A year ago, Dell unveiled its Luna Concept laptop, a modular notebook platform designed around ease-of-repair and environmental sustainability. While the product remains unavailable to consumers, Dell has refined its Luna concept. The evolved Concept Luna no longer requires adhesive or cables and uses fewer screws, bringing the time it’d take a repair person to disassemble the laptop down from over an hour to just minutes. In the case of a skilled technician, disassembly takes about 30 seconds using just a push-pin tool and expertise.
To add context to Concept Luna, Dell remarks that more than 57 million tons of electronics are discarded globally every year. E-waste is a major problem. Concept Luna hopes to address the issue, at least in part, by harvesting refurbished and recycled parts, giving some components second, third or even fourth lives, while recycling parts into next-generation components for new products.
Dell combined Concept Luna’s concept with intelligent telemetry and robotic automation, which could have a dramatic impact on the feasibility of recycling and reusing ‘millions of tech devices sold each year.’ The telemetry added to Concept Luna also allows for accurate diagnostics when there are issues, allowing repairs of only the affect component. Discarding the entire device is unnecessary when an individual component, even a critical one, fails.
In Engadget’s video below, you can see a Dell representative take apart an updated Concept Luna device in real-time.
While the concept computer isn’t especially sleek, thin or powerful, Dell has made some changes to the computer since we saw the first Concept Luna last year. For example, the device now includes a fan for active cooling instead of passive cooling, allowing for more powerful components to be included.
It seems like the laptop is pretty much ready to go, so what’s the holdup? The Framework Laptop is a real product that’s highly repairable, so it seems like Dell could launch the Concept Luna. However, there are no concrete plans to do so. While in a vacuum, Concept Luna seems like it’s market-ready, there’s a lot of infrastructure that’s missing.
Even if you can easily take apart the laptop and replace the components, Dell must create a massive international distribution network for all the individual parts. It also needs to flesh out the plan for refurbishing and recycling damaged and outdated components. You also need a trained support staff to help people fix their laptops. It’s a big undertaking, and Dell’s aspirations go far beyond just a repairable, modular laptop. They want to do something bigger, and it takes time.
While Concept Luna is just that, a concept, the overall vision is indicative of Dell’s long-term plans to positively impact the technology industry and the world at large.