Eco-Friendly Laptops

Photo: Ed Yourdon/Flickr.

We’ll be the first ones to admit that "environmental footprint" is not the first factor most consumers consider when purchasing a new laptop.

But, for those shoppers who are interested in eco-friendly laptops, we’ve compiled a list of great green machines.

Here are a few of the laptops that made it onto our list:

Asus U33Jc-A1

Asus U33Jc-A1

This Asus laptop sports an elegant bamboo exterior along with brushed aluminum interior pieces.

It’s good to know up front that the bamboo will change its appearance as it ages. This is a natural occurrence for any wood grain product. It doesn’t mean your computer’s falling apart.

The laptop also comes with another green feature: an energy efficiency monitor. According to the manufacturer’s description, the technology “switches between high-end discrete graphics and normal integrated visuals, depending on system usage.”

As a result, the CPU processor is 11 percent faster and the battery life is extended 10.5 hours.

In addition, the Asus U33Jc-A1 comes with USB 3.0, which can transfer data about 10 times faster than USB 2.0. It’s also good for the environment because it can charge devices faster than USB 2.0 using less power.

Dell Latitude E6400 ATG

Dell Latitude E6400 ATG

This Dell box scored a "gold" rating from the Green Electronic Council’s EPEAT program. According to the EPEAT site, the gold rating is awarded to electronic products that meet 23 required environmental criteria and 75 percent of the optional criteria.

Those criteria include items aimed at reducing or eliminating environmentally sensitive materials as well as energy conservation and recyclable packaging materials.

There were actually several Dell laptops that made the EPEAT list with a gold rating. For its part, the Latitude E6400 ATG is a durable machine that can go outdoors and perform under extreme conditions due to temperature, vibration, dust and altitude.

In addition, its battery can last up to 16 hours thanks to new battery technology and Dell’s ControlPoint software.

MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro

Like the Dell Latitude, the new MacBook Pro also earned a gold rating on the EPEAT list.

In addition, the Apple laptop features arsenic-free display glass, mercury-free LED-backlit display and a battery that lasts up to five years or 1,000 recharges.

Also, Apple’s engineers removed brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from the machine’s circuit boards, cables, connectors, insulators, shock mounts and adhesives.

Apple notes that the unibody enclosure is made from a single piece of aluminum and the display is made of glass. Both pieces can easily be recycled when you’re done with the machine.

The company also reduced the packaging for the new MacBook Pro. According to Apple, the new MacBook Pro packaging is 41, 37, and 34 percent smaller (13-, 15-, and 17-inch, respectively) than the original MacBook and MacBook Pro packaging.

The Laptop You Didn’t Buy

Eco-friendly laptop you didn't buy.

This may be the most eco-friendly laptop available.

Before splurging on a new machine, consider upgrading your current one.

Or, use the cash to purchase new software that can run on your existing laptop.

If you can squeeze a few more years out of your laptop, you’ll save money and the environment by reducing the demand for precious metals and reducing the amount of electronic waste in landfills.

Know more about eco-friendly laptops? Leave us a note in the comments below.