Most laptops allow you to easily upgrade the RAM or replace the battery. But if you want to upgrade the hard drive, change the wireless card, or make other under the hood changes, you’ll probably need to grab a screwdriver and use it to puncture holes in your warranty (oh yeah, and then undo the screws holding the laptop together).

The folks behind the Bloom laptop concept design have a different vision. The laptop can be taken apart in just 10 steps, with no tools. It’s supposed to take under two minutes.

This is possible because the case is all made of one material, while the electronics including the display, circuit board, and other components are slotted inside. The Bloom laptop has a modular design, including a wireless keyboard and mouse that you can either use in laptop mode, or which you can remove to use on your lap.

A group of students at Stanford University developed the design, and there’s no word on whether it’ll ever turn into a real product. But it’s designed to make it easier to recycle laptops because the case materials and electronics materials can be separated in a matter of seconds. It should also make upgrading components much, much easier.

via SlashGear

  • single material case
  • easily removed
  • case = recycled material
  • separate from hardware (electronic… circuitboard, etc)
  • electronics make it tough to recycle… issue is that they’re mised together
  • modular – wireless keyboard/mouse

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5 replies on “Bloom laptop concept is a hacker’s, recycler’s dream”

  1. This is a cool idea. One of the great aspect of the Norhtec Gecko Edubook is its modularity. There’s no GOOD reason why hardware with outdated components needs to turn into garbage, except for the fact that it’s built that way.

    I genuinely believe in the vision in which you’ll get a new device by just plucking a cheap, blister-packed portable computer off the hook of a display rack like you would a scientific calculator today. I also believe you’ll be able to upgrade it by pulling a similarly packaged component off the shelf. You’ll be able to pop out whichever components you want and swap in newer ones. People will probably even be able to buy processor and storage upgrades from vendors in the street. It won’t be a big deal.

    Right now, the OEMs and ODMs have a pretty tight lock on the way in which hardware components are consumed. However, the underlying component manufacturers have an incentive to push for open form factors. We may even get to the point where component makers take a razor marketing approach, give away the chassis and sell the components.

    The bottom line is that planned obsolescence is a business decision that hurts everybody except for the business that builds it into their plans. Openness is the enemy of all of this, which means its a friend of the consumer. There’s NO reason why software CAN’T be open. There’s no reason that hardware CAN’T be open. That some hardware or software isn’t open is the sign of a problem, and if you’re keeping the responsible companies in business by giving them your money for their products, then you’re part of the problem too. You may not have a problem with that, but it makes it no less true.

    1. I agree, I was even thinking about NorhTec Gecko Edubook when I was reading this article.

      I wonder if this will have any accumulative effect with Shuttle’s push to make notebook parts standardized and modular?

      1. as long as companies like microsoft, intel, apple and now google too define the specifications how devices have to be configured and built, nothing will change. and thre is another point to consider too. apart from a few hand full freaky techno geeks men and women from the street do not want to fiddle around with devices. they’re normally not even capable to configure their desktops (apart from the background pics). those people want to start, point and klick. nothing more.

        1. Us “freaky techno geeks” are more than just a hand full. Otherwise no company would bother with customizable kits or sell so many parts. Though we are in the minority.

          There is something to be said about being able to just easily swap out a part to keep your system up to date versus having to buy a whole new system each and every time. This has been the model for desktops for quite a long time for example.

          So the majority may want point and click simplicity and the big name companies may push it hard but we can all benefit if modularity becomes an actual trend in the notebook arena.

          The big name companies can also benefit as this can reduce cost of production to them as well in the long run. So how hard they will hold onto the old ways remains to be seen.

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