Repairability of electronics is a hot topic when hardware gets discussed, and Dell produced a concept laptop to explore the idea of a highly repairable Dell laptop.
On Tuesday, Dell announced a new design concept for a laptop that’s long lived, easy to take apart and fix, and takes a smaller toll on the climate. It’s a collection of ideas that could go a long way toward making the tech giant’s products more sustainable — depending on whether, and how, Dell decides to implement them.
Called “Concept Luna,” the proof-of-concept laptop dreamed up by Dell’s design team has a number of unusual features that are intended to make repair and maintenance easy. No screwdrivers or glue solvents are needed to pry loose a broken keyboard or peel off a cracked screen; both components simply pop free after a pair of keystones holding them in place are removed. The entire system contains far fewer screws than a typical Dell laptop, reducing the time needed to replace components. And you’ll never have to worry about replacing a broken fan, because there isn’t one: a shrunken-down motherboard placed in the top cover allows the laptop to passively cool itself.
As good as this sounds, there is a red flag.
Dell told The Verge that Concept Luna’s board “doesn’t have any more soldered on or integrated components than a typical laptop we sell today”.
That’s right. Dreams of user replaceable RAM, CPU, and storage are probably going to remain dreams, and consumers are going to be stuck with however the machine was provisioned at build time. Like concept cars, this probably isn’t going to go into production, but the ideas could find their way into future products.