The Electronics TakeBack Coalition has issued a report on ultrabook laptops concluding that they discourage reuse and longer use because generally the batteries can’t be replaced by consumers.
The San Francisco-based environmental group said in the report that the thin, light computers, which are basically the personal computer manufacturers’ response to Apple’s MacBook Air notebook, are designed to have the batteries replaced at a service facility rather than by the owner. This means shipping the ultrabook to a facility for a few days when the battery needs replaced. The time, cost and inconvenience of this may prompt owners to choose buying a new computer rather than continuing to use it, generating more electronic waste. It may also discourage a second owner from reusing the ultrabook.
“If we are serious about wanting to extend the life of these products, then it should be as easy to replace their batteries as it is to replace the batteries in a flashlight,” the report states.
Only Sony’s Vaio T13 and HP (Elite Book Folio 9470) have ultrabooks with user replaceable batteries.