The Best Inventions of 2021
November 10, 2021 6:13 AM EST

Framework’s breakthrough isn’t the usual whizbang technology that makes older laptops obsolete. On the contrary—it’s that customers can swap out the battery, keyboard and other parts to repair or upgrade them, making the sleek machine ($749–$999) more immune to tech’s relentless churn. Framework CEO Nirav Patel, who once developed software at Apple, figures people want an alternative to “products that are glued together, sealed up and soldered down, designed to be disposable.” The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a leader in the “right to repair” movement that’s pushing back against manufacturers that make their products unfixable by users, estimates Americans could save $40 billion annually by repairing rather than replacing electronics. There’s a green impact, too, in sending fewer machines and their toxic chemicals to landfills. —Don Steinberg

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