updated 10:10 am EDT, Fri July 27, 2007
Apple and Energy Star
Many computer makers can no longer receive the blessing of an Energy Star label, according to new guidelines set out by the US government. New conditions that took effect last week are meant to encourage use of more efficient power-supplies and CPUs as well as enhanced sleep modes, but have set out conditions that most current desktops and notebooks can no longer meet; only 125 computers on sale in the US qualify, according to federal government charts. While the labeling does not bar computers with the label from being sold in the country, the lack of approval may bar some computers from government offices and other locations where low power requirements are necessary.
Although the changes primarily favor notebooks and other computers using mobile or low-performance hardware, the new rules may favor certain companies over others, the chart indicates. Acer, Gateway, Lenovo, and Toshiba are the chief beneficiaries of the new rules and each have several or more systems that meet the demands for an 80% efficient supply and a 2W sleep mode. Lenovo in particular benefits with 77 different configurations of its systems meeting the target.
Other larger makers are punished by the change, however. In particular, Apple lacks a single system that meets the requirement, including its MacBook line. The change comes as a blow to the Cupertino firm's attempts to portray itself as a green company and raises questions of Apple's awareness of Energy Star updates, which had been made public for months. Dell and HP are also hurt and only have a small number of professional workstations included on the list of approved machines.
A copy of the chart is available.