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When it comes to becoming "greener", these 6 references show that our computers have talent

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Who is sufficiently well informed has never experienced the terrible cognitive dissonance that comes from purchasing a new smartphone or computer? Probably few of consumers. For others, learning about the product design process and manufacturers' infrastructure can be rich in environmental information.

Precisely, we regularly deal in our columns with models which, as best they can, offer components and software that are more respectful of the environment. Sometimes under the guise of greenwashing, of course, but difficult to really measure the environmental impact of each design choice. Here are some ideas, if you are looking for a somewhat responsible computer.

Let's start with Luna, the laptop unveiled by Dell a few semesters ago. This model is simply modular, like Google's Project Ara or the Blocks smartwatch. With the Luna, repairs are made easier by its very quick dismantling. In particular, the battery can be replaced quite quickly, since it is hidden behind only a few screws. The operation should not take you more than 90 minutes, according to the manufacturer.

The carbon footprint of this laptop would, moreover, be only 65 kg/CO2, or around five times less than the sector average for an equivalent technical sheet. Furthermore, the printed circuit board is biosourced, that is to say designed with natural materials rather than the usual plastic. The only downside, and not the least: this product does not have a release date at the moment. This is only a concept, or rather an MVP (minimum viable product).

No one knows if the device will one day be offered to the general public.

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In terms of durability, Macs are not far behind, although the chassis is still designed with very brittle aluminum. At the slightest shock, it crumples. But if we look at the complete technical sheet, we see that this same aluminum is 100% recycled for the thirteen- and fifteen-inch MacBook Air M3s. The cobalt also comes from used sources in its entirety, in the battery and in the magnets of the MagSafe connector which is used for the wired power supply.

The cable allowing it to be braided for several generations of MacBooks, so much so that it tends to break much more difficult. Users will then be less likely to change chargers every 36th of the month, which limits the generation of waste. The latter is of course the cause of a negative impact on global warming.

With this, let's specify that the optimized battery charging, a feature of macOS, helps you to protect it to preserve its lifespan, and therefore its autonomy. The system can notably advise you to take advantage of the electricity from the sector rather than using that of the battery, blocking the charging when it is possible. Of course, the setting can be disabled, but from experience, we know that the limit is often suggested at the best time.

Batteries are of course not the only parts to optimize in a computer, to make it more durable. Far from there. Coming back to the case, we think of the case of Samsung, which has certified its new Galaxy Tabs with the IP standard. This guarantees a certain degree of waterproofing and dustproofing, particularly with the excellent Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra.

In this way, again, the risks of damaging the touchscreen tablet and it being thrown away are reduced. Unfortunately, these days, few manufacturers have bothered to offer this advantage on such devices. On a computer, it's worse: it is necessary to go through specialized brands, whose prices are often very expensive because they are aimed at professionals, therefore including up to 20%. additional VAT. Smartphones, on the other hand, are doing quite well, whether from Xiaomi, Apple or even Huawei.

With modular PCs and recycled materials, servers powered by renewable energy can also help reduce the carbon impact of a computer. And in fact, Google's bays run at 100% thanks to 'green' electricity. For several years now. However, it is Alphabet which develops and hosts Gemini's artificial intelligence, which, on Chromebook Plus, now offers to automate certain tasks directly from ChromeOS. Except that AI consumes a lot, so much so that Apple has restricted it to its proprietary chips as announced at the Worldwide Developer Conference.

At Samsung, we can also cite the case of Galaxy AI, meeting the Copilot+ PC signed Microsoft with its Galaxy Book 4 Edge. Galaxy AI being powered by Gemini Nano. Let us also remember that the host installations of Apple Intelligence's private servers are carbon neutral, even if zero greenhouse gas emissions would not be reached until 2030 for all of them. activities of the firm at the apple.

The fourth talent of computer manufacturers is also to regularly offer us high-end machines that are ever more energy efficient than the previous ones. And the trend is still improving today, even if this exponential growth will eventually lose us.

Opt for a premium device like a MacBook Pro therefore also saves energy, often produced by nuclear power plants as in mainland France. Low cost devices, however, are not the best at this: that's always good to know.

Let's finish with the hot topic of reparation, which the European Commission has been trying to legislate for several quarters now. This wishes to impose easier repairs, allowing the consumer to carry them out themselves or at lower cost. Apple has sensed the tide and offers its own independent repair service, Self Service Repair. The offer takes the form of a marketplace for purchasing components, complete with guides for replacing them. A suitcase, for rent, contains all the dedicated tools.

The Framework brand also offers laptops that make competitors' repairability ratings pale in comparison, recalling the solution of Fairphone with its mobiles. And if the manufacturer of your device hasn't had time to get up to speed yet, then you can always call on iFixit's tutorials to the rescue.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116