Cardboard PC Concept Case Becomes Reality, Goes Into Mass Production

Image via ReCompute

Remember a year ago when we showed you the ReCompute cardboard PC case dreamed up by designer Brenden Macaluso? We didn't think it was too hot of an idea, especially because of, well, heat. In fact, one of you stated, "Stupid stupid supid. This is idiotic. When your house burns down to an electrical fire, you're the only one to blame if you bought this" among some not so supportive other comments. Well, looks like it got the support from elsewhere because the ReCompute has gone into mass production. Crunchgear brings us the news about it, and they say... Well, here's what they have to say:

Image via Crunchgear

They still don't like it, and for good reason. Here's a list of why:

* 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?

We have to agree with every single point, and here are a few of our own:

What flame retardants are they using to ensure this doesn't light up like a Christmas tree with its lights still plugged in this far after the holiday the moment you plug your PC in? They've gotta be using something, and it's probably on the toxic side of the chemical spectrum. While the ReCompupte website talks about sustainability in its design, it doesn't seem to mention this issue.

And while this is supposed to be a computer designed for the masses, it uses only a motherboard with processor & memory, power supply and a hard drive. Well, fact is most people want a whole hell of a lot more than that in a computer. And if they're tech savvy enough to add their own components, there needs to be room and possibility for them to do that.

ReCompute has some great ideas about incorporating sustainability into the design. But this doesn't make a green PC. Pulling the cases off old computers, adding in new components and recycling the old ones is greener - a lot greener - and probably a lot cheaper, and just as appealing to most people (as in, only the geeks among us).

We're thinking that while they've announced that this is going in to mass production (and we don't yet have a date for that), it won't get very far in the marketplace, if it makes it to the market at all.

More on Green Computers
EPEAT Goes International With Green Computer Rankings
How to Build a Greener Gaming Computer
IT Buyers Rank Greenest Computer Companies

Tags: Concepts & Prototypes | Designers | Electronics | Gadgets


treehugger slideshows