A massive issue in tech is the inevitable obsolescence and waste associated with both wear and constant development. We replace our devices for newer, more powerful models at an increasing frequency, and with laptops there are still far too few alternative to buying an entirely device when we want to upgrade.
But a year ago, Dell revealed what could be a game changer in the form Concept Luna, a laptop that can be dismantled so that its components can be replaced, upgraded or recycled whenever needed. Now the company's provided an update, and the Concept Luna looks even more convenient, but it seems there's still some way to go (if you can't wait, see our pick of the best laptops for graphic design today).
Concept Luna introduces a laptop in which everything, from the memory and SSD to the screen, keyboard, speakers battery and fan can be removed and replaced. A year after it revealed the project, Dell says it's advanced the concept further, refining the modular design to eliminate the need for adhesives and cables and minimise the use of screws. Components snap together, which Dell says means the system can now be dismantled in “mere minutes" with no need for special tools.
In the video above, what appears to be a push pin is used to pop open the device to reveal the components – it looks to be as easy as opening a phone's SIM card tray. That alone could help solve one of the causes of laptop waste – the difficulty in opening them up to make repairs.
The device is modelled on Dell’s 13-inch Latitude, and Dell says the idea of the modular design is not only to allow repairs and upgrades, but also to allow the components to be easily removed for reuse. It says robots can dissemble the device in seconds, which would allow the laptop's components to be salvaged at a recycling facility, potentially reducing its production carbon footprint by 50%.
But while prototypes are now in testing, Dell still hasn't given us any idea of when or even if Concept Luna will ever make it to market. We hope it's sooner rather than later. The best Dell laptops are among our favourite devices for creative work and productivity. An easier way to make repairs and replace components could clinch the deal.