When you make a major electronics buying decision, you traditionally think about price, quality, and brand reputation. But few consider one additional criterion when browsing in the store: power consumption.
The ongoing costs of powering a desktop PC, HDTV, laptop, or LCD monitor--even if the device turns out to be a high-energy user--probably won't blow anyone's budget. However, if many users opt for equipment that sips less energy, it could make a considerable difference to the environment and perhaps to the bottom line of a small business. So, if it doesn't make a difference to your computing or entertainment experience, why not give an energy-saving device some consideration?
The PC World Test Center recently started testing new HDTVs, laptops, desktops, and LCD monitors using the Watt's Up? PRO meter, a device that measures how many watt-hours a product uses. A watt-hour is an electrical energy unit of measure that is equal to 1 watt of power passing through an electric circuit over the course of an hour. The lower the number, the better.
In the following slides, we're going to show you which of the products we tested used significantly smaller amounts of energy than their peers and which racked up significantly more watt-hours. The numbers may seem small, but over the course of a year, consumers could easily prevent hundreds of pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the earth's atmosphere simply by making a more-informed purchase, or by unplugging their equipment when not in use.
In the final slide, we tell you a little more about power meters and show you two you might want to try, including the one we employed in our tests.
Let's start with two HDTVs--an LCD and a plasma model.