Framework laptops are officially Thunderbolt 4 certified after going through a rigorous Intel testing process. While you may have assumed they had Thunderbolt 4 before today, the truth is Framework did not have official certification despite having Thunderbolt-capable input/output (I/O).
There are four (yes, four) Thunderbolt 4-capable expansion bays on these laptops. Once you get the Framework firmware update, you’ll be cruising with dual 4K monitors, eGPUs, and other fun peripherals.
“We’ve built in all of the necessary hardware (retimers, USB-PD controllers, power circuitry, and connectors) to be able to support both USB4 and Thunderbolt 4,” Framework said in a blog post on the company’s website. “In practice, we’ve seen community members using Thunderbolt and USB4 docks and eGPU enclosures successfully anyway, but we wanted to be sure to make support official.”
Thunderbolt 4 is the latest generation of this incredibly complicated technology, first started by Apple and Intel in 2011. Thunderbolt 4 allows a data bandwidth of up to 40 Gbps and Ethernet speeds of up to 10 Gbps through a USB Type-C port.
One of the biggest breakthroughs with the new Thunderbolt 4 technology is the ability to daisy chain multiple Thunderbolt 4 peripherals together. This means you can run two 4K monitors through one port, whereas the previous-generation Thunderbolt 3 required each monitor to have its own connection to the computer.
It also means you won’t lose data speeds over longer cables. For example, you can maintain 40 Gbps through a 2-meter cable, whereas Thunderbolt 3 started to slow down with anything longer than 0.5 meters.
All of this means your Framework laptop just became even more of a powerhouse than it already was.
We’ve written about Framework before. These laptops finally offer something to disrupt the stale Windows laptop market. Not only does Framework encourage you to repair and upgrade your own laptop (a screwdriver is even included in the package), but it comes with 12th-gen Intel CPUs and integrated Iris Xe graphics.
This fully upgradable, modular-designed laptop looks and feels great. Official Thunderbolt 4 certification across four expandable ports turns it into one of the most capable Windows laptops you can buy.