GigaOm: Why Netbooks are Greener Than Laptops

Carbon-Footprint-8-18-7 Everybody is getting green conscious and trying to reduce carbon footprints in their journey through life these days. Celeste LeCompte of GigaOm is taking a look at Netbooks and why they are greener than laptops. He calls the Netbook approach to resource efficient   computing a ‘take only what you need’ approach to computing with Netbooks offering lower power demands and fewer toxic components.

The vast majority of netbooks are powered by Intel’s Atom processor, an energy-efficient chip inside of the laptops listed with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program. How efficient is it? Atom sports a maximum thermal design point (TDP) of 2.5 watts; compare that with Intel’s Core 2 Duo chips, which have a TDP of 65 watts. That not only makes the notebooks more efficient, it makes the machines using them cooler and quieter, a key feature for a netbook. Netbooks’ efficiency is likely to increase in the year ahead. More power-conscious ARM-based netbooks are coming in 2009 with chips that will use no more than 1 watt of power.

Om discusses some other carbon reducing benefits as well. I know some folks think about this quite a bit, so I’m curious. How much does ““going green” affect your purchasing decision?

UPDATE: I incorrectly credited Om Malik with authorship of the post on GigaOM. The author is actually Celeste LeCompte. Apologies.

5 Comments

  1. Om

    12/22/2008 at 7:08 am

    Hey Warner

    Thanks for the link back and glad to see you liked the post.

    Just a quick clarification, author of the post is “Celeste LeCompte” not me, as you noted. Perhaps GigaOM would be better description than just me :-)

    Happy Holidays.

    Reply

  2. Warner Crocker

    12/22/2008 at 7:14 am

    Thanks for the correction, Om, and apologies to Celeste.

    Reply

  3. schmolch

    12/22/2008 at 7:15 am

    This idiot should get his facts right.
    The TDP of the mobile c2d starts at 10W for ULV Chips and ends at 35W for the previous generation 2.8GHz Monster (the current chip has 25W at 2.8GHz).
    65W is for the Desktop version.

    Thanks for pointing out another stupid blog.

    Reply

  4. davidm

    12/22/2008 at 2:35 pm

    Speaking of green, I’d like to see a deposit on notebook batteries. Right now replacements are $150 – $200, and they barely last over a year, we should get at least $25 back when we return our dead batteries for a new one (using an advance shipping method), and that would ensure they are properly reused and recycled.

    Reply

  5. Ben

    12/22/2008 at 6:12 pm

    I hardly think that the little extra power savings from an atom makes a netbook any more ‘green’ than any other laptop. First, there are all the other components which still use a considerable amount of power. Cell phones consume even less power than netbooks. Does that make them even more green? Furthermore, the power that laptops consume is already minuscule in comparison to almost any other device we use—light bulbs, TVs, etc.

    Second, and more importantly, is the “disposable” and “consumer” mindset with with netbooks are or will be viewed by many. Since netbooks are cheap, the price will be less of a hurdle to overcome in deciding to buy a new one (or yet another one). We’ve already seen millions of netbooks sold as replacements or additions to current computing devices. Each new netbook requires that many more resources to manufacture, and for every old computer replaced, those computers must be disposed of somehow–probably in a landfill. The overturn of these netbooks maybe possibly be increased compared to traditional laptops, using more resources.

    Though I’m not suggesting that the manufacturing of netbooks be stopped, I think it’s spurious to say that netbooks are â€Ŕgreen” because they consume a little less power than their big brothers. Sure, power savings does help, and the â€Ŕonly buy what you need” mindset is *undeniably* crucial to any hope for a environmentally friendly society. However, I would question how many people truly *need* netbooks, or if their current devices would suffice a little longer; I would question whether there may be other choices in lifestyle or consumption, on the personal and corporate levels, which could have a larger impact on our â€Ŕgreenness.” Of course, credit is due to those who ask these questions.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *