The quick-and-dirty guide to picking a quasi-eco-friendly laptop

White version of the Dell XPS 15 9510 laptop sitting open on a desk.

Enlarge / Dell’s XPS 15 9510. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Earth Day is April 22, and its usual message—take care of our planet—has been given added urgency by the challenges highlighted in the latest IPCC report. This year, Ars is taking a look at the technologies we normally cover, from cars to chipmaking, and finding out how we can boost their sustainability and minimize their climate impact.

Labeling a laptop as sustainable, eco-friendly, or “green” is optimistic at best. The apparently endless cycle of upgrades produces a lot of waste, no matter how many green certifications a device gets. We have a long way to go.

But while all laptops contribute to waste, some do so more or less than others. Many people simply need a laptop, so abstaining from the whole thing isn’t an option. But there are some small victories to be won if you spend some time considering the options.

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