Hello fellows,

I’m currently looking in 13-14" laptops with no immediate needs for one but just because it’s exciting. I love my Dell XPS but I feel I should support companies with which I share more common views. I could make the effort to go a with a less attractive look (especially for bezels) but I don’t want to go wrong with hardware so what are your thoughts on Framework, Starlab, Purism, and System76? I’ll be running Arch and I tend to have a preference for Framework for now.

Do you have feedback (positive and negative) to share on any of these companies?

Thanks for the knowledge you’ll bring me. That’ll be extremely useful when time comes to go with a new machine.

Update 1: Still wonderful to be part of such a great community. Thanks for all the great feedback (looking for more :) ).
So far everyone is standing behind Framework. Anyone with a less positive experience or who would like to speak for the other companies?

Update 2: Thank you fellows for the time you’ve spent to share your honest feedback! I didn’t want to influence your inputs but you all confirmed the Framework picture I had in mind. It’s a piece of mind to read real world experience so thanks again. I was surprised to not see the system76 community speaks louder. Anyway, when time comes I will (virtually) push Framework shop’s door.

  • Pogogunner
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    515 months ago

    I have a framework, pretty happy with it - Arch installed without any hitches and runs well. Only downside is how long it took to go from deposit to actually paying/shipping.

    • @SpiceDealer
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      215 months ago

      I’ve been wanting a Framework so bad. When I start working again (which should be soon), I’m going to save up for one.

      • www-gemOP
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        195 months ago

        The modularity, repairability, and price for specs are what attracts me compared to the other companies mentioned in this post.

    • Shertson
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      165 months ago

      I love my Framework. It may not feel as polished physically as the XPS. If you can find one in the wild to touch and try, I would recommend doing so.

      • www-gemOP
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        5 months ago

        They’re unfortunately harder to find in the wild than pokemons 😂 Have you experienced long delivery time as mentioned above?

        • Shertson
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          35 months ago

          I lucked out. When I was ready to pull the trigger it was just a couple of weeks before the next batch shipped. Got mine in just a few weeks.

    • @MigratingtoLemmy
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      45 months ago

      Will not touch if they don’t support Coreboot/Libreboot (they have the profit margin to do it)

    • www-gemOP
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      45 months ago

      How long have you been waiting? Was it during the pandemic (when everyone was using this as an excuse)? Do you know if it seems to be a current issue?

        • www-gemOP
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          25 months ago

          If that’s something usual I’ll definitely avoid Framework. When I order a laptop it’s because I need a replacement very quickly for work.

          • @[email protected]
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            65 months ago

            If you’re in the US, the 13 is fully in stock and should ship on a week. OP may have preordered his

            • www-gemOP
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              25 months ago

              I didn’t think about that. If the usual shipping delay is reasonable then I feel better.

              • @[email protected]
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                55 months ago

                Most of the delays are effectively from pre-ordering. I ordered mine just after last Christmas, got it the first week in January. Would have probably been faster without the holidays. Also, get the AMD model if you can, it’s much better than the Intel offerings.

                • www-gemOP
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                  15 months ago

                  Great to hear! Going with AMD is something I’ve tried to do for a long time but I was not lucky with availability, I’ll definitely take the opportunity to do so with the next laptop!

  • @[email protected]
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    5 months ago

    I currently have a System76 laptop, and sincerely regret my purchase. When I purchased it, the Framework was not out yet - I wanted to support a company that supports right-to-repair, and figured since they controlled the hardware, firmware, and software (Pop!_OS), it would be a good, stable experience. It has not been, and support has generally been poor. I know other people have had better experiences than I have, but personally, I won’t be buying from them again.

    I haven’t personally used Purism, but former co-workers spoke really poorly of them. They were trying to buy a big batch for work, and said the build quality was awful. Additionally: https://youtu.be/wKegmu0V75s

    • @cevn
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      85 months ago

      I have one problem with my s76, the usb c port rly sucks. Other than that the laptop runs very well but something so simple shouldnt be an issue imo there are some build quality issues going on…

      • @[email protected]
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        55 months ago

        My usb-c ports can be a little touchy, too. The SD card slot is also really bad - the card has to be positioned perfectly to slide in, or it jams. I’m also upset that the usb-c port can only be used for charging after a full boot. It cannot be used to perform firmware updates, or even to do a ram test. This means day-to-day, usb-c can be used, but I have to keep track of the barrel charger, just in case. This, of course, was not specified on the product details page (nor, I think, that only one of the two usb-c ports could be used for charging - it’s possible I overlooked that, but still frustrating on an expensive laptop that lists usb-c charging as a feature).

