Framework has announced the laptop upgrade I've been waiting for

Framework has announced a suite of updates to its modular laptop, including an Intel Meteor Lake mainboard for the Framework 13, and a bunch of different colours for the wee USB Type-C expansion cards for extra customisation. But the biggest thing for me is that it's also releasing a whole new screen that fills my heart with joy.

I'm a huge fan of the Framework 13 laptop, indeed for all its quirks I was a big fan of the Framework 16. These modular, utterly repairable, utterly upgradeable laptops are the way I think all laptops should be made. And it's this upgrade ethos that means I can get excited about a new screen, without feeling like I'm going to need to ditch the laptop I use daily because I can just upgrade it.

The new 2880 x 1920 panel is still the same aspect ratio, but comes with a 120 Hz refresh rate and a mighty 500 nits peak brightness. The original screen came with a smaller 2256 x 1504 resolution and a 60 Hz refresh, but also had a pretty weak response time, which made it a little smeary in games. I'm hopeful that, with that 120 Hz refresh, the response rate will also be improved. 

It's already available for pre-order at $269 and is expecting to ship in Q3 this year. That is a chunk of cash, and kinda whole new gaming monitor money, but it's a serious screen upgrade for your existing laptop without having to throw the machine in the trash. 

And it's an easy upgrade... in minutes, too. When Framework released the matte version of its existing screen we showed how it could be swapped in around five minutes, and because the new 2.8K panel is going to go into the same chassis, the upgrade process will be the same, too.


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The only slight weirdness—and it's kinda interesting that founder, Nirav Patel, chose to highlight it—is that the panel has rounded corners. That means you'll see the panel itself rounded off while the actual frame remains a square. "This is because we repurposed and customized a panel that was originally designed for another company," says Patel.

But, for me, it's the fact that you could have bought the original Framework 13 back in the old Intel 11th Gen days and today you could completely swap out the screen for a far better one, drop in an (actually now cheaper) AMD mainboard of the latest stock, and have a tangibly new-feeling machine for far less than it would cost to buy the equivalent laptop spec from scratch.

This is the magic of the upgradeable laptop. And it's finally fixed my one issue with the otherwise fantastic Framework 13. I'd call that a win.


Best gaming PC: The top pre-built machines.
Best gaming laptop: Great devices for mobile gaming.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.