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The Boxless Laptop

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ScreenshotHere’s an interesting idea for the ecologically-conscious web worker: buy a laptop without any packaging. That’s not as far-fetched as it used to be, thanks to the introduction by HP of the Pavilion dv6929 laptop, sold only through Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. The trick? They’re packaging the laptop in its own protective messenger bag, displaying it that way on the shelf, and when you buy one you can just put it over your shoulder and take it home – without foam, bubble wrap, or cardboard.

The plan doesn’t eliminate all packaging; the laptops still get to Walmart in large cardboard cartons, 3 to a box. But they do say it saves 97% of the packaging, the equivalent of eliminating the CO2 from 1/4 of the delivery trucks that bring them to the stores. While web workers aren’t the core market for this “entertainment notebook,” if it sells we can expect to see this approach spread.

Does the amount of packaging influence your own computer-buying decisions?

4 Responses to “The Boxless Laptop”

  1. I’d like to see more companies follow this kind of thinking. Packaging waste really is a big issue with many of the things we buy. Practically the only things that don’t have packaging are clothes (not shoes) and some groceries (at least with bottled cleaning products the bottles themselves can be recycled). Even cars have packaging (the white film on cars sent to dealerships, the paper floormats and the throw away dealership license plate frame ad).
    I enjoy my Apple products but feel that, though it’s minimal, the packaging is wasteful (I do keep it all so I may re-sell it later if I choose and the next buyer feels like they’re getting a “like new” product).
    What items have you purchased where you felt the packaging was excessive?
    I feel that packaging could be reduced more by utilizing more durable materials in the build process. My Macbook Pro has a couple dents but not a single scratch on it thanks to it having the anodized aluminum body instead of a plastic one (I’m looking at you, Macbook!).

  2. Yup – packaging has affected my buying decisions in the past. A few years ago I picked up an HP machine that was reduced in price by around 25% due to it being a returned item thanks to a small dent in the outer box. The machine was inspected and fully funtional, but the box had been returned by a corporate buyer and I was happy to reap the benefits.

    Just think – if that machine had originally been sold without packaging I would have never picked up such a bargain! ;-)

  3. Whilst I applaud the effort, it’s not new.

    Henry Ford did this – only better – with the Model T. The packing case for the parts, formed the floor of the car. Admittedly they weren’t particularly environmentally aware then, but at least he tried to avoid waste.