Toshiba Tops HP in Greenpeace List of Green Laptops

A Toshiba ultraportable has been named the "greenest" notebook in Greenpeace's second annual assessment of environmentally friendly electronics, "Green Electronics: the Search Continues".

The Portege R600, a two-and-a-half pound corporate laptop, just edged out the Hewlett Packard Elitebook 2530p for first place. Greenpeace pronounced the Elitebook more energy efficient than the Portege R600, but said, "Toshiba is ahead of everyone else when it comes to the elimination of toxic chemicals."

A Toshiba press release said the company restricted cadmium, mercury and lead from batteries and other components in its Portege line, which currently includes three configurations ranging in price from US$2099 to $2999. Also, the factory in which the Portege series is manufactured recovers and recycles waste generated during the manufacturing process, including silver, copper and tin. Like many computer manufacturers, Toshiba has instituted its own recycling program as well.

Five other notebooks made Greenpeace's list in third through seventh places: the Lenovo X300, Dell Latitude E-4200, Sony VGN-Z11WN/B, Panasonic CF-W7 and Acer TravelMate 6293.

Greenpeace opined that its first green products survey, conducted in 2007, turned up no electronics that deserved the green label. Unlike some entities that assess greenness, Greenpeace's criteria appear to be fairly stringent.

In the 2008 competition, in which 15 companies entered 50 products in the categories of notebook and desktop computers, mobile phones, smartphones, LCD and plasma screen TVs, and LCD computer monitors, Greenpeace said compliance was better but there was still room for improvement. Only a few products, including the Portege R600, scored more than 5 out of a possible 10. "Sadly, there is still no notebook manufacturer that manages to produce PVC and BFR-free products," said the report.

Spokesperson Jennifer Campbell said Toshiba planned to phase these chemicals out of its notebooks in 2009.

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