As I mentioned before in a previous post, my husband Tony is currently earning his PhD in political science. He’s wicked smart, as my relatives on the East coast would say. This past month, he’s been taking his prelims (or preliminary exams), the final step he must pass before moving on to writing the dissertation. He has to take 3 8-hour tests, 3 Wednesdays in a row, which will test his knowledge on about 200 books he’s been reading for the past 3 years. Sounds like fun, right?
Well, as any former college student will know, any time you have an important test or paper, your computer will crash. Which is what happened to us. I came home about a week ago to find Tony in an utter panic, saying that our computer just crashed and it won’t turn on. And it’s making funny sounds. Not good.
So we packed it up and took it to the doctor, better known as Geek Squad. There, they told us that our year old hard drive had crashed, that maybe in about 4 weeks, they might be able to recover something, but don’t hold our breath. Luckily, Tony had emailed his 100+ pages of notes the night before, so not all was lost.
Faced with a lack of a computer, and Tony needing to get back to studying right away, we scrambled around and came up with enough money to buy another laptop for about $350. It’s an Acer, which I’ve never used before, but it works, and when our first laptop comes home, this little Acer will become “my laptop.”
I always thought Acer was the lesser brand, compared to big names like Gateway and HP, and of course rich uncle MAC, but Treehugger recently published an article about Acer’s new green laptops. It seems that Acer has created two new laptops, called the Aspire Timeline series, that boast such green features as 40% more energy efficiency, no PVC or BFRs (toxic materials common in computers), LED screens, and improved battery life to keep you off the grid longer. Greenpeace has given the computers a thumbs up, but not yet EPEAT, which rates green electronics.
Mine of course is not one of these green laptops – I can’t afford them. <sigh> I did choose to buy another laptop and not a desktop, which eats up far more energy. Laptops use less energy and resources overall, and the average laptop saves about 220 kilowatt-hours per year compared to desktops. But if you can afford it, look into greener laptops that use less energy and prevent more toxins from ending up in the landfill when it eventually dies beyond repair.