I knew the Consumer Electronics Show this week was bound to be busy from a green tech standpoint. Who could resist the hype? Sure enough, Hewlett-Packard has fired the first in a salvo of green first this or thats for 2008.
Specifically, HP has thrown down the energy consumption gauntlet to the other big PC and notebook members, pledging to cut the amount of electricity that its desktops and laptops use by 25 percent by 2010. (Read they'll do it in the next product cycle.) The company will address these cuts by using lower-energy chipsets, more efficient 80 Plus power supplies (which are optional) and by using various software-driven approaches.
The company now also claims to have the highest number of systems listed within the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), which is used by government agencies to guide purchases. (Plenty of businesses are using it too, though and the organization says the EPEAT ratings have been cited in more than $60 billion in IT purchases.) HP has more than two dozen PCs registered in North America. EPEAT rates products based on a variety of factors that have to do with overall environmental impact.
Here's a couple of the systems that have gotten the Gold star, so to speak: the HP Compaq 2510p and HP Compaq 2710p business notebook series and all models of the HP Compaq dc7800, dc5750 and dc5700 business desktop lines. A bunch of the company's consumer products are rated at the silver level, which makes me wonder what the difference in design is.
One thing that does contribute to lower power consumption on some of the business products is the addition of Verdiem Surveyor, which is a power management software application that comes preloaded on some HP systems including all of the models in the dc7800 series. HP says that Surveyor can help cut power consumption for monitors and computers by up to 33 percent (or 200 kilowatt-hours per PC per year) when it is configured properly.