Green client tech for non-desktop environments

Most of the time, I tend to pick up green tech information as it relates to products focused on the typical enterprise productivity worker or small business owners. Someone, like me, who probably is the only person using his or her "client" computer.

Most of the time, I tend to pick up green tech information as it relates to products focused on the typical enterprise productivity worker or small business owners. Someone, like me, who probably is the only person using his or her "client" computer. But I wanted to mention a new integrated touchscreen embedded system introduced this week by J2 Retail Systems USA, which sells mainly into environments that require integrated point-of-sale applications.

If you think about it, retail is a particularly tricky environment in which to monitor the power consumption of systems. Sure, you usually have pretty straightforward usage profiles, since most retail environments are open during certain hours. But other things have been tougher to handle, such as what to do if the lighting conditions change dramatically during the course of the day.

The new J2 650 accounts for many of these challenges. The brains of this 15-inch LCD "all in the head" systems are pretty much what you'd find in a notebook computer, ranging from an Intel Celeron Core 1.6 GHz to an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz processor. So, right away, power consumption was a consideration. The system also includes software that handles two pretty cool things. The first is a "green mode" in which the system will turn off the fans and power down the processor speed, cutting energy consumption by 25 percent. The second is a light sensor so that the display adjusts brightness, and therefore power use, as the light changes.

Other non-green features you might appreciate if you're managing a POS environment: - Expandability up to 4 gigabytes of high-speed 800MHz memory - Two 2.5-inch high-speed SATA drives - Five USB 2.0 ports - Three serial ports with power - An option port - Two cash drawer ports - Printer power port - Gigabit Ethernet

The system, priced starting at $1,499, is configured so that the motherboard can be swapped or upgraded in about 11 minutes; it also supports hard-drive hot-swapping.