Just like many other sectors, the laptop industry is increasingly using recycled materials. Apple uses recycled aluminium for its laptop computers, as does HP for the casings and keyboards of some of its Dragonfly computers. In the past, HP also made news for using recycled ocean-bound plastic in a small part of the Elite Dragonfly PC. And that happened just two years ago.
However, sustainability had never entered the design language of a laptop as it happened with Acer’s new Aspire Vero. This was made possible by using materials that explicitly tell of sustainability, in the same way as Nike’s Space Hippie line of “circular” shoes, for example. The aesthetic of the fragmented texture of the soles of Nike’s sustainable shoes perfectly matches the slightly rough surface of the Acer laptop, which is made of PCR plastic, just like the keycaps - which have a slightly more traditional look.
Like many other Acer computers, Vero uses standardized screws that make it easy to disassemble and reassemble the device, and the press release accompanying this laptop’s launch highlighted this. The box looks just as you’d expect it to – light brown, and made of some 80% recycled paper pulp. And the computer’s protective bag and sheet are 100% recycled as well.
Aesthetically, Vero looks extremely refined, especially for a medium-budget laptop. For example, on the top and bottom cover, there are fluorescent yellow details, a colour that is also found on the R and E keys (to represent the three RE of reduce, reuse and recycle). This is an added value for a laptop that, in its base configuration, costs only 799 euros, despite featuring a very respectable eleventh-generation Intel processor and Iris XE graphics, as well as everything you might need, provided you aren’t a graphic designer or an AAA gamer - an SSD that can store up to a terabyte of content, Wi-Fi 6, USB-A and C connectivity, HDMI port. The 15.6-inch display isn’t particularly impressive, but it does its job and the size is a good compromise between bulk and portability (weighing in at one kilogram and 800 grams); the recycled keyboard is comfortable and has a numeric pad. The possibility of raising the notebook slightly when opening the screen is good, making typing easier and preventing some back pain.
Everything above leads to some considerations. On the one hand, as Monica Chin argues in her Acer laptop review on The Verge, the most sustainable computer is the one that lasts the longest – the immediate counter-evidence is the “secondary” market for refurbished MacBook Pros or ThinkPads. These are devices that last a long time and perhaps can have multiple owners during their lifetime.
On the other hand, we can only be happy that there now is a laptop costing less than 1000 euros that aims to be a flagship product promoting recycling and sustainability. This message cannot be spread only to the elitist consumers, because otherwise, it remains just a fad. And the special aesthetics designed by Acer will probably make this device more durable. On paper, Acer Vero has everything it takes to be an excellent laptop for working and studying now and in the coming years.
Acer Aspire Vero was presented through Earthion, the platform used by the company to represent its commitment to the environment through integrated energy solutions, with the aim of using 100% renewable energy, product and packaging design, manufacturing, logistics and recycling.