Dell Concept Luna 6 4Source: Dell

What you need to know

  • Dell's Concept Luna aims to improve the sustainability of laptop production and to reduce the environmental impact of making devices.
  • The concept's design features a redesigned motherboard that uses less energy to make and an overall reduction in materials.
  • Dell claims that the ideas seen in the concept laptop could reduce the carbon footprint of device manufacturing by close to 50%.

Dell unveiled Concept Luna today, a thought experiment that incorporates several ideas aimed at improving the sustainability of hardware manufacturing. The concept's design uses less material, reduces the energy needed to create components, and even has a printed circuit board that's made with flax fiber and water-soluble polymer as glue.

The Concept Luna is Dell's answer to its own question, "What if we could push reuse to the limit and dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of our products?"

Dell's Concept Luna was designed to showcase sustainability and environmentally friendly practices in a laptop, not to be sold. Dell claims that if the ideas seen in Luna were implemented in real products, that the company would expect an estimated 50% reduction in the carbon footprint of its laptop (when compared to a Dell Latitude 7300 Anniversary Edition).

Luna has a motherboard that's been shrunk in size by approximately 75%. Dell estimates that this change could reduce the carbon footprint of making a motherboard by 50%.

The internal components of the device are laid out in a way that improves passive heating and reduces the need for a fan. Concept Luna has its motherboard near the top of its body and away from its battery to help with heat distribution.

In addition to reducing the carbon footprint of the manufacturing concept, Dell lowered the amount of material needed to make Concept Luna. As an added benefit, this also should make repairs easier.

Dell reduced the number of screwed used in its concept by a factor of ten. Generally speaking, reducing material use is better for the environment than recycling or reusing products. The body of the concept device could be opened by removing only four screws, which is dramatically less than other laptops. It would also make the computer easier to repair.

The palm rest of Concept Luna was built to be easily repairable and reusable. The keyboard can also separate from the body of the device for easy recycling.

Instead of plastic laminates, Dell designed Concept Luna with a bio-based printed circuit board made with flax fiber. The company also used water-soluble polymer as glue.

While it might be some time before we see a laptop that uses all of these ideas, we could see them in upcoming devices.