        • @cevn
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          15 months ago

          Dang, I did not even realize that about the usb c port only being usable after a full boot, since I just got it. I need to find out where I put that barrel charger. Haven’t tested the sd card slot yet but will try and report back.

    • @dingus
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      5 months ago

      That’s actually a bit disappointing to hear. I have always been interested in system76 since their existence, but I’ve never actually purchased anything from them. Was about to impulse buy a desktop PC from them, but ultimately decided against it because it wasn’t really what I needed.

    • www-gemOP
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      55 months ago

      Thanks very much for this important feedback. Framework is definitely taking the lead in responses to this post.

        • Avid Amoeba
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          25 months ago

          And the company has been ultra-transparent about any issues so far.

          Also all the spare parts are available straight from Framework and especially the consumables are cheo.

          • www-gemOP
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            35 months ago

            So far this is really what makes me leaning toward Framework. But you know, when something seems too good to be true… If Framework is as perfect as it seems to be I can’t wait for the need of a new laptop :D

            • Avid Amoeba
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              5 months ago

              It’s terrible because it’s great and I just can’t shake the feeling that there’s an investor lurking somewhere, waiting for the right moment to jack up the profit margins, fucking up an extremely nice thing. If Framework ever goes public, that’ll probably be the beginning of it getting worse.

              • www-gemOP
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                25 months ago

                That would be another terrible story about a great idea turning into BS for profit only. Fingers crossed that it won’t happen.

              • Fushuan [he/him]
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                25 months ago

                The bad thing is that it’s way more expensive than similar specs on another laptop. The other option doesn’t have all the fancies of repairsbility and replacement but it’s also way cheaper.

                • Avid Amoeba
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                  5 months ago

                  Is it way more expensive? I thought it’s at a similar price level to the comparable laptops like XPS 13 and X1 Carbon.

                  Looked just now, XPS 13 starts at CAD $1350, and the Framework 13 starts at CAD $1420. Both have similar specs.

            • BaldProphet
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              The only thing that I’ve seen is Framework’s customer service is unbelievably fantastic–until it’s not. They had some deceptive marketing on their SSD modules, which they marketed as being useful for booting an OS on, but then later said on their forums that they weren’t designed to be used that way.

              The average customer won’t have any issues, but every once in a while a customer reports feeling burned because they had persistent issues that Framework was unable to solve. After RMAing a number of times their support tells you to pound sand.

            • @just_another_person
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              15 months ago

              Check the outlet online. Refurb parts and whole laptops for a nice discount. No sense in buying one brand at this point since the core components are a bit behind from the initial development and release cycles getting worked out.

              • www-gemOP
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                15 months ago

                I’m not yet in need for a laptop but I’ll definitely check the outlet. With the replacement parts it can also be another advantage where you may be able to buy a laptop and replace what you need still for a good price.

        • www-gemOP
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          25 months ago

          Right. I was more asking if the OP had any complaints, even minor. Or anything that makes framework standing out except the obvious unique aspects of repairability, extensibility, customization. I’m already clearly sold on that :D

    • @[email protected]
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      05 months ago

      Your comment is one of few that really deserves a downvote - but there are at least 30 people that interpret the downvote and upvote function differently. Lucky you. Downvoting should be used to identify poor comment quality, not disagreement. Your comment quality is very poor.

  • @[email protected]
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    245 months ago

    Since it was not mentioned yet: https://www.tuxedocomputers.com/en

    If I would not get so many old computing devices that fulfill my needs (I don’t game on PC/Linux) I guess I’d buy one of those. I live in Switzerland and having a german company for support would be superior to me. And I heard that build quality should be great 😇 😂I guess I’d really like to have one, but as I said, for my needs, my macbookpro5,3 running arch does the job.

    • @superbirra
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      65 months ago

      can confirm that tuxedo is great if you are in Europe. It has been my daily driver for 3 years with debian sid and it’s great!

  • @refreeze
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    235 months ago

    Framework. I’ve run Debian, Fedora and for a while now NixOS, all of which have worked flawlessly.

    I did have to replace the heatsink/fan part on mine because the fan bearing started clicking, but I’m sure that was just a first generation product issue (I was one of the first batches). I was glad to be able to do the replacement myself at relatively low cost and the process couldn’t have been easier (took about 30 minutes).

