Dell’s modular laptop concept that can be disassembled into blocks – Technology Org

Dell is seriously considering the modular laptop concept and sees it as a way to speed up repair and upgrade processes.

A robotic disassembly of the Luna laptop. Image credit: Dell

The company recently showcased the latest updates to its “Luna” concept laptop and demonstrated how it operates in practice.

According to iFixit, a website that specializes in technical information related to fixing electronic devices, there are several Dell laptops that scored 10 out of 10 possible points for their ‘repairability’, or convenience for repairs. One such model is Latitude E5270.

The new concept Luna laptop was unveiled last December. It aims to go even further with a design that features just four body screws and uses a minimal amount of adhesives and solder to hold internal components in place.

Why would we need such a design?

From the side of the end-user, the hardware would operate the same way as in all other laptops. But for specialists who work fixing things, this design would allow them to greatly simplify and speed up their work.

For example, in order to open the chassis, they would need just to insert a screwdriver-like tool into the side of the device to open it. Then, they could remove all main modules: keyboard, monitor, fans, battery, motherboard, and speakers – all by hand with no special tools. Or, the same work could be done by a robot.

The latest design update now also includes a telemetry system add-on. This system is designed to monitor the health state of individual components.

Telemetry data from the Dell's Luna laptop. Image credit: Dell

Telemetry data from the Dell’s Luna laptop. Image credit: Dell

In the long term, Dell aims to create a system that solves the problem of maintaining computers in a fully automated way. It could detect the wear of individual modules or hardware components at different stages of their life.

For example, it could detect a failure in a motherboard, while other components such as the keyboard and display are still in good condition. Dell says this system would work in a similar way when we take our cars to a car repair shop. This potentially could increase the useful service life of the device, and minimize the amount of electronic waste.

Furthermore, Dell also envisions an industrial disassembler robot that has two arms and is designed for taking out and sorting computer parts.

What is the current state of the Luna modular laptop concept?

The system prototype is already in the working stage, where its performance can be demonstrated in real life. Dell representatives say the robot was able to disassemble the laptop in a minute.

Dell’s Luna device is still a concept – and therefore cannot be purchased, but only for now.

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