Framework now lets you upgrade its Laptop 13 with a drop-in 120Hz screen, better webcam, and Core Ultra chip

Framework now lets you upgrade its Laptop 13 with a drop-in 120Hz screen, better webcam, and Core Ultra chip

Not only is it now taking preorders for yet another generation of swappable mainboards to give you Intel Core Ultra chips, but the company has also developed a $39 webcam to improve the originals’ middling image quality and a $269 drop-in display that replaces your 60Hz, 2256 x 1504 screen with a brighter, higher-res, variable refresh rate 120Hz 2880 x 1920 panel at 256ppi that should make everything smoother and crisper.

To be clear, you don’t need to buy a new laptop to get these upgrades. They can fit in existing laptops, because modularity!

The new screen maintains the 1500:1 contrast and anti-glare matte surface of the original, while the webcam now uses pixel binning like a phone, producing low-light-friendlier 1080p video from a 9.2-megapixel OmniVision sensor by combining each four pixels into one. (Mind you, Framework talked big about its original webcam, too, but we’ve genuinely seen low-light improvements with pixel binning on phones.)

And that’s not all: Framework says it’s finally opening up preorders for its first full-size SD card reader expansion module (though only with purchase of laptop for now), releasing its USB-C module in four new colors, letting you configure an English keyboard with a “Super” key instead of the Windows logo for those of us on Linux, and permanently reducing the prices of its AMD Ryzen 7040 series laptops — both AMD and Core Ultra start at $934 for a bring-your-own storage, RAM, charger, and OS model.

But with AMD, you’ll probably want to pay a tad more — because an AMD DIY kit with that new webcam, screen, and larger 61Wh battery is just a $150 upgrade at checkout.

With the Core Ultra, you get the larger battery and new camera by default, with the screen as an optional $130 upgrade.

The new parts (and laptops) are shipping in August, and Framework’s already taking preorders. Do note, though, that the new Intel Core Ultra chips here won’t meet Microsoft’s Copilot Plus PC spec for AI apps — Microsoft’s looking for an AI coprocessor with over 40 TOPS of performance, and the first-gen Core Ultra chips have more like 16 TOPS. Intel’s next-gen chips that meet the spec are coming this fall.

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