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Which laptops are most upgradeable? Top picks and what to look for

Framework laptopImage: IDG / Brendan Nystedt

Are you looking to save money by extending the life of your laptop? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Although most laptops nowadays aren’t modular, meaning you can’t swap out the internal components like storage or memory, there are a few that exist and I’m here to tell you about them. Below you’ll find a couple of our top picks for upgradeable laptops. Not only have we personally tested these machines, carefully evaluating them based on performance and build quality, but we’ve also awarded them high scores. So, if you’re looking to pick up a laptop with an upgradeable or modular design, these laptops will fit the bill.

For even more laptop recommendations, check out PCWorld’s roundup of the best laptops available right now.

Framework Laptop 13


Great matte display Solid-feeling design Repairable and upgradeable with ease Powerful Intel chips across the line Nice keyboard Electrical disconnects for mics and camera


Weak battery life Expansion Modules drive price up for some ports Loud fan kicks on under moderate load Price When Reviewed:From $1,049 | Model reviewed $1,469Best Prices Today:$1048 at Framework

Personally, I love Framework’s line of fully modular laptops, as you can replace every single part inside of the system. The idea is to encourage its customer base to get in there and tinker away. You don’t need many (if any) tools or much disassembling experience. In our review of the Framework Laptop 13 we noted how easy it is to pop open this device, with only five screws holding the keyboard down and a series of magnets adhering the whole thing together. The individual components are marked with QR codes, too. That means you can scan the QR codes with your smartphone, which will then direct you to the replacement part on Framework’s website.

Read our full Framework Laptop 13 review

Acer Nitro V 15


Good build quality for the price Solid game performance Plenty of connectivity


Cuts corners on processor, RAM Display quality is just okay Short battery life Price When Reviewed:$849.99Best Prices Today:$849.99 at Acer$849.99 at Newegg$899 at Walmart

The Acer Nitro V 15 delivers good graphics performance at an affordable price range. In our comprehensive review of this machine, we really liked the connectivity options as well as the build quality. You can also upgrade the memory and storage options, which is a good thing because our unit review came with just 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. This specific model can fit up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM. For storage, there are two M.2 Expansion slots — one for Gen 4 and one for Gen 3 SSDs. To open the machine, turn it upside-down, unscrew the 11 screws, and pop open the plate. For further instructions, check out LaptopMedia’s video tutorial, which shows you exactly where the RAM and storage live inside of the laptop.

Read our full Acer Nitro V 15 review

Acer Travelmate P4 TMP416-52-70Q0


Large display with good image quality Numerous connections Long battery life Keyboard with number pad Ambient light sensor 3-year warranty


Only 512 GB SSD Mediocre keyboard and touchpad Camera only with 720p resolution Price When Reviewed:$1,359.99Best Prices Today:$1183.99 at CDW

The Acer Travelmate P4 is a lightweight laptop with long battery life and a spacious 1200p display. In our review, it received four-and-a-half stars (out of five) plus an Editor’s Choice badge. According to the reviewer, you can “swap the built-in M.2 drive for one with more storage space.” The RAM, WLAN module, and battery can also be taken out. In fact, you’ll find two RAM SO-DIMM slots, which support DDR4 memory. To crack open this particular machine, you’ll need to unscrew the 12 Phillips head screws and then pry open the plate using a plastic tool. Again, for further instructions on where the RAM and SSD are inside of this machine, check out LaptopMedia’s thorough video tutorial.

Read our full Acer Travelmate P4 TMP416-52-70Q0 review



What’s an upgradeable laptop?

An upgradeable laptop is a machine that you can easily open and remove the internal components like the SSD or RAM without the help of a professional. Upgradeable laptops differ from modular laptops in that they use the industry standard and not a standard that has been uniquely designed by the manufacturer. Framework’s laptops, for example, are considered modular machines.


What’s a modular laptop?

A modular laptop is a machine you can customize and improve over a period of time. These machines allow you to swap out different parts like the graphics card, hard drive, and so on. Think of the individual components as a series of LEGO blocks. Each part is designed to slot in and fit perfectly.


What are the benefits of owning an upgradeable laptop?

Instead of buying a brand-new laptop every couple of years, you can just continue to upgrade your existing one. It’s a way to save money and extend the life of your current machine.

Ashley is a professional writer and editor with a strong background in tech and pop culture. She has written for high traffic websites such as Polygon, Kotaku,, and Nerdist. In her off time, she enjoys playing video games, reading science fiction novels, and hanging out with her rescue greyhound.

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