The Acer Aspire Vero is a laptop with a different kind of mission—an environmental one. Sure, it sports some of the latest PC hardware, but what Acer really wants you to know is how much PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic is used, inside and out.
Announced Thursday at the virtual next@Acer event, the Aspire Vero does not have set pricing or availability yet. Whenever it comes to market, it will offer the following distinctively Earth-friendly features:
Key caps made from 50-percent PCR plastic
Chassis made from 30-percent PCR plastic, with no paint
A box made from 80-percent to 85-percent recycled paper pulp
A paper, instead of plastic, sleeve to protect the AC adapter
A design for easy disassembly, with standardized, readily accessible screws
Acer also playfully inverts the ‘R’ and ‘E’ symbols on the keyboard to remind users of what it calls “the three Re’s:” reduce, reuse, recycle.
Other specs for this laptop include Intel 11th-gen Core processors with Iris Xe graphics, up to 1TB of M.2 SSD storage, Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), and one USB-C port, along with two USB-A and HDMI 2.0. The 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display has a 16:9 aspect ratio and a maximum brightness of 250 nits—a tolerable level for indoor computing.
The Aspire Vero’s physical design is obviously affected by the size of its display: The bezels are of average thickness, and the laptop is portable, but not light. It measures 14.3 x 9.4 x 0.7 inches and weighs a shade under four pounds.
You might call the Aspire Vero the flagship product of Acer’s Earthion initiative, an ongoing effort to build environmental sustainability into all aspects of its operations. Acer provided a few examples of Earthion in action: “In 2020, all of Acer’s notebooks have adopted recycled paper for packaging, and these environmentally friendly designs have saved 8,750 kg of paper pulp and cut down on the usage of 20 million plastic bags. From Acer’s internal recycling activities, over 50 metric tons of batteries were recycled and remanufactured into new ones.”
Melissa Riofrio spent her formative journalistic years reviewing some of the biggest iron at PCWorld--desktops, laptops, storage, printers--and she continued to focus on hardware testing during stints at Computer Currents and CNET. Currently, in addition to leading PCWorld’s content direction, she covers productivity laptops and Chromebooks.