Framework and Google are working together on the first modular Chromebook, and it will be launched later this year with a hefty price tag.
The Chromebook space is brewing with options, and a new player is bringing the segment’s first modular computer. Chromebooks have significantly improved compared to when they first debuted a decade ago. Not only are they more powerful with gaming abilities, but they are also available in different form factors including 2-in-1s like the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5.
Manufacturers have been working on making modular devices for a while, but haven’t succeeded. Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone project was never commercially available and Motorola’s Moto Z series which featured external accessories called Moto Mods only lasted a few generations before it was killed off. However, while modularity hasn’t been very popular for smartphones, laptops have seen a bit more success as there are several laptops that allow users to upgrade the storage and RAM.
Framework is an American company which makes computers that are designed to have the least negative impact on the planet. It achieves this by using recycled parts and designing its computers to be easy to fix, repair, or customized by the average user without the need for a technician, thus extending the computer’s lifespan and reducing e-waste. The Framework Laptop is reportedly the most modular laptop commercially available, and Framework is now partnering with Google to announce a Chrome OS edition that will be sold as the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition.
Made From Recycled Parts
The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition will have similar specs to the Framework Laptop. It will have a 13.5-inch 2,256 x 1,504 resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio, a 1.5mm key-travel keyboard, 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1240P processor with 4+8 CPU cores and 30W sustained performance, all of which are housed in a milled aluminum housing. The computer will also feature Framework’s Expansion Card system which lets users choose the ports they want and what side they want them on. Supported ports include USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, MicroSD, DisplayPort, and Ethernet.
There will be a pre-built configuration that has 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 256GB of NVMe storage. However, due to their socketed design, users will be able to upgrade the memory to up to 64GB and the storage to 1TB. Framework also says there will also be 250GB and 1TB Expansion Cards for additional storage. The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition has a removable bezel that attaches via magnets and can be easily swapped. Available colors are black, gray, and orange.
Sustainability isn’t the only focus of the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition – privacy is also an important part. This explains why the laptop has privacy switches that cut power to the camera and microphones. As expected, the Chromebook will run ChromeOS out of the box and will feature the Titan C security chip. It will also receive automatic updates up until June 2030. With a starting price of $999, the Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition will be available in the U.S. and Canada. Pre-orders for the modular Chromebook are already open with a $100 refundable deposit fee and shipping will begin in December 2022 on a per-batch basis.