ones offering USB 3.2 Gen 2. All USB-C slots can charge the laptop.

Internal components are also accessible and protected by a warranty-friendly design. Loosening five screws grants access to the NVMe drive, memory slots, mainboard, and battery.

Remarkably, this flexibility doesn’t compromise the laptop’s thin and lightweight form, engineered to aerospace standards for ease of use.

The 13-inch display, while not the largest, boasts a high native resolution, maximizing screen real estate.

Design Rating: 4.5/5

Framework 7040 Series: Noteworthy Features

Framework 7040 Series: Noteworthy Features

  • Processor Options: Choose between AMD and Intel.
  • Unusual Display Resolution: A unique 2256 x 1504 resolution with high brightness.
  • Missing Windows Hello: Lacks Windows Hello camera for biometric authentication.

Our review unit, the Performance model, houses an AMD Ryzen 7 7840U processor with Radeon 780M GPU. Intel versions with varying features are also available.

This platform boasts PCIe 4.0, enabling faster internal NVMe storage. The 2256 x 1504 display offers over 400 nit brightness and high contrast, though 100% brightness may be excessive.

However, the laptop’s price doesn’t justify the absence of a Windows Hello camera. Instead, it relies on a fingerprint reader located on the power button.

A unique camera design has two lenses, with one covering the camera and the other housing a microphone and mute switch. Care should be taken not to confuse them during use.

Features Rating: 4/5

Framework 7040 Series: Impressive Performance

Framework 7040 Series: Impressive Performance

  • AMD CPU and GPU Combo: Ryzen 7 7840U and Radeon 780M offer a powerful partnership.
  • Exceptional Battery Life: Long-lasting usage with a smaller battery.
  • Thunderbolt on USB 4.0: Efficient Thunderbolt connectivity confirmed.
  • Benchmarks:
BenchmarkScore
3DMark WildLife15,280
Fire Strike6,545
Time Spy2,801
Cinebench R23Single core: 1,691
Multi-core: 10,734
Ratio: 8.12
GeekBench 5Single core: 1,886
Multi core: 10,734
OpenCL: 37,328
CrystalDiskMarkSequential Read: 5.094MB/s
Sequential Write: 3.884 MB/s
PC Mark 10Office Test: 7,151
Battery Test: 13h 55m
Windows Experience IndexScore: 8.2

The AMD Ryzen 7 7840U processor, part of the Zen 4 architecture, offers impressive performance with eight cores and hyperthreading. The base clock speed is 3.1GHz, with a turbo boost of 5.1GHz on a single core.

Framework 7040 Series: Impressive Performance

The Radeon 780M GPU, while not a significant upgrade from the previous 680M, features a new AV1 engine for improved video decoding and encoding.

Performance, although not outstanding graphically, competes well against most Intel laptops in its class, thanks to the 28W TDP.

In single and multithreaded compute tests, it outperforms its predecessor, the Ryzen 7 Pro 6850H.

Where the 7040 Series truly shines is in battery life, providing 40% more runtime with 14% less battery capacity compared to a similar device.

The BIOS settings may affect graphical performance, with the default ‘Auto’ mode limiting the iGPU to 512MB of system memory. Memory upgrades may help, but the AMD Ryzen 7 has a limit of DDR5-5600.

The WD SN740 NVMe drive performs as expected, and users seeking higher speeds and power management may consider alternative options like the Lexar NM790.

The laptop’s USB 4.0 supports Thunderbolt mode, passing an external Thunderbolt drive test with ease.

Overall, the 7040 Series offers impressive performance with few drawbacks.

Performance Rating: 4/5

Framework 7040 Series: Final Thoughts

Framework 7040 Series: Final Thoughts

The Framework Laptop 13 impresses as a modular solution, boasting USB 4.0 and Thunderbolt ports for enhanced flexibility. Its elegant module mechanism promises long-term support.

While the one-year warranty disappoints, this laptop’s modularity allows for extended maintenance and upgrades, appealing to tinkerers.

Balancing customization with cost, it’s slightly pricier due to its modular design. However, it offers the freedom to tailor the platform to your exact needs.

Framework deserves praise for bringing this concept to a retail product, hoping to spark further interest.

SHOULD YOU BUY A FRAMEWORK 7040 SERIES?

SHOULD YOU BUY A FRAMEWORK 7040 SERIES?

ValueNot cheap but well-specified4/5
DesignAerospace engineering for easy upgrades4.5/5
FeaturesStunning display, AMD/Intel options, lacks Windows Hello camera4/5
PerformanceEfficient with excellent battery life, not for gaming4/5
OverallStylish and flexible, tailored to user needs4.5/5

Buy it if…

  • You like exacting specs: Customizable down to individual ports.
  • You have a long working day: Close to 14 hours of battery life.
  • You value power efficiency: AMD Ryzen 7 processor delivers performance and efficiency.

Don’t buy it if…

  • You rely on Windows Hello camera: Lacks Windows Hello support, external options available.
  • You need more graphics power: Limited graphics capabilities; consider Framework’s Laptop 16 series for discrete graphics.

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