The greenest tech products

HP rp5700 Long Lifecycle Desktop

HP is billing this business desktop PC as having an environmentally conscious design. It uses a low-power chip set and post-consumer recycled plastic and packaging, and it comes with the 80-percent efficient power supply outlined in the new Energy Star 4.0 requirements. It has earned the stringent Gold rating of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), which means that it meets all the required criteria and 75 percent of the optional criteria outlined in the IEEE 1680 standard on environmental performance. (See EPEAT’s Web site for the approved configuration.) Plus, according to HP, this desktop can be powered by its $1325 Solar PowerPAC II.

Dell Latitude D630

Dell’s Latitude D630 business notebook is both Energy Star 4.0-certified and EPEAT Gold-certified, which means that it meets all the required criteria and 75 percent of the optional criteria outlined in the IEEE 1680 standard on environmental performance. (Check EPEAT’s Web site for approved configurations.) For consumers, Dell takes back old products and recycles the purchased Latitude D630 (at its end of life) for free. For businesses, it charges a fee.

Toshiba Portege R500

Toshiba’s skinny, sleek Portege R500 also earned the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool’s (EPEAT’s) stringent Gold Certification, which means that the R500 meets all the required criteria and 75 percent of the optional criteria outlined in the IEEE 1680 standard on environmental performance. (Toshiba’s Tecra M9-PTM91, Tecra A9-PTS52, and Tecra A9-PTS53 are also EPEAT Gold-certified. See EPEAT’s Web site for approved configurations.) This 12.1-inch ultraportable is Energy Star 4.0-certified, and Toshiba will recycle its own products for free, and non-Toshiba products for a shipping fee.

Nokia N95 Nokia ranked first among 14 companies in Greenpeace’s June 2007 Guide to Greener Electronics for its commitment to phasing out toxic chemicals such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFR). Its N95 phone–with a five-megapixel digital camera, a video camera, and GPS–is a multifunction device that cuts down on duplicate hardware that you’ll have to recycle. And speaking of recycling, Nokia will recycle your old phone and the N95 (when you’re done with it) for free. Read our full review.

Greenest Host

This new, solar-powered Web hosting service for consumers and small businesses is scheduled to launch on Wednesday, August 1. Greenest Host powers its data centers entirely using solar panels, with both propane- and conventional grid-based backup systems so your site will stay up regardless of clouds and weather. Subscription prices, which start at $15 per month, are comparable to conventionally powered competitors, according to the company. Greenest Host will also provide site management and basic site creation tools.

Solio Universal Hybrid Charger

Better Energy Systems, which makes this propeller-looking charger, says that it can power your cell phone, iPod, digital camera, and other handheld gadgets using one of the Earth’s cleanest energy sources: the sun. It comes with multiple adapters that plug into different products, and the company claims that one hour of sunlight can provide 25 minutes of cell phone talk time and an hour of iPod play time. We haven’t tested these specific claims yet, but Macworld gave an older Solio model its Macworld Expo Best of Show award.

Zonbu Zonbox

Zonbu bills its EPEAT Gold-certified Zonbox (currently still in beta testing) as a zero-emission computer, based on its low energy use and the company’s purchase of carbon offsets to fund green projects. This tiny Linux-based desktop PC comes with its own auto-updating OS and applications, and is designed to use just 10 percent of the power of a regular desktop PC, according to the company. The Zonbox costs $99 plus a monthly subscription fee that starts at $13 depending on the amount of storage (25GB to 100GB) you want. When you’re done with the Zonbox, simply return it to Zonbu, which will recycle it for you.

WD Caviar GP

Western Digital says that it designed this 1TB drive to employ 40 percent less power than other 3.5-inch desktop drives by using three new technologies: IntelliPower optimizes rotation speed, data transfer, and cache size; IntelliPark reduces power consumption when the drive isn’t reading or writing data; and IntelliSeek optimizes seek speeds. Learn more in our blog about Western Digital’s GreenPower drives. Asus EcoBook Concept This EcoBook right now is a concept only–it’s not due for release until next year–but we can’t wait to see it. Asus says that it has successfully manufactured the casing for a laptop out of bamboo, which is quick to regrow and replaces hard-to-recycle chemicals and plastics. Asus also says that it offers free take-back and recycling programs for its products.


When you’re printing a Web page, don’t you hate seeing that last page of random HTML or other gobbledygook? Well, eliminate it and save paper using the GreenPrint utility. When you print, it warns you about blank pages, pages with just a border, pages with a single line of text, and other paper-wasting situations. Read more about GreenPrint in this Hardware Tips column (in printer-friendly format; scroll to the bottom of the page to see the item).

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