The Toshiba Portégé R500 hitting stores this month can boast a battery which lasts 8 hours. But the trick is not in the battery. This machine has no hard drive, relying on the same memory technology that makes your USB stick work. In addition to being less susceptible to shocks and temperature swings, the no-moving-parts technology uses half as much power as a traditional hard drive. And with 64 Gbytes of memory, the technology is not a compromise on storage capacity. However, like many things green, you will pay a premium to be the first in your neighborhood with this low-power alternative: it will cost you $550 to swap in the SSD compared to the lower-end traditional model.
The Toshiba's 12" screen uses backlit LED technology and is trans-reflective, high-tech speak for you can use it while sitting in the sunshine on a riverbank and still see good contrast in the image on screen. Since it weighs in at less than 800 grams (1 and 3/4 pounds), getting it to the riverbank is not a problem either. Reviews give the Toshiba points for better performance than the Sony Vaio TZ150, which is also available with SSD data storage.In spite of its high-tech green potential, reviewers are slamming Toshiba for failing to build in a mobile broadband antenna. Maybe Toshiba is tuned in to the German Federal Government's newest warnings that workplaces should avoid the use of WLAN to minimize the potential risks of exposure to the radiation--which has caused the industry to question the attack on WLAN in the face of the facts that WLAN is well below the established health limits and substantially less than the radiation associated with cell phones.
Of course, the Toshiba Portégé R500 offers some eco-advantages, but remember that a new computer is not more environmentally friendly than continuing to use your old computer until it dies a natural death. But if your computer is at that point, remember to recycle your computer and take a look at the Toshiba and other options for greener computing when you make your next purchase.
See other laptop reviews in TreeHugger for the ASUS Bamboo