Eco Tech: World Environment Day special

The tech that is greener on the other side

A decade ago, investing in an eco-friendly gadget often meant compromising on the core aspect of the product. Today, things have changed quite a bit with big brands prioritising sustainability, recycling and responsible sourcing. There are enough eco-friendly gadgets available that aren’t just worthy, but worth having…


XPS 13 9310 (from ₹1,50,990)

Faster, smoother, stronger. The XPS line of laptops from Dell is the best the brand has to offer. Maybe not the 13in, but the entire range packs a punch but deals fewer blows to the environment. There’s no use of foam and single-use plastic bags with the new XPS family. You can even toss the entire XPS box in the recycling bin as it contains recycled ocean-bound plastics, locally recycled plastic, sustainable materials and recycled corrugate. Dell is also hunting down old hard disks for aluminium, dissembling and taking back the precious ore to reuse it. Dell says by 2030  it will reuse or recycle an equivalent product, and 100% of the packaging and more than half of the product content will be made from recycled or renewable material. Sweet.

Sony XR X80J (from ₹1,79,900)

Sony has been steadily increasing the use of its own trademarked recycled plastic, called Sorplas, since 2010. Going a giant leap further on a number of its 2021 TVs, the company claims an industry-leading recycle rate of 89% in its components too. Sorplas is used inside and out on the X80J, a 4K LED TV replacing the old XH80, but it’s the largest surface area of the back cover that’s most noticeable… or not, if you watch television the right way round. Sony says Sorplas has reduced the amount of virgin plastic by half compared with previous models. It uses ‘external air injection’ to keep things structurally sound, but also extra-light to help with shipping (and your back). The X80J sits near the top of Sony’s new LED line-up and is available in four sizes, from 43in to 75in. Notable additions include a switch from Android TV to the new Google TV platform – but before you scoff about the big G getting all its own way, the X80J is also compatible with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos are both present. Sony’s X-Protection PRO technology also makes it here and it will keep your TV safe from dust and humidity. Sony’s Cognitive Processor XR uses AI to detect and analyse colour, contrast and other individual details by dividing the screen into hundreds of zones. A light sensor optimises picture brightness to room conditions; perfect for catching up with those episodes of Friends… when nobody’s watching.

HP Pavilion 13 (from ₹71,999)

HP has been ahead of the curve with recycled materials: the computer giant used waste plastic picked by the people of Haiti in its ink cartridges as early as 2016. But it’s the undeniably practical Pavilion series of laptops that are now stealing the sustainable show. Sure, it’s latest-generation 13.3in Pavilion 13 gets new 11th-gen Intel chips; but more importantly than that, it’s made from recycled materials, including the speakers. HP uses ocean-bound plastic – which, for clarity, isn’t plastic pulled from the sea, but irresponsibly discarded waste that was heading there. It’s committed to using 30% recycled materials in all its personal and printing products by 2025, leading it to be named America’s most responsible company of 2021 by Newsweek – followed, interestingly, by four other computer firms. The Pavilion 13 is a mid-range do-it-all notebook that’s meant to be an everyday machine for casual use but still packs in enough power depending on what model you choose. Available in 13, 14 and 15-inch models, you can also choose from Core i5 and i7 options with a 1 TB SSD. There’s also Wi-Fi 6 for better maximum speeds and up to 75% lower latency. That 13.3-inch display is just 16.9mm thin and offers solid battery life with up to 9 hours of HD video streaming on a single charge. Apart from being EPEAT Silver registered, the outer boxes and fibre cushion packaging materials are also 100% sustainably sourced and recyclable. The use of post-consumer recycled, and ocean-bound plastics means that these laptops keep up to 92,000 plastic bottles out of the ocean and landfills.