Dell Pledges Energy-Efficient Computers

Turns out Dell showing off an ultra-small bamboo-encased PC at a conference in April (pictured below) was just one step toward the company offering “greener” computers. This morning, the Round Rock, Texas-based company said it will design its laptops and desktops to consume up to 25 percent less energy than its current computers by 2010.

Dell says it will meet that goal by adding more energy-efficient circuits, fans and power management features, and by investing in energy-efficient hardware like chips, power supply and memory.

Hardware companies like Dell, Samsung, Nokia, HP, and even Apple are starting to make greener computers and gadgets because customers are starting to show a willingness to pay a premium for more eco-friendly, and energy-saving products.

On the enterprise side, corporations that use a lot of PCs are looking to lower their energy consumption in an effort to save money on their energy bills, especially as the cost of power keeps going up. Startups like Verdiem are looking to tap into this trend. The Silicon Valley-backsed company this morning released an updated version of its PC energy management software, including features that help PCs remain in sleep mode longer.

While Dell plans to implement more power management and energy-efficient features into its computers, the company has to consider the other green aspects of its products. Greenpeace’s guide to electronics ranks Dell in the mid-to-high range in terms of phasing out toxic chemicals and instituting recycling programs. Not bad, but there’s always room for improvement.

Dell has also been one of the leaders in the computing industry with its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint; notably, it powers its headquarters with renewable energy. Though last week Climate Counts released a new scorecard that gave Dell a somewhat lower score on its commitment to fight climate change.

We applaud Dell’s commitment to reduce the energy use of its PCs and laptops. While individual PC users can take small steps to decrease the energy use of their computers, like remembering to put the gear into sleep mode, its the fundamental changes in the hardware that will make the most difference.