How easy is it to upgrade a Framework laptop?

Framework sold its eponymous laptop with a promise that end users should feel comfortable enough to fix almost any hardware problem themselves. Replacing a component shouldn’t be left to dedicated service professionals when all you need is a T5 screwdriver and patience.

When the company released its new 12th Gen Intel Core motherboards, it included a new board that could be used in last year’s model. And since I don’t exactly call myself a self-confident do-it-yourselfer, it made sense for me to put Framework’s promises to the test.

As you can see in the video below, laptops aren’t ready to pull out components as if they were Lego bricks. Although I think the industry is missing a trick by not making these components much easier to assemble by standardizing the connections.

However, one of the biggest hurdles were the ZIF connections, which made me briefly wonder if I was really cut out for tech journalism. Those little lay-flat bands might be great for space, but they’re a nightmare if you have big hands and poor eyesight.

But like I said when the new hardware was released, it’s encouraging how easy this stuff can be, more or less, if companies put in even the smallest effort. I was able to do this, talk to the camera (which probably slowed me down quite a bit) and not blow myself up. And if I can do it, I’m sure you can too.

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Russell Falcon

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