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EPEAT tablet registry lists almost nothing but iPads

updated 12:12 pm EDT, Wed August 20, 2014

Organization debuts new Tablets/Slates category, required for gov't purchasing

The Apple iPad is overwhelmingly dominant in a new EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) category covering tablets and slates. Out of 135 devices currently registered, 134 are simply different configurations of the iPad Air, iPad mini, and fourth-generation iPad. The one non-Apple entry is the Dell Venue 11 Pro.

Apple has had a troubled past with EPEAT. While getting that certification is mandatory if a product is to be sold to US federal agencies, the company nevertheless withdrew from EPEAT in 2012, stating that "changes in its design direction which were no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements." Backlash from businesses and various levels of government forced Apple to backtrack, and the industry group itself altered its definitions so that products like the MacBook Pro -- which uses a glued-in battery and display, previously considered environmentally-unfriendly -- could still qualify.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: 07-25-06

    How much attention to EPEAT place on repairability and expandability? As best I can tell their stress is on how easy it is to recycle a tiny quantity of aluminum and glass. The environmental impact of that is virtually zero. In contrast, making a battery easy to replace could add years to the useful life of iPhones and iPads. That has a huge environmental impact.I checked the EPEAT website. There is a lot about recycling (meaning to raw materials) but nothing visible about reuse (keeping in service). An advanced Google search did come up with a few hits for "reuse" on their website but almost all came linked to "recycle" in ways that suggest that, for EPEAT, recycling can substitute for reuse. That isn't acceptable.

  1. Mike Wuerthele

    Managing Editor

    Joined: 07-19-12

    EPEAT focuses on recyclability and environmental impact of generating the products. They leave repairability to others to decide.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    There's no evidence to suggest that making batteries easily replaceable actually lengthens the useful life of the device significantly, at least for most users. Due to other changes in both hardware and software, it is difficult to hold onto a modern MacBook longer than Apple's latest batteries will continue to function. Indeed, part of the reason Apple opted to seal the batteries is to allow them the ability to custom-make units that would last 5+ years with DAILY cycling -- this is FAR beyond what previous batteries (which generally showed significant deterioration after 2-3 years of far less cycling) were capable of.

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