The Framework is the most exciting laptop I’ve ever used
Update 22 Sept 2021: This article erroneously described the Framework laptop as the first system to receive a 10/10 from Ifixit. A few other laptops have received this rating. I regret the error.
The Framework laptop is one of a small number of laptops to ever score a 10/10 from Ifixit for repairability. But it’s no thick-as-a-brick throwback the size of a 2005 Thinkpad — it’s approximately the same dimensions as a MacBook.
Mine was delivered at the end of Aug. I got it set up by the first of September and have been using it ever since. Yesterday, I put my 2019 Thinkpad on my pile of “laptops to refurbish and donate.” I’ve bought a new Thinkpad almost every year since 2006. I think that’s over.
I switched to Thinkpads as part of my switch to Ubuntu, a flavor of GNU/Linux that was designed to be easy to use for laypeople. My Unix systems administration days were more than a decade behind me when I made the switch.
I loved Thinkpads…at first. Not only were they rugged as hell, but they had an incredible warranty. For about $150/year, IBM guaranteed that a service tech would come to your home or hotel room, anywhere in the world, within 24 hours, and fix your machine.
Prior to my Thinkpad switch, I’d been a Powerbook user and a prisoner to Applecare. I made a practice of buying two Powerbooks at a time and keeping them in synch so that when one inevitably broke down, I could leave it for weeks or months with Apple and use the other one.
I was a heavy traveller then (I was EFF’s European Director, on the road 27+ days/month — I even stopped plugging in my fridge because it was costing me $10/month to keep my ice-cubes frozen), and a dead laptop meant that I was beached, unable to do any work.
I loved Macos, but the Powerbooks were really shitty machines, with incredibly poor build quality and a captive repair chain that was run in a way that made it clear that its managers understood that its customers had no alternative.
Switching to Ubuntu was disorienting…at first. It was a lot like the time we…