Conceptually Speaking. Concept Luna is a Great Start.

March 4, 2022

In the quest to save the planet, Dell’s new proof of concept, Concept Luna, through a collaboration with Intel, makes good on Dell’s desire to design something that would encompass the goals of sustainability: recycle, repair and reuse. Dell had already been implementing green design practices, but this visionary concept could also go a long way toward reducing the footprint of e-waste and carbon emissions.

In time for the 2022 CES show, Dell gave the public the first view of a working prototype of Concept Luna. This is in fact a vision for what sustainable laptop computing could be in the not-so-distant future.

Essentially, it’s a concept for a modular laptop that is long-lasting, easy to take apart and effortless to repair. If your keyboard stops working or your screen gets cracked, you don’t have to throw out the whole device, you can simply replace the broken part. Most importantly, it would also be energy-efficient and possess a reduced carbon footprint, and, at the end of its useful life, parts can be reharvested for other machines, thereby taking up less landfill space in the long run of its lifespan.

One of the best features of Concept Luna? Those minuscule screws that need a teeny-weeny screwdriver that you can never find when you need it; well, there’s a lot less of them. The other bugbear that is resolved with this concept is the fan. Here, the problem of the fan overheating is resolved by simply removing it altogether and moving the (smaller) motherboard to the lid, which allows it to cool.

So, what did Dell come up with?

Dell aimed to find new ways of increasing energy efficiency, delivering better power and cooling and experimented with materials that have a smaller carbon footprint to help deliver a more “decarbonized” device. Concept Luna encompasses:

  • Smaller Motherboard:
    • Means a reduction in total area by approximately 75%
    • Permits a component count reduced by approximately 20%
  • Revised layout/design of components includes:
    • Relocating that smaller motherboard to the top cover could eliminate need for the fan.
    • Reducing the number of screws needed to access internal components from hundreds to just four—decreasing time for repairs and reassembly.
    • The palm rest assembly is designed for ease of repair and reuse.
    • The keyboard mechanisms provide clean, easy separation from other components and simplify recycling.
    • A new bio-based printed circuit board (PCB) is made with flax fiber in the base, replacing traditional plastic laminates.
    • A Water-soluble polymer is used as the glue, which can dissolve to more easily separate metals and components from the boards when recycling.
  • Reduced overall power needs:
    • Allowing a smaller battery with advanced deep-cycle cells.
    • Battery provides a long charge that can be maintained across many years of use, increasing refurbishment and reuse beyond the first product life it services.
  • Aluminum chassis processed using hydro power:
    • Using a stamped aluminum construction requires less energy and produces minimal scrap.

A vision for the future?

Dell’s vision for Concept Luna appears deceptively simple. To use, reuse multiple times and then recycle when the material is no longer usable in its original form. This iteration of Concept Luna does just that. It shows a vision for what could be. Yet, Concept Luna was more about what could be possible than how actually to manufacture and sell it. It will be interesting to see where (and if and when) this leads.


Written by Jane Pratt – Staff Writer

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