Recompute cardboard computer enters production, fails to fool anybody

What a wrongheaded, quixotic, and yet opportunistic and callous idea. A cardboard PC. Now, they’re launching a product I was careful to denounce several months ago, and all my objections still apply. Take a moment to read why a cardboard PC is just the epitome of foolishness, or just glance over these handy bullet points:

  • Corrugated cardboard will retain heat, limiting life of parts
  • Corrugations will become clogged with dust, exacerbating insulation effect
  • Cardboard is fragile, absorbent, and impossible to repair
  • Expandability is very limited
  • Only one 2.5″ HDD bay and it’s stuffed into the cardboard – obviously a heat risk
  • The “limited to bare bones” is the same as almost any other computer
  • Hello, cardboard is flammable, and parts of your computer get hot enough to burn things
  • The case is perhaps the only part of a computer you don’t need to throw away, ever
  • Would you buy a computer from people who misspelled power supply, ventilation, through, perimeter, and call RAM “RAM memory,” all on their spec page — a solitary JPEG?

The thing is, these guys have to know this stuff. They couldn’t design a case without knowing something about all this, but they’re doing it anyway. It’s a very disingenuous statement, and one that’s open to misinterpretation. “Now your computer is disposable!” That’s what people will take away from this. If they’re serious about this, these guys should be applying their green sensibilities and engineering experience elsewhere. If they’re just cashing in on the fact that green sells right now, then I we can just put them in the pile with Asus, whose transparently un-green “bamboo laptop” creates only the thinnest veneer of ecological awareness.

Look, I’m all for making things greener. But putting a cardboard shell around a bunch of toxic metal and plastic and calling it eco-friendly is bullshit of the highest order. We need to focus on consumer education so people don’t throw out entire PCs. People should know what they were buying, how to upgrade their computer or keep it working, or how to keep it in use after they buy a new one (home media server, anybody). This unbelievably inadequate band-aid (if we can even call it that) is the exact opposite of what needs to happen.

[Recompute, via The Next Web]