Fans of the modular Framework laptop who also prefer ChromeOS to Windows or Linux are in luck: Framework and Google are announcing a Chromebook edition of the laptop today. It has the same basic hardware design and works with most of the same parts as the regular Framework laptop, but with tweaks to make it a full-fledged Chromebook.
While you can always take a stock Framework laptop and install ChromeOS Flex on it, the stock version of ChromeOS still has some features that Flex doesn’t, including support for Android apps through Google Play, automatic firmware updates, and more. some other security and device management features.
Framework says Chromebook Edition laptop will be available to book from today—a version with a Core i5-1240P CPU will cost $999, though you’ll only have to pay $100 to reserve your pre-order. Orders start shipping in December. Framework is also putting parts specific to the Chromebook Edition laptop in your spare parts store Framework Marketplace.
The Chrome version of Framework Laptop will have the Chromebook logo printed on the lid and a slightly different keyboard layout. It will include a different firmware to fully support all the security features of ChromeOS. But otherwise it’s exactly the same hardware as the standard Framework laptop. That means users can choose their own ports, upgrade their own RAM and storage, and easily replace most laptop components when they break or wear out.
When we reviewed the standard version of the latest Framework laptop earlier this year, we still liked its modular design, its keyboard and trackpad, and its performance, but we weren’t too impressed with its battery life. A switch to ChromeOS on the same hardware isn’t likely to change that assessment much. But for people who want or need a high-end Chromebook following Google’s cancellation of its own high-end Pixelbook series, Framework Laptop is a unique contender with features you can’t find anywhere else.