Google has partnered with the third-party framework to create a customizable and upgradable Chromebook (opens in new tab) Laptop.
As a company, Framework specializes in Developing Do-It-Yourself (DIY) laptops that people can upgrade themselves with nothing more than a screwdriver, the company-supplied parts, and a little patience. Now with the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition (opens in new tab)Customizable laptops have entered a new frontier as repairability takes a firmer stance in the tech industry.
Note that not everything on the Chromebook framework is customizable.
Starting with the more static aspects, the laptop sports a high-resolution 13.5-inch display (2256 x 1504 pixels) and a 1.5mm keyboard, all housed in a chassis that’s partially made of recyclable material. Under the hood, it’s powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1240p CPU consisting of 12 individual cores and a 55Wh battery that can last up to 10 hours on one charge.
As you’d expect, the Chromebook framework runs on ChromeOS, which is what previous corporate offerings could technically do. But as a company representative told us, these older models were used Chrome OS Flex (opens in new tab) while this new device offers the full ChromeOS experience. This gives the laptop the ability to download Android apps from the Google Play Store, which the Flex models could not. Thanks to it, users can also run Linux apps when developing software and playing games Steam on Chrome OS Alpha
What is customizable are the ports, RAM and storage. According to the company, thanks to the expansion card system, you can choose the ports and side you want. Supported inputs include USB-A, USB-C, MicroSD, HDMI and Ethernet to name a few. For RAM and storage, the Chromebook has 8GB of DDR4 and 256GB of storage. They can be upgraded to a maximum of 64 GB DDR4 and 1 TB memory. You can also upgrade the storage by another terabyte via expansion cards placed under the laptop.
Privacy and Availability
For privacy reasons, the Framework Chromebook has a series of switches on 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. Because of this chip, the Chromebook will continue to receive updates from Google until June 2030.
The same rep told us the Titan C could not be removed because it was “an integral part of the electrical system”. However, you can put the laptop in “developer mode,” allowing you to download custom firmware and software outside of Google.
That Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition is currently available (opens in new tab) for pre-orders at a price of $999, but only in the US and Canada. You don’t have to pay full price first, as “only a $100 fully-refundable deposit” is required at the time of pre-order. You’ll pay the rest when the laptops start shipping in early December.
As for a global rollout, there don’t seem to be any plans for it just yet, but the same representative hinted at a possible announcement.
Overall, it’s good to see more and more companies embracing either customizable or repairable devices. This new attitude will do a lot to reduce e-waste and save money. One of the more robust repair programs is arguably from Samsung, which partnered with iFixit for the parts. We strongly recommend looking around TechRadar coverage this story to see where the industry might be headed.
https://www.techradar.com/news/you-next-chromebook-might-be-upgradable-by-you This Chromebook lets you do your own memory and storage upgrades