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June 8, 2009

I just bought a greener, faster, cheaper, Mac laptop with twice the storage and longer battery life!

Whoot, whoot! The just-announced-today new line of Mac laptops are greener, faster, cheaper, with a longer battery life, brighter screens and more functionability. And just in time—I’ve been unable to type on my old, valiant, battered and cracked 17″ MacBook Pro for the better part of the last couple weeks, which has reduced my bloggability and our traffic. 

With thanks to my grandma, for lending me the dough so I can get some work done, and an unnamed Apple buddy for buying the laptop (I got a smaller, cheaper version than my old 17″incher) at modest discount for me on the first day that it’s available, and thanks to Apple itself for caring enough to green-up its line—getting rid of mercury, PVC and other bad stuff (see below for much more info).

Now I gotta find an external “green” case or cover or bag (or walk my “green” talk and keep using my tatter black hemp Timbuk2 backpack with built-in case).

 

Green info via Apple (we’ll include third-party reports as soon as we find ’em):

The new MacBook Pro embodies Apple’s continuing environmental progress. It is designed with the following features to reduce environmental impact:

  • Arsenic-free display glass
  • BFR-free
  • Mercury-free LED-backlit display
  • PVC-free internal cables
  • Highly recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure
  • Reduced packaging volume
  • Meets ENERGY STAR Version 5.0 requirements
  • Rated EPEAT Gold

Many harmful toxins eliminated.

Apple has worked hard to eliminate many of the toxins that are a common part of notebook manufacturing. Take, for example, the mercury used in CCFL backlights and the arsenic contained in the glass of traditional LCD displays. Apple engineers removed both by choosing mercury-free LED technology and arsenic-free glass. They also removed brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from circuit boards, internal cables, connectors, insulators, shock mounts, adhesives, and more. Apple has removed these toxins from all new MacBook Pro notebooks, and we’ve done the same for the new MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini; Apple LED Cinema Display; and the iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, and iPhone 3G.

Highly recyclable.

MacBook Pro notebooks use a precision unibody enclosure that is formed from a single piece of solid, recyclable aluminum, replacing dozens of parts. The display is made of recyclable glass. Both materials are very desirable to recyclers, which means the raw materials used in the new MacBook Pro can be reused in other products.

Reduced packaging.

The new MacBook Pro packaging is 41, 37, and 34 percent smaller (13-, 15-, and 17-inch, respectively) than the original MacBook and MacBook Pro packaging. And smaller boxes are much better for the planet. Because smaller boxes mean we can fit more boxes on each shipping pallet. Which means more products fit on each boat and plane. Which means fewer boats and planes are used, resulting in fewer CO2 emissions. It’s one seemingly minor change. But it has a major positive impact on our environment.

More energy efficient.

Because Apple makes both the hardware and the software for MacBook Pro, we are able to design them to work together. This allows us to make a smarter product that uses less electricity. For instance, to reduce energy consumption, the MacBook Pro hard drive spins down automatically when inactive. MacBook Pro also decides which processor — CPU or GPU — is best suited to efficiently perform a task. The processor even throttles down to save power between keystrokes as you type. The LED-backlit display in the MacBook Pro is another feature that plays an important part in conserving energy, consuming 30 percent less power than conventional LCD displays. And the display is designed to dim when you enter a darkened room. Together, these adjustments make all three MacBook Pro notebooks much more energy efficient. In fact, they can run on about one-third the power of a single lightbulb.

MacBook Pro meets the stringent low power requirements set by the EPA, giving it ENERGY STAR certification. MacBook Pro also meets the latest efficiency requirements of ENERGY STAR Version 5.0 Specification for Computers before its July 2009 effective date. ENERGY STAR 5.0 sets significantly higher efficiency limits for power supplies and aggressive limits for the computer’s typical annual power consumption.

EPEAT Gold.

Every MacBook Pro model has earned the highest rating of EPEAT Gold. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEAT, evaluates the environmental impact of a product based on how recyclable it is, how much energy it uses, and how it’s designed and manufactured. Few products achieve EPEAT Gold status — and even fewer notebooks.

Longer-lasting battery.

The removable batteries in most notebooks are designed to be replaced every year or two, which means lots of batteries are used up and discarded. But the battery in the new MacBook Pro lasts up to five years — or 1000 recharges. So it uses just one battery in the same time a typical notebook uses three.*

A commitment that starts with products.

When it comes to being environmentally friendly, Apple approaches the challenge differently — through products like the new MacBook Pro. Unlike other companies, Apple controls every aspect of the production of its computers. So Apple designers and engineers can minimize their carbon footprint in ways others can’t. They design them with fewer parts. They build them using recyclable materials. They even create software that makes them more energy efficient. The result is a new standard for green design.

Read about Apple’s environmental commitment in the Apple 2008 Environmental Update

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