I’m a big fan of iFixIt’s teardowns and ratings for tech gear. When I was running an IT department for a school, the ability to repair and upgrade a device easily was a significant factor in hardware choices. In particular, being able to add memory to extend a device’s life and easily repair or replace a keyboard (students can destroy keyboards) were important. The European parliament has revealed plans to introduce ratings, similar to those given by iFixIt, as well as other safeguards for consumers.
The EU’s proposed rules would cover warranty extensions for significant repairs and incentives for products to be durable and recyclable.
But the move I find interesting is to push manufacturers to make “essential components” like batteries and LCDs easily removed. With many manufacturers hard wiring batteries of making them very difficult to remove in order to reduce device thickness and weight, such a rule could lead to design changes as manufacturers seek to boost their ratings.
The moves are a good thing I think. I always took notice of energy efficiency ratings for hardware. Having a set of standardised criteria for maintenance and repairability makes sense to me.
Do you agree? What sorts of criteria would you like?