Netbooks Brighten Energy Star

picture-2It appears that netbook popularity is flowing into Energy Star, a joint venture between the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy that helps consumers make informed energy choices.   Presently, Energy Star’s searchable computer database only yields three categories: Workstation, Notebook/Tablet, and Desktop.   This PDF File (text version) seems to show an Energy Star proposal which outlines a plan to introduce a new Netbook category.   The proposal seeks to introduce a low-end, low performance category labeled “netbooks” due to widespread consumer adoption.

Notes from the Energy Star proposal:


  • Energy Star predicts that the netbook market will grow during the next couple years.
  • Included in the proposal is the Wikipedia definition of netbook.   It states, “The term netbook was re-introduced by Intel in February, 2008 to describe a category of small‐sized, low‐cost, light weight, lean function subnotebooks optimized for Internet access and core computing functions (e.g., word processing) — either directly from applications installed on the netbook itself or indirectly, via cloud computing.” The proposal seems to promote the netbook term as a generic category rather than a specific product.   This goes against Psion’s quest to keep their netbook name exclusive.   It should be noted that the Energy Star proposal was published before Psion’s dispute.
  • The proposal seeks to introduce three categories for netbooks.   Two categories will separate netbooks based upon integrated v. discrete graphics.
  • Energy Star’s proposal defines netbooks as having a screen size of less than/equal to eleven inches.
  • The proposal quotes Paul Bergevin and his article Thoughts on Netbooks from March, 2008.   It is interesting to revisit Paul’s thoughts to see how the netbook market has developed from the introduction of the original Asus Eee PC 701.

Electronics that display the Energy Star logo have undergone testing and meet strict energy efficiency guidelines as established by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy.   Currently, several netbooks are included within the “notebook” category of Energy Star’s database.

Click here to see if your computer meets Energy Star guidelines.