Framework launches first sub-$500 system: Laptop 13 DIY Edition B-Stock features slight cosmetic blemishes

Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition B-Stock system
(Image credit: Framework)

Modular laptop specialist Framework has announced its first computer priced under $500. This is welcome news for democratizing these upgradeable, repairable, and well-made laptops. However, Framework’s most affordable laptops to date are barebones models, so you will need to source RAM, storage, and more. Last but not least, the Framework 13 Laptop 13 DIY Edition B-Stock system will have a display with “slight cosmetic issues.”

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Framework's launch of its first $499 laptop is claimed to have been influenced by the company's core goal "to increase the accessibility of our products, enable developers, and divert waste." Thus, you won't receive the newest processor, but the Intel Core i7-1165G7 (Tiger Lake) isn't without some prowess. It has a 4C/8T configuration, clocks up to 4.7 GHz, and features an integrated Iris Xe GPU with 96 EUs running at up to 1.3 GHz.

Things not included in Framework's DIY Edition laptops include memory, storage, Wi-Fi adapter, Framework expansion cards, or an operating system. These components can add quite a lot to the price, but tech enthusiasts might have some spares in a drawer and prefer a free, open-source OS. Moreover, having these DIY choices means you won't start with memory and storage configurations that don't fit your needs (e.g., 4GB RAM sticks and a 128GB SSD). To help people without spare RAM sticks, Framework has available stock of refurbished DDR4, which is said to be half the price of buying new. Customers can also add all the other 'missing' bits and pieces to their barebone order before checkout if they wish.

We must also address that this $499 device is one of Framework’s factory second B-Stock items. Framework has made a YouTube Short that answers the precise question, “What is a Framework Factory Seconds Laptop?” Parts come from returns or factory excess stock, but particular mention must be made of the displays equipped with these B-Stock laptops. “A-stock units contain a matte display, while B-stock units contain an original display with slight cosmetic issues,” Framework explains. Specifically, cosmetic issues are described as “fine lines on the surface that are noticeable from a certain angle and/or backlight non-uniformity visible from an angle on a white screen.”

(Image credit: Framework)

Framework is selling the new Laptop 13 DIY Edition B-Stock system online in the U.S., Canada, and Australia (exclusively, for now). According to Framework, these laptops are still extensively tested in Taiwan and will come with the same Framework Limited Warranty as new systems. With B-Stock products, cosmetic defects that do not impact functional performance are not covered under the warranty.

Read our review of the Framework Laptop 13 from May last year if you would be interested in a more modern configuration (Intel 13th Gen P-series processor).

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.