A green mom blogger’s choice: laptop vs. desktop?

laptp compWell, last month my laptop died.  (RIP dear XPS, my beloved refurbished computer!) Not a pleasant experience if I want to keep this blog going, so I’ve resorted to borrowing my husband’s laptop in the meanwhile (and it’s not easy when he needs to keep borrowing it back!).

So he has finally said it’s time for Mom Goes Green to get a new computer of my very own.  Enter dilemma:  laptop vs. desktop.

I did my research, because I also want to make the greenest choice, and here is what I found:

  • Laptops use considerably less energy than desktop computers.  In some cases, the savings are somewhere between 50-80% less, depending on the model.  Energy savings = environmental choice. (winner: laptop)
  • Laptops have batteries, so they can actually utilize their own stored energy for use. (winner:  laptop)
  • Laptops are considerable smaller than