Framework Laptop Prices Drop to $639 Thanks to Refurbishments and ‘Factory Seconds’ – Ars Technica
Part of Framework’s sales pitch is that the company’s modular laptops are a more sustainable and (somewhat) responsible alternative to buying a hermetically sealed, non-upgradable model from one of the major PC makers. The company has tried to encourage reuse and recycling by offering refurbished models and 3D printable cases to reuse laptop motherboards as small desktop computers.
Earlier this month, the company took another step in this direction, opening the Framework Outlet section of its online marketplace to sell refurbished products and items returned by original buyers. The company is also expanding its ‘factory seconds’ offerings – it previously offered some 11th Gen Core i5 Framework laptop motherboards this way, but that has now been expanded to include Core i7 motherboards and some full-frame laptop models built with bodies and displays with Minor manufacturing defects.
“With the excess displays we received from the factory, we found a hidden cosmetic flaw in some of them,” Nirav Patel, CEO of Framework, wrote. “There is a wavy pattern and irregularity of the backlight that can be seen from certain angles. For this reason, we call these systems ‘B-Stock’ and price them even lower than our 11th generation revamps. As always, you can upgrade any part of the system including This screen displays using parts of the Framework Marketplace whenever you need to.”
The Core i7-1165G7 version of these laptops starts at $639, which is $40 less than the regular refurbished version of the same system and $40 more than the refurbished version of the Core i5-1135G7 laptop. The factory second edition Core i7-1185G7 laptop is priced at $759, $140 less than the refurbished edition.
These are all DIY-version laptops, which means you’ll need RAM, an SSD, expansion cards, and your own Wi-Fi card, and you’ll need to be comfortable following the Framework’s assembly instructions. It also includes the standard 55Wh battery and not the larger 61Wh version that Framework introduced earlier this year. All laptops have a standard one-year warranty, although the warranty does not cover cosmetic defects that caused them to be classified as “factory seconds” in the first place.
According to Patel, offering its discounts primarily by steering buyers toward refurbished and B-stock products is an alternative to offering limited-time deals like the ones you see on Black Friday (which doesn’t end now and extends into November), Prime Day or other true shopping holidays. Or invented.
Intel’s 11th generation processors have been completely overtaken by newer models from Intel and AMD at this point, but they’re still more than good enough for everyday browsing, office work, light photo editing, and other general-purpose laptop stuff. And the modular nature of Framework laptops means that in a couple of years, when your needs start to outpace the CPU’s capabilities, you’ll have some upgrade options waiting for you that don’t require you to ditch the entire laptop and start over.
We’ve reviewed both current generation versions of the Laptop 13 Framework: the 13th Gen Intel Core version and the new AMD Ryzen version. Both offer a big step up in CPU performance over the old 11th Gen version, but only the Ryzen version has upgraded integrated graphics performance. Keep this in mind when deciding whether to opt for a new model, or save some money by purchasing something older.