NEC shows off environmentally friendly PC

NEC shows off environmentally friendly PC

LAS VEGAS'NEC Solutions Inc. showed off its new ecologically friendly, eerily quiet PC yesterday at Comdex. The computer has no cooling fan that would contribute to noise pollution. Company officials also said the PC contains no harmful chemicals or materials.

The PowerMate eco has a 900-MHz Crusoe processor from Transmeta Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., and a 20G hard drive. The standard unit has 256M of RAM and ships with Microsoft Windows XP or Windows 2000.

The system, which sells for $1,599, complies with the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy-Star specifications for energy-efficient appliances and meets the much stricter standards for low energy consumption set by Japan. The emphasis on energy efficiency that has made the system popular overseas will help it find approval with government buyers in America, NEC officials said, particularly in states such as California, where energy consumption issues receive a lot of attention. It is rated at 31 watts of power consumption.

'We are bringing our [energy-efficiency] expertise to the U.S. market with the introduction of the PowerMate eco,' said Larry Miller, vice president and general manager of the Mobile Solutions Division of NEC. 'When you hear about children getting lead poisoning from rummaging through landfills in developing Third World countries searching for spare computer parts to sell, you realize the industry has a responsibility to address these problems.'

The eco has a lead-free motherboard and comes standard with a 15-inch TFT XGA LCD monitor that contains no boron. The monitor and computer together have an 11.5-inch by 8.9-inch footprint. The system comes with either a CD-RW or DVD drive. There are two PC Card slots, one Type III-B Mini-PC slot and a serial port.

The plastic case is also environmentally friendly, company officials said. It is constructed of NEC's patented NuCycle recyclable plastic. NEC officials also said the computer contains no cadmium, cyanic compounds, hexavalent chromium or organic phosphates'pollutants found in most computers.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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