Why and How I Replaced my Desktop with a Laptop

I am planning to move around quite a bit, and I need a laptop that can handle me, travel, and workloads (CPU, RAM, and GPU). But I didn’t want to give up the freedom that my desktop gave me when it came to repairability, upgradability, versatility, privacy, and computational power.

Not only do I use my computer for programming and tinkering, I enjoy gaming with wonderful graphics just as much. Anyway, I knew it was a lot to ask for, for a portable, lightweight device that could do all that I wanted. Scouring the internet was rather pointless as it held little to no good options for the “ultimate laptop” I was searching for.

And I wasn’t too keen on settling for less, but I would have settled for less in the market of laptops in terms of GPU power. Until Linus Tech Tips released a video on the Framework laptop. I fell in love with the laptop immediately, and I just had to have it. Especially after reading online about Thunderbolt support. Nearly a year after the video, when the 12th gen Intel models were released, I pre-purchased for the October batch.

I brought my own OS, RAM (2x8GB), and SSD (1TB), and plopped them into my 12th gen Intel i5-1240p DIY Edition Framework laptop. It ended up being approximately the same deal as other similar laptops on the market. I got two USB-C and USB-A modules to start off with.

My experience has been extremely pleasant with the laptop. The fingerprint sensor works well, the keyboard is great to write with (having backlit is nice, too), and the display makes fonts look crystal clear and well defined.

While it’s easy to slap tape over your camera, you can’t just “turn off your microphone” on a laptop with an integrated microphone. Except, you can, with the Framework laptop. A little hardware switch resides next to the camera hardware switch. Flick em’ and your device can no longer listen to you, or see you. And having that power with a laptop is comforting.

Currently I don’t feel like I’ve downgraded from my desktop (16GB RAM, Ryzen 5 3600, GTX 980Ti, 512GB SSD, 1TB HDD) at all, aside from gaming that is. When my laptop isn’t doing anything heavy, it is simply dead silent. The build quality is excellent. Coming from plastic laptops to aluminum laptops is drastic in terms of feel.

As for negative things, the display can be too easy to manipulate with movement. Particularly when standing up from my couch/chair the display tends to fall back.

You will notice when your laptop is doing heavy tasks, though. The fan isn’t quiet. The bottom of the laptop can get hot to the touch. And the hot air is pushed towards the display, meaning having your laptop closed could cause severe thermal throttling.

Eventually I’d like to see improvements to the battery duration, which has been determined to be a firmware issue from my research, not a battery size problem.

Overall, one of the best laptops I’ll ever purchase.