Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step

January 27, 2006

Justifying a Laptop Computer

Category: Little Things,Technology – Tom Harrison – 5:04 pm

We’re enjoying the small but beautiful LCD widescreen TV I wrote about last fall. Amongst its many virtues is that is draws a lot less power than our old tube TV (which we were able to find a good home for through Now, I want a laptop and while there are possible a few other things that it might do for me, my true objective is, of course, saving energy. Really, I want the laptop to replace my desktop computer because it will save energy. No, really.

Laptops lead the way in power conservation for computers not because anyone cared about the environment or energy, but because they needed to operate on batteries. LCD screens (yes, the same ones that are now in TVs), power saving options, low-power consuming CPUs, improved researchable battery technologies and many other innovations came at least in part because of the need of laptops be miserly.

It used to be that you traded off for screen size and resolution, power, size, and general functionality (not to mention price), but I saw Dell’s Inspiron 9300 this week in person, and was amazed — there’s really no reason to have a desktop computer anymore. A relatively loaded model cost around $1,500 — this is a 17″ widescreen display and a hot CPU. The computer is amazing, and for a large size it is surprisingly light. There are many other good options from Apple, IBM/Lenovo and others, but whichever choice you make, you’ll win.

And, if you want to make sure your computer continues its life and get paid a few dollars use the new “Rethink” program that uses eBay to trade in your old equipment. This is a win-win!


  1. […] Well, last year I rationalized, er, justified my laptop purchase because it saved energy. And it did. No, really. Now, I have installed my new TiVo Series 3 and have a similarly self-serving justification for its purchase: no more stupid cable box! Oh, and the TiVo is pretty cool, too. And this time, I have facts to back it up. Bottom line: I am using 50 Watts less, 24 hours per day now. […]

    Pingback by Five Percent » My Latest (Self-Serving) Energy Tip: TiVo Series 3 — October 10, 2006 @ 8:19 pm

  2. […] Ok, I’m just an iPhone fanboy. This post is entirely off-topic — it has nothing to do with the environment, energy, conservation, or any of that. I should hate the iPhone. But wait. I love the iPhone, and thus, must rationalize my purchase, as I have done in the past with my TV, TiVo, and laptop computer. […]

    Pingback by Why the iPhone (actually) Matters | Five Percent: Conserve a Little Energy — December 24, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

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