mental outlaw video:

hi everyone, i was planning on getting a new laptop cheaply for about 500ish but then i stumbled upon this near-totally modular laptop rhat starts out at above 1000 bucks. do you think the cheaper laptop in the long run is just a false economy and i should go for the framework or what? if you want to ask questions go ahead but im mainly concerned about the longterm financials (and how well it will keep up over time)

  • @[email protected]
    408 months ago

    Hi. Let’s set the table here. Context: What future advantage or benefit do you expect to get by investing?

    • Your budget was initially $500.

    • The absolute cheapest you can have a brand-new complete Frame Work 16 is $1,621 and 5 to 8 months (Ships Q2) assuming you get the cheapest of everything and don’t purchase secondary storage. You will have a low-end laptop with the ability to trivially upgrade it later.

    For an additional $1,100 what do you expect to gain? In reality you can get an equivalent performance for $200, so the question then becomes $1,300 for what?

    For $2,187 you can have an equivalent to this $1,100 ThinkPad that will likely last you 7-10 years unless it breaks first. What are you investing in for $1,087?

    For $2,734 and ~8 months, I can have a high-end laptop, not the most expensive options, but my personal preference to tide me over for 10 years. Is whatever I’m looking for worth $2,200? Possibly.

    • For hardware I can have schematics to, after signing an NDA.
    • For hackability.
    • For a laptop I won’t void the warranty for fixing.
    • For never having to remove 17 screw, 5 stickers, 5 more screws, an excessive amount of plastic tabs, and possibly adhesive.
    • For almost indefinite access to parts. Parts that won’t disappear from the market in 1-3 years, unless the company goes under. (Yay Cali for the 7 years of parts… we’ll see how toothy it is and how long it can withstand legal and technical sabotage. Like Apple’s software locks.)
    • For a laptop with parts I like. (AMD open-sourcing like mad-lads, but not quite FLOSSing.)
    • For a company that I can trust for a decade before they see the dollar dollar bills. Like Google, Facebook, Reddit, etc.
    • For sustainably sourced parts.
    • To support a company that won’t put me through a hoop circus just to tell me I have to buy a new product because they screwed up?

    If I could get it in 30 days, maybe. If I have to wait a financial quarter, or 2, and a half… maybe I’ll wait until they ramp up production, and see what innovations they have in a year. (Related: The week I decided to buy, was legitimately the day they opened for Framework 16 orders, which I would’ve sworn was Framework 15. Must be losing my mind. In any case, maybe I’ll still get the 13 and save $500.)

    Is it worth it for you? Depends on your financial situation and what you value.

    • @[email protected]
      37 months ago

      In theory, you’re paying up front for their long-term loss by not driving conspicuous consumption with planned obsolescence. They lose out on at least 4x the cost of selling you entirely new devices every 5 years, and you get a computer that only requires a few hundred in repairs for the next 20 years.

      In reality:

      1. new standards take hold all the time. Sorry, your laptop takes DDR7 RAM, everyone’s moved on to DDR10—which won’t cause a noticeable performance improvement, but it will give you FOMO because the numbers are bigger. So we’ve ceased manufacturing those old DDR7s; good luck with used DIMMs on ebay.

      2. Startups with amazing business models go under all the time. Sure, it may be “bad market strategy,” aka not being money-grubbing scrooges, and the resultant investor pull-out. It might be a lack of hype outside a niche market. It might be a hurricane. Too bad, ypur “lifetime” computer now has no one manufacturing parts. See also: what happens to early adopters of robotic prosthetics.

      3. Enshittification, plain and simple. That idealistic company that was going to defeat the ills of capitalism by beating it at its own game? Well now the investors want their money, and the shareholders are upset as their stocks plummet. Time to start cutting costs and fucking over the users! Suddenly we’re okay with child slavery and nonfree firmware because it doesn’t violate our core value of sustainable laptops probably. Have a subscription about it.

      And the longer it lasts, the more likely one or more of the above is to happen.

      If you don’t mind that and just want to “send a message,” then go ahead. The more viable (profitable) Framework is, the more likely it is others will follow suit.

      If you’re really just worried about e-waste and sustainable tech, buy used and fix it up. We’re past the point of Moore’s law where you’re missing out on meaningful performance gains if your device is a few years old, and have you see what people will throw away just because the screen is cracked?

      If it’s about ethical business models, support non-profits. They don’t have the same financial incentive to enshittify. (They just have their own ecosystem of ethical issues)

      Or get two birds stoned at once by joining/starting a non-profit tech mutual aid network, where you help maintain and upgrade each others’ tech.