September 24, 2008
Dell on Wednesday said it plans to transition its entire line of notebooks to more environmentally friendly displays within two years.
Dell plans to toss the mercury-laden cold cathode fluorescent lamp technology used today for light-emitting diode, or LED, back lighting. Environmentally destructive mercury adds to the difficulty of recycling notebooks. In addition, LED screens consume an average of 43% less power at maximum brightness, according to Dell. The company estimates that in 2010 and 2011, its customers will save $20 million and 220 million kilowatt-hours of power with LED displays. That's equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions from energy use of more than 10,000 homes, Dell said. CO2 emissions have been identified as a contributor to global warming. Effective Dec. 15 of this year, Dell plans to ship two-thirds of its E-family line of Latitude notebooks with LED back lighting as a standard feature. The models include the E4200, E4300, E6400, E6400 ATG, and E6500. In addition, the technology will become a standard feature in the Dell Precision M2400 and M4400 mobile workstations. By the end of 2009, Dell plans to ship LED displays with at least 80% of all its notebooks, reaching 100% in 2010. In its announcement, Dell did not mention whether switching to LED technology would make future notebooks more expensive. Analysts say corporations, which make up a large portion of Dell sales, are attracted to the idea of helping the environment, but also look for the economic benefits in implementing so-called "green" technology. "Economics drives decisions," Rob Enderle, principal at Enderle Group, said during a session last week at the InformationWeek 500 Conference. "Often when economics and green run into each other head to head, green loses. When it makes economic sense, green resonates." How are other companies going green? InformationWeek has published an independent analysis on the subject. Download the report here (registration required).
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