We know that out of our Framework Laptop 16 Deep Dive series, this is some of the information you’re most eager to hear. We read every Framework Laptop review, browse the Community and subreddit, and run regular post-purchase feedback surveys to learn what you want, and we use that to inform how we build products. Some of the most frequent asks on the Framework Laptop 13 were around improving speaker loudness and extending battery life, both of which we’ve delivered on this year. With the increased space we have inside the Framework Laptop 16, we advanced these areas even further, with a new high capacity 85Wh battery and excellent quad speakers powered by a smart amp.
We custom designed both the battery pack and cell, working with ATL, one of the biggest battery makers in the world and the maker of the 55Wh and 61Wh packs for Framework Laptop 13. The pack has a 4S1P architecture, meaning there are four lithium ion cells placed in series to reach the 15.48V nominal pack voltage. A major improvement we’ve made based on feedback from the Framework Laptop 13 is on the battery connector. A connector on a short cable was one of the more finicky parts to handle, so we’ve switched to an integrated blade-type connector that makes battery swaps much easier. Finally, we’ve made sure that the battery has a long usage lifetime, supporting 80% capacity typically after 1,000 cycles.
The audio system in Framework Laptop 16 delivers a massive leap in both loudness and fidelity. The speakers and audio amplification circuitry are both key parts of that. First, the speakers are comprised of a pair of 1W tweeters and large 2W woofers with over 5cc of back volume each. We designed the speaker modules with Fortune Grand, the makers of our Framework Laptop 13 speakers. The speakers port out of the side of the laptop, making the sound more independent of the surface the system is sitting on.
The audio circuitry on the Mainboard leverages two chips from Realtek, the ALC295 and the ALC1318, both of which have solid support in Windows and Linux. The ALC295 is the same CODEC we use on the Framework Laptop 13 (AMD Ryzen 7040 Series). It’s a great, general purpose part, and we drive the tweeters with it. To enable substantially better audio performance, we connected an ALC1318 smart amp to the ALC295 dedicated to driving the woofers. The main “smart” part of it is IV sensing, where the amp measures speaker current and voltage and runs algorithms to model transducer temperature and excursion. With that, the amp can push the speakers much harder without risking damaging them.
With the battery and audio system, we’ve architected the hardware to excel. Both battery life and audio quality ultimately depend on electrical and mechanical refinement and integration with software tuning, and we’re focused on that for the remaining phases of Framework Laptop 16 development. We can’t wait to get the results in front of you later this year.
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