The greenest ultraportable PC

Apple and Lenovo's latest slender laptops, the MacBook Air and ThinkPad X300 respectively, are both slim, sleek and, to some folks at least, even sexy.

But there's more to a notebook PC than love at first sight. Take eco-friendliness, for instance. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment tool, aka EPEAT, lets you search for the varying levels of greenness the group assigns products, including PC hardware.

Both notebooks offer green advantages over rivals, boast low-power processors, are Energy Star 4.0 compliant, and use fewer materials. Further, they're both are designed for easy disassembling end-of-life management. Yet one garnered Gold status while the other earned Silver.

And the winner is ... well now, hold on just a second.

"As I learned this week by comparing the EPEAT standings of Apple and Lenovo's recently released ultra-thin notebooks, a vendor can reap precious points to boost a product's rating a full color grade by meeting criteria that arguably don't translate into meaningful green benefits for the buyer," Ted Samson writes in MacBook Air vs. ThinkPad X300: Which is greener?

Samson closes with some shopping advice: a higher status ranking, or price tag, does not necessarily make for a greener product. "Take a moment to study differences among products."

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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