Nearly two years since Dell Concept Luna was revealed, it continues to remain just that: a “concept.” But as far as concepts go, Dell’s long-lived project that puts sustainability at the forefront pushes closer to reality with each appearance.
Dell’s Concept Luna, a proof-of-concept fully modular laptop that simplifies repairability, was first announced at the end of 2021. It recently popped its head out again in the lead-up to CES 2023, showcasing how robotic arms can quickly assemble and swap out components within a new Concept Luna design.
Since then, Dell has continued to work out how to implement Luna best and work on its design. After all, “building the future of sustainable technology” can take time. As a Dell representative said when asked about costs during a recent event we attended, all that talk is still a while away.
Still, it’s interesting to see the innovations in repairability, sustainability and carbon footprint reductions Concept Luna presents. Along with how easily it is for an expert to disassemble a stylish laptop in just over 30 seconds.
What is Dell Concept Luna?
If you’re not in the know, Dell Concept Luna is a fully modular laptop design with internal components that can easily be swapped out – from the motherboard and battery to its keyboard and speakers.
That has big implications for the tech industry, both on the consumer and business front. Individuals looking for a boost in performance can swap out an old CPU with Intel’s next-gen chip, while companies can roll out a quick repair to a keyboard if an employee is typing a little too furiously.
Framework Laptops have already put this idea to work and are praised as a future solution to do away with disposable electronics. Dell itself is no stranger to this either, as its lineup of laptops lets owners replace their SSD. Still, that takes a bunch of time, tools and screws – something Concept Luna doesn’t require.
Instead, thanks to something called “keystone technology,” parts can be clicked out of place and slotted back in with ease. No complicated cables to be delicate with or tiny screws to lose; users only need to snap everything into place.
What Dell Concept Luna means for sustainability
“Simplifying disassembly” is the key term here. Laptops are one of the most widely used devices around the globe, but their complicated internals with densely packed and soldered components make them easily disposable.
Every year, we get swish, new iterations of laptops from every major manufacturer with top-of-the-line specs that outclass last year’s top dogs. Even if you don’t need the upgrade, who doesn’t want something new and shiny? But it also means our old yet still-capable laptops get left piling up dust in a drawer somewhere.
With Concept Luna, the idea is to use, reuse, upcycle and recycle. That’s good news for the environment and your wallet. Instead of splashing out to get a swanky new laptop or discarding a laptop with fully functioning components, owners can buy the upgraded component and hand in their used part.
For businesses specifically, parts can be easily managed and distributed to employees that need them. For example, if somebody starts working on editing videos, they can get the necessary components from the IT department to increase processing power and storage. Then, the components they no longer need can be inserted into a laptop more suited for another employee. The cycle continues without the need to buy a whole new laptop.
Of course, this goes for malfunctioning parts as well. Broken components can be repaired far more efficiently, as dismantling a Dell Concept Luna to take the part that needs repair can take less than a minute. It beats throwing out a whole laptop with only one part that needs a tune-up.
Moreover, each part comes with a QR code, making it easy for Dell and end users to identify parts, get replacements, see how long they have been in service and decide if they can be recycled for materials.
Dell Concept Luna continues to impress, even if it’s still a year or two away from being an actual retail product. It doesn’t hurt that it looks incredibly stylish, too, with its thin form factor and attractive keyboard layout.
However Dell’s Concept Luna rolls out, It’s clear how beneficial it will be. IT departments will have access to easily swappable components that makes upgradeability and repairability a breeze for users, while consumers won’t have to put a dent in their wallet every time they need or want an improved laptop.
It will be a while before we see Luna hit the market, but it showcases a smart idea of how laptops can be wholly configurable devices after they’ve been purchased. With the environmental and financial benefits it brings, Dell Concept Luna is gearing up to significantly impact the industry.