    My previous machine was a 2013-ish ThinkPad X series and the Framework absolutely blows it out of the water. I’m looking forward to upgrading mine to a Ryzen motherboard sometime in the not so distant future.

    • www-gemOP
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      15 months ago

      Wonderful to hear! Thanks for bringing one more vote to Framework :)

      • @maness300
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        15 months ago

        I’d be careful about buying ‘niche’ brands like framework and system76.

        You’re going to be paying more for inferior hardware, and a lot of the people on these forums don’t really understand this.

        Make sure you’re getting it because you want it, not because someone else wants it for you.

        • www-gemOP
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          5 months ago

          Influence is a curse in today’s world. I’ve made this final selection of brands based on personal choice and for reasons exposed in this post. But it’s all personal so you may disagree with some/all candidates and that’s perfectly fine. I’ve posted here to actually collect as much opinions as possible so thanks for sharing yours.

          Companies always find a way to justify for higher price to sell you not that good hardware or to overprice their stuff for non sense reasons. As anyone else (except fan boys of any given brand) I’m running away from that. In my personal views, companies on this list have reasonable offers considering their history, clients pool, philosophy…

          Framework is maybe the best deal here because it has good price and all parts of their machines are replaceable. And again, prices for the parts are fair. So in the long run, users may be winners if the company doesn’t crash. If it does then it won’t be worth than having bought from another company. With all the options to build the laptop you want for your needs it really make me feel like customizing my Linux system but from a hardware standpoint. It’s a big plus for me to pay only for what I want/need and with them you can go even further by physically positioning your ports on the fly. That’s an unseen degree of freedom and it has real world applications.

          • @[email protected]
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            25 months ago

            Framework prices aren’t cheap unless you really fudge the numbers. That said, it will still be my next laptop, because I’m fairly confident it will be cheaper long-term

            • www-gemOP
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              5 months ago

              I agree it’s clearly a win in the long run. Also their prices are not cheap but fair, even though you’d pay ~$100 less than an XPS for the exact same specs (but a higher res display and webcam with Framework).

  • @[email protected]
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    185 months ago

    I have a framework laptop and endeavour os with gnome de. I’ve had no problems with it. I mainly use it for dev work and web browsing. I enabled gnome muli-gesture (basically the same gestures on a Mac trackpad). I’ve had no problems with that either.

    I’d recommend it.

    • www-gemOP
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      25 months ago

      Thanks for sharing this feedback. One more point for Framework :)

  • @[email protected]
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    165 months ago

    I had a System76 10 years ago. The customer service was excellent (several months after receiving my laptop, they sent me a replacement keyboard, because they didn’t like the one it shipped with). The build quality was meh, it was a plastic body and didn’t hold up well to wear and tear, but it’s in my closet and still works. I haven’t tried their aluminum bodies.

    I now have a Framework. It arrived with trackpad issues, and one of the HDMI adapters didn’t work at all. They shipped me replacements for both at no cost to me (except time). It’s been nice knowing that any other issues I do have can be replaced piecewise. Also I like that the webcam/mic have physical kill switches.

    • www-gemOP
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      95 months ago

      Very nice to read this feedback. I’m very sold to Framework after all the great things posted here. An impeccable customer support like the one you describe means a lot about a company.

  • @[email protected]
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    5 months ago

    I’m a fan of refurbished ThinkPads myself, but that is mostly for money reasons. If I had money to blow, I would probably also buy a Framework

    • www-gemOP
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      75 months ago

      Framework also has an outlet, just in case you want to take a look ;)

  • @SpiceDealer
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    5 months ago

    While I’m yet to do it myself, I would suggest getting a Thinkpad T480 and upgrading its RAM. The reason you want a T480 is because it was the last Thinkpad to have user removable parts. One tip: when using eBay, make sure you filter out the T480s. The T480s is not the same as the T480 since it doesn’t have user removable parts.

    • NaN
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      75 months ago

      Second the T480, it’s a great Linux laptop and very upgradable. If possible try to make sure it already has an NVMe or SATA M.2 in the main drive bay. Switching from a 2.5 requires an adapter board and different cables.

    • www-gemOP
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      65 months ago

      Thanks for the tip. I know a lot of people are going for Thinkpads and you’re specific recommendation may seem interesting but I’d like to support other companies like the ones I bought from so far (Toshiba, Lenovo, Dell, Vaio, Acer, PB, Razer) and I’d also like to build my own laptop from the start.

      • @SpiceDealer
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        125 months ago

        Of course. Just remember this when buying a laptop (and by extension a printer): FUCK HP!

        • @AlpacaChariot
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          15 months ago

          HP are pretty awful when it comes to shenanigans with ink cartridges and all that, but HPLIP is great and deserves some credit.

    • @murvillian
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      45 months ago

      What parts other than one stick of RAM aren’t upgradeable on the t480s? The processor? I’ve seen screen swaps, touchpad swaps, keyboard, just about everything. I got one back in the summer, added a stick of RAM to get up to 16gb, it’s running at 3200mhz like the other one, and swapped in a new OEM battery. It’s been great. I also recently bought a e495 for around 60 bucks, it’s thicker and plastic-ey, but also a solid Linux machine running an AMD CPU. Are the newer t14s really that crippled in repairability?

      • WhiteHotaru
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        35 months ago

        I am currently reviving an T410 for my kids. I put an 250 GB SSD inside and the newest Linux Mint and play around with it now. I am still on 4 GB Ram, as I didn’t want to spend the 60€ to upgrade to 8 GB, yet.

        It runs great. I can watch YouTube, browse the web and rip some of my CDs for my NAS and my Kids Audio Players with that sweet internal DVD drive. My guess is 60% of the people would not need more computing power. And this machine was released in 2010.

      • @[email protected]
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        35 months ago

        Yeah it is but it’s a pretty capable laptop. I’ve replaced mine with a Framework 11th gen for my daily use but my T480 is currently hosting 10 VMs for my homelab. It’s got the base CPU, i5-8250U, 64GB of RAM and a 4TB SSD and is plenty of horsepower. I really only got the Framework because I was excited about the product and company, not because I was unsatisfied with the T480. I highly recommend it.

  • @[email protected]
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    155 months ago

    I’ve had a framework for 2 years now. It’s run fedora, manjaro (arch based) and Debian with no major issues. Manjaro had some problems with KDE and the high DPI screen. Sometimes the scaling was inconsistent between apps. Fedora just works.

    Only hardware issue is the battery life is just not that great. And the trackpad doesn’t always work property, but I think that was a first generation issue that’s been resolved since.

    • www-gemOP
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      25 months ago

      Thank you for taking time to share this detailed feedback. Very useful!

    • www-gemOP
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      5 months ago

      Don’t know if you plan to use another Arch-based distro on this laptop in the future but I came across this page which has some tips to adjust the Framework 13 including one that may be related to what you mention. They recommend to use 1,5 scaling factor. More details can be found here.

  • NikkiNikkiNikki
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    5 months ago

    They’re all aight, but avoid asus like the plague, they don’t last very long and have tons of incompatibilities with linux. I’ve only had mine for 3 years and it already needs a new mobo as the pci lanes for wifi and bluetooth suddenly died

    • www-gemOP
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      15 months ago

      Thanks but I’ve already limited my choice to Framework, Starlab, Purism, and System76 as mentioned beside the title of this post.

  • @maness300
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    5 months ago

    I would try to avoid any kind of brand-loyalty.

    Find something that meets your specifications and try it out for yourself. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t, return it.

    Just about every retailer has guaranteed returns for 30 days on computers.

    Check out https://old.reddit.com/r/LaptopDeals/ daily until you find something that meets your needs and budget.

    • www-gemOP
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      35 months ago

      Thanks. That does not not really address my question but I certainly share your view as to not be married to a brand. My personal history and this post question are actually going that route.

  • @Falcon
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    85 months ago

    Framework and ThinkPad have both been a really positive experience.

    • d00phy
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      15 months ago

      Something tells me OP doesn’t share a lot of values with Lenovo!

      I haven’t used Framework, but I’m a fan of most of the ThinkPad line. Not as good as the IBM days, but still a solid product.

    • @Falcon
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      15 months ago

      Re your update.

      My framework has been great, I’ve had no issues with it and I’m quite happy. Make sure to go with the matte screen though.

      In saying that, I think I was happier with my thinkpad, but I have no good scientific reason for that, I suspect the nipple and keyboard are a big part of it.

  • @[email protected]
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    85 months ago

    Anyone have some experience with StarLabs?

    Ordered a StarFighter like more than half a year ago and am losing confidence in the company…

        • @[email protected]
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          25 months ago

          That is an outrageously long time to wait for a laptop without updates. From the prices I just looked up, it also is outrageously expensive.

          I would have sought a refund before now already, but that’s just my opinion.