It's a mad, mad world we're living in. Dirty power producers with coal- and gas-fired power stations emitting greenhouse gasses produce and deliver electrical power to our laptops, desktops and datacentres. Yet IT is getting blamed for contributing to global warming and is supposed to help remedy it through cutting power use.

Suppliers are developing products to capitalise on this and help CIOs cut power consumption. Here's a set of recent announcements on this theme.

Lenovo's first EPEAT gold desktop

Lenovo has introduced its ThinkCentre A61e ultra small form factor desktop, the company's smallest, quietest and most energy-efficient desktop yet. It has a footprint the size of an average telephone book, weighs just eight pounds, has whisper quiet performance, and choices of energy-efficient, 45-watt AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual core or Sempron single core processors, the first desktop to do so.

It is Lenovo's first product with EPEAT gold status, the highest rating a product can achieve in the ranking.

The ThinkCentre A61e desktop uses up to 90 percent reusable/recyclable materials as well as 90 percent recyclable packaging. It also can be powered by an optional solar panel and surpasses the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Energy Star 4.0 criteria with its 85 percent efficient power supply. What it means is that a customer could save up to 50 percent in energy costs annually over previous models.

This machine joins HP and Dell desktop and laptop EPEAT-rated systems to steadily increase customer choices in energy-efficient and recyclable devices.

Peter Schrady, Lenovo's VP and GM for emerging products, said: "The importance of maximising energy efficiency and being environmentally conscious is touching all aspects of our daily lives, from the light bulbs we use to light our homes to the hybrid cars we drive to the green technology we rely on to run our businesses."

Neoware thin client

Neoware has found a neat way to highlight the energy-efficiency of its m100 laptop thin client versus a traditional laptop. It's had thermal image photos taken of both and, no surprise, the trad laptop runs hot, ten degrees Centigrade more than the m100. Consequently Neoware says the m100 is the green alternative to laptops.

Andrew Gee, Neoware's sales manager for N Europe, said: "With more and more Wi-Fi hotspots and Virtual Private Networks, UK businesses want to become 'green on the go,' the Neoware m100 laptop can help UK businesses address this and, as the thermal imaging photography demonstrates, the device offers a greener alternative to traditional laptops."

Neoware also mentions the better data security aspect of a thin client laptop; there is no physical data residing on the device itself, enabling the device to be locked down and centrally managed, therefore making it ideal for organisations that handle highly sensitive data.

But, obviously, you can't use the device offline - it has no storage capability for application data. In that sense it is a quite restricted laptop.

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