Tablets could lower energy consumption, study shows
A major selling point of the tablet computer has always been its low power consumption. However, this is generally presented from the productivity standpoint -- the lower the power consumption the longer the device lasts. Now, one research team is exploring the tablet's role as an environmental game-changer.
In a study, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) reports that it costs $1.36 annually to charge an iPad® every other day, as the device consumes less than 12 kilowatt hours (KWh) of electricity per year. By comparison, a laptop computer, on average, consumes 72.3 KWh and costs $8.31 annually. A 42-inch plasma TV consumes about 358 KWh each year.
The EPRI notes that the tablet has important implications for energy consumption. Mark McGranaghan, vice president of power delivery and utilization at the EPRI, says the tablet will "raise important questions about how the shifting reliance from desktop to laptop to mobile devices will change energy use and electricity requirements for the information age."
As the tablet's popularity continues to grow, it could have a significant impact on people's energy consumption habits. Though not exactly a "green machine," the tablet will at least reduce the amount of energy that electronic devices draw in, which could be hugely beneficial to the environment -- not to mention people's electric bills -- in the long run.