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Framework Laptop computer 13 evaluation: cracking modular PC will get all-round improve | Laptops

The fixable and upgradeable premium Framework Laptop computer 13 has been improved all spherical for 2023 and is filled with small modifications which can be backwards appropriate with older fashions, making a fantastic laptop computer even higher.

The unique Framework broke new floor final 12 months as a laptop computer designed to be taken aside and upgraded, and with a modular number of ports, too. Crucially, the corporate adopted by means of on guarantees to offer elements and upgrades for present machines – first with Twelfth-gen Intel chips and now new Thirteenth-gen Intel processors, with AMD Ryzen 7040 sequence chip choices coming later this 12 months.

The DIY edition of the Framework Laptop 13 with parts ready for assembly.
DIY variations begin at £849, the place you put in your personal RAM, storage and working system. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

However for many who don’t have already got a Framework 13 sitting on their desks, these improved elements have been rolled into new pre-built choices, with Home windows 11 beginning at £1,049 ($1,049).

Bodily, little has modified, in order that the brand new elements are appropriate with older machines. The laptop computer is skinny, mild and made from recycled aluminium. It seems and feels premium.

The display is identical crisp and vibrant panel as earlier than, however now has a matt relatively than gloss coating, which considerably reduces glare and reflections. The brand new, extra robust-feeling display hinges nonetheless open to a full 180 levels, which may be very helpful for utilizing the laptop computer in a stand.

The keyboard and trackpad of the Framework Laptop 13.
The keyboard is sweet, with loads of key journey for a satisfying typing expertise, whereas the big glass trackpad is clean and exact. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The laptop computer has new, louder stereo audio system, that are nonetheless pretty tinny in contrast with the perfect, however high-quality for watching YouTube or taking conferences. A great 1080p webcam is on the high of the display, with a bodily swap for privateness. In case you don’t just like the black display bezel, you may swap it for varied colors, too.


  • Display screen: 13.5in LCD 2256 x 1504 (60Hz; 201 PPI)

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 or i7 (Thirteenth technology)

  • RAM: 8, 16, 32 or 64GB

  • Storage: 256, 512GB, 1, 2 or 4TB

  • Working system: Home windows 11 Residence or Professional

  • Digital camera: 1080p front-facing

  • Connectivity: wifi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, headphones, fingerprint scanner + selection of 4 ports: USB-C (USB4/Thunderbolt 4), USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, ethernet, microSD

  • Dimensions: 296.6 x 229.0 x 15.9mm

  • Weight: 1.3kg

Ports and energy

The modular port slot of the Framework Laptop 13.
Press the button on the underside of the laptop computer to unlock the module and swap the port to whichever variation you want. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Laptop computer 13’s modular ports are nonetheless a fantastic concept. Select between any mixture of USB-4/Thunderbolt 4, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, ethernet, microSD and expandable storage drives, and swap them as you want. With most costing lower than £20 every, they’re low-cost sufficient to maintain a set for various duties.

The Thirteenth-gen Intel Core i7, as examined within the “efficiency” model of the laptop computer with 16GB of RAM, was all spherical an enchancment on the Eleventh-gen chips examined final 12 months.

It was definitely quick sufficient to deal with any basic computing activity, maintaining with rivals for energy. It received’t deal with high-end gaming, however managed a little bit of Command & Conquer Remastered and varied different older or lighter titles simply high-quality.

It additionally ran so much cooler than the earlier model, with the followers usually staying silent whereas looking and basic computing, which was most welcome.

Framework additionally launched a higher-capacity battery that shops 11% extra power in the identical bodily measurement and ships in all however the most cost-effective fashions. It nonetheless received’t win any longevity awards, however the laptop computer managed eight to 9 hours of productiveness work in Chrome, Home windows Mail, Evernote and varied different mild apps. That’s a minimum of an hour longer than the earlier model.


The side of the Framework Laptop 13 showing two port modules and a headphones socket.
There’s a everlasting headphones socket within the aspect of the laptop computer, whereas the remainder of the ports are swappable. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Framework charges the battery to take care of a minimum of 80% of its authentic capability for a minimum of 1,000 full cost cycles. It will probably simply get replaced together with all of the remainder of the parts, together with the RAM and SSD. The primary-gen laptop computer was awarded 10 out of 10 for repairability and the 2023 mannequin praised by the specialists iFixit for its ease of improve.

Framework sells alternative elements and upgrades by means of its market, but additionally helps third-party elements. The laptop computer incorporates recycled aluminium and plastic in most parts.


The Framework Laptop computer 13 is out there as a pre-built, ready-to-use machine or in a DIY version.

Pre-built “base” machines with Home windows 11, an Intel Core i5-1340P, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage begin at £1,049 ($1,049). The efficiency mannequin as examined with an i7-1360P prices £1,469 ($1,469) with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. DIY editions begin at £849.

For comparability, the Dell XPS 13 Plus begins at £1,348.99, the Microsoft Floor Laptop computer 5 begins at £999 and the Apple MacBook Air M2 begins at £1,249


Framework has delivered on its promise of upgrades for its present machines which, when put collectively, create a extra refined machine within the Laptop computer 13.

The Thirteenth-gen Intel chips run cooler, serving to the laptop computer to remain quieter and providing loads of efficiency. However the different refinements to the hinges, audio system, battery and display enhance the expertise simply as a lot. The swappable ports stay a superb concept.

The battery life continues to be far in need of the perfect within the enterprise, however is now lengthy sufficient for a piece day. A touchscreen could be good however isn’t important. And you may definitely get better-looking mainstream rivals.

However the 2023 Framework Laptop computer 13 is a wonderful, adaptable and upgradable marvel appropriate for extra than simply PC fans.

Execs: swappable ports, repairable and upgradeable design, nice efficiency, first rate battery life, incorporates recycled aluminium and plastic, well-made, good fingerprint scanner, good display, nice webcam, good keyboard and trackpad.

Cons: no touchscreen, lid a bit of flimsier than the remainder of the physique, quick availability, with wait time for buying new machines.

The aluminium lid of the Framework Laptop 13.
The aluminium lid seems and feels nice, however is barely extra versatile than some premium rivals. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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