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Thursday, 24 April 2008 06:46

Smallest Dell PC yet goes eco-friendly with bamboo

Dell’s eponymous CEO, Michael Dell, has unveiled his smallest, ‘never before seen’ eco-PC – which comes with a curvy bamboo casing. Is it a Mac Mini competitor, a way to jump on the green bandwagon or the start of a whole new successful line of environmentally friendly PCs?

Take a look at the pictures of Dell’s new ‘Bamboo’ encased PC – they’re over at Earth2Tech, and they look pretty cool.

Dell, the man, spoke at the Fortune Brainstorm: GREEN conference, on the same day as ‘Earth Day’, and according to Earth2Tech, the computer is “81 percent smaller than a standard desktop, uses 70 percent less power and is filled with recycled materials like old bottles, milk jugs and detergent cases”.

The eco-PC isn’t on sale yet – it’s due later this year, and is supposed to cost somewhere between US $500 and $700, which means this eco-PC isn’t going to be super cheap, but at least will be super friendly to the environment – and I’m sure that Dell hopes it will be super-friendly to its bottom line.

Eco and Green IT is all the rage in the tech world right now, as it is generally these days, but Dell isn’t the first to come up with Bamboo encased technology. As ZDNet notes, Asus is also using the wooden material, although primarily only in tech demonstrations at trade show, so far at least.

Dell’s “Direct2Dell” blog posting has details on what Michael Dell had to say about the eco-IT movement and Dell’s plans for the future.

According to the blog, which has many links to other sites (which you’ll find at the link above), “Michael is joining corporate and NGO leaders at the FORTUNE Brainstorm: GREEN Summit in Pasadena, California. The summit is organized to bring together thought leaders on business’ role in protecting our environment.”

“Michael will speak on the critical role Green IT has in our future low-carbon economy – one that allows for growth and innovation with access to reliable power while drastically reducing emissions.”

So, just how serious is Dell about the environment – and who else has wood encased technology? Please read onto page 2.

The Direct2Dell blog states that: “Dell is making important strides on our company’s climate goals.  Earlier this month, we announced that our 300-acre global headquarters campus is running on 100 percent green power and reaffirmed our commitment to purchase as much green power as is feasible.  We are also ahead of schedule to make our operations carbon neutral beginning this year.”

Dell’s blog boasts that it is “working towards environmental goals and achieving cost-saving benefits of efficiencies – currently more than $2 million a year in energy-cost savings.  Our customers are seeing equally dramatic savings from switching to energy-efficient IT products.”

In an effort to really pump up its green credentials, Dell’s blog also indicated plans to “convene a formal ReGeneration Advisory Group to help guide its efforts. The group will be chaired by Alexandra Cousteau, president of EarthEcho and granddaughter of marine biologist Jacques Cousteau; Chuck Leavell, keyboardist for the Rolling Stones, conservationist and avid tree farmer; and Laura Turner Seydel, eco-living expert and chairman of the Captain Planet Foundation.”

So… who’ll be next to encase their tech in wood?

Well, Fujitsu have previewed some rather funky looking wood encased notebooks, pictures of which you can see here, while someone has created a wooden case for a Creative Zen Stone mp3 player, viewable here.

But we’re sure they won’t be the last!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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