Top 10 Eco-Friendly Entertainment Devices

With the planet's natural resources under increasing pressure from over production and the rapidly increasing global population, it's important to start to think about conserving as much energy as possible. This is added to by the pressure of the economic downturn, which has forced us to scrutinise our energy bills even more than we would do ordinarily. With both of these in mind, here's our top 10 list of eco-friendly entertainment devices to help you save money on electricity and reduce the impact on the planet in the long run.

1. The eco-friendly games console

Computer games are here to stay and for those that love them, energy efficiency isn’t usually the first thought on the agenda. The good news though is that there’s a clear winner out of the big three of Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. With both the Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 chugging along on significant quantities of electricity, even with their more recent updates, the Nintendo Wii and Wii U tick by on much lower consumption levels. In fact the launch of the Nintendo Wii U made it the greenest HD console available instantly, averaging around 30 watts, which sees the Japanese gaming giant continue in the good directions it began with original Wii console.

2. The eco-friendly Mac

mac MiniThe little known Mac Mini is by far the most eco friendly of all Apple’s desktop computers, as well as being the smallest and cheapest in their range. In fact Apple has even gone so far as to claim that it is the world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer, as it requires just 89 watts to keep it running. However, it’s also got some pretty impressive kit built into it, including 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 chipset, 4GB memory, 1TB hard drive, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and OS X Mountain Lion on the highest spec model.

3. The eco-friendly desktop alternative

Z3RO-Pro-front_w_500Xi3 from ISYS Technologies makes a pretty bold case of its own for having the world’s most energy efficient desktop computer. It’s Z3RO Pro Computer fits in your hand and ticks over at an astounding 15 watts. While the features are fairly basic (64-bit x86-based processor running at 1.65GHz, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, four eSATAp/USB 2.0 combo ports and between 16GB-1TB of Flash-based SSD storage), it’s bigger brother, the X7A Modular Computer, comes with 3.2GHz quad-core x86-based APU, Radeon 7000 series GPU, 8GB memory and up to 1TB of SSD storage, but still manages to consume just 40 watts.

4. The eco-friendly laptop

thinkpad-t430s-01Lenovo’s ThinkPad T430s is one of the best spec, high efficiency laptops on the market at the moment. TopTen USA releases quarterly rankings for laptop energy efficiency and the Lenovo ThinkPad T430s tops it so far in 2013, apparently using 7.4 kWh of electricity in a year of typical use. This stacks up to the average comparable model usage of 28 kWh per year. The battery life on the device maxes out at 30 hours on its highest energy efficiency, which is one of the big contributing factors to the laptop’s green credentials. Just make sure you recycle it properly when it’s had its day to help keep your own environmentally friendly rating high too.

5. The eco-friendly Apple laptop alternative

overview_gallery_everydayIf your Apple love matches your environmental consideration factors then the laptop to go for has got to be the Apple Macbook Air. It just about pips the Macbook Pro to the post in terms of energy efficiency, earning it the EPA’s ENERGY STAR qualification for its low power consumption. Plus its smaller size means fewer raw materials go into its production, while its aluminium frame means that when it bites the dust it can be recycled easily.

6. The eco-friendly tablet computer

ipad miniIt may be a little smaller than the average tablet, but the iPad Mini is definitely the most eco friendly of a pretty good bunch. Tablet computers in general are usually more environmentally friendly thank their bigger laptop and desktop cousins, but the sheer size of the iPad Mini makes it a clear winner. With a smaller screen comes a smaller energy requirement that equates to around 2 watts when it’s idle with the screen on, plus just 6% of its 95 kg CO2e footprint comes from transportation with 70% occurring in production, 22% in customer use and 2% in recycling. Additionally, the lithium-ion polymer battery is free of lead, cadmium and mercury.

7. The eco-friendly TV

tx-p42g10When it comes to choosing an energy efficient TV, you can’t go wrong with the Panasonic TX range, which top the charts in pretty much any television screen size you can buy. Its best performer is its 19-inch flat screen that has an energy rating ‘A’ and produces a footprint of 13.44 kgCO2 per year, which compares with the 39-inch model with its ‘A+’ rating and 35.58 kgCO2 per annum.

8. The eco-friendly in-car speaker system

boseeeeIf there’s one place you really want to bring your energy usage down when it comes to the frivolities of entertainment, it’s in your car and the Bose Energy Efficient Series Automotive Sound System is a good option to help you do it. Using lighter, smaller and more efficient components the series helps the audio giant make the in-car sound system 30% smaller, 40% lighter and use 50% less energy than conventional car audio systems.

9. The eco-friendly DAB radio

l_06840042Roberts has got a number of eco-friendly DAB radio options, but one of the better looking and most environmentally friendly is the Roberts Solar DAB 2. It’s small and well designed, but the real benefit is that it’s got a strip of solar panels integrated into the top of it to power the DAB radio. As well as powering the unit directly, you can also use it to power up rechargeable batteries in it to provide even more longevity. Once fully charged, the low energy consumption of the device allows the batteries to power the radio for up to 20 hours, so you can continue to listen all through the night too.

10. The eco-friendly entertainment device accessory

Voltaic-Converter-Solar-Rucksack_maxiMobile phones and other portable entertainment devices may not necessarily be high power consumers when compared to televisions or computers, but they are always on when you’re out and about. Consequently it’s important to try to harness as much natural energy as possible to keep you powered up when you’re on the move. The Voltaic Converter Solar Backpack is our last pick of the ten, as it can be used to charge up your phones, hand-held games consoles, laptops and more whether it’s on your back while you walk into work, sat on the beach or in the middle of a circle of friends at a festival. Either way, it’ll give you a boost of free, green energy on the go, which can only be a good thing. As solar power like this becomes increasingly high-tech and energy efficient it will become more important in the battle to help us become the green machines we want to be.

Guest post by Tuppence Magazine –

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