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Longer-lasting laptops: the modular hardware you can upgrade and repair yourself

Longer-lasting laptops: the modular hardware you can upgrade and repair yourself

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Modular laptops with parts that can be swapped out as needed are becoming more popular, like Framework’s Laptop 16 and the Lenovo ThinkPad P1.

When it comes to improving the sustainability of consumer electronics, there’s a growing movement to design devices with a focus on upgradability and repairability that can extend their longevity, instead of just making them easier to recycle after a few years of use.

At one time, nearly every laptop maker was caught up in a race to create ultrathin designs, resulting in hardware that was difficult to upgrade and expensive to repair. But in recent years, several companies have demonstrated that laptops can be designed so that users can upgrade and easily swap out parts as needed.

Innovative companies like Framework have been producing laptops that don’t need to be entirely replaced every few years, and with more success than other companies previously following similar pursuits. In 2021, Dell was sued over its Alienware laptop that promised GPU upgrades, while Intel has abandoned a couple of modular hardware products, including its Compute Cards.

For now, it’s primarily Framework leading the charge, but its success has inspired competitors like Lenovo to follow suit. As more companies dedicate R&D to the cause, Framework may one day no longer be the only brand associated with modular devices.

You can stay on top of all the latest upgradable and easily repairable device news and developments right here.

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