Tangent, a company that makes computers for fields like healthcare, business and education, has just rolled out a new computer model dubbed the “Evergreen 17.” The $1,195-computer has been designed from the ground up to be highly-efficient and uses 24 watts, or 72 percent less energy than the standards set by Energy Star 4.0. And we give it a few bonus points for it’s skinny sleek design that includes a touch-screen LCD and looks a bit like a black PC version of an iMac (though not as nice).
Making computers more efficient and running them on less energy will have a significant overall effect in fighting global warming — more than 2 percent of our carbon emissions are attributed to computing. Both computer makers like Tangent and Dell and startups like Verdiem, which makes PC energy-management software, have started introducing products to cut power-chugging from PCs.
All this is well and good, but looking at the specs on the Evergreen 17 is where things come up short. For starters, the Evergreen 17 comes with either a fan-less processor (a Via Eden 1.0 GHz) or with a low noise fan processor (ViaC7 1.50 GHz). It takes power to spin fans to cool machines, so if you can do without, you can use less energy; it also makes for a quieter, more enjoyable workspace. But with the only processor options at 1.0 GHz or 1.50 GHz, color us unimpressed. We know the target buyers are government and educational users, but we could get a faster computer almost anywhere.
You can also get the Evergreen 17 with an optional solid-state drive to provide a 100 percent solid-state system, which is nice, but it maxes out at 64GB — in a desktop machine that is kind of weak.
So, at least Tangent is moving in the right direction, green-wise, but they’ve got to give their new kid more power, or a lot of users could end up looking elsewhere. But we guess this is the dilemma of the new green computer — less power, means, well, less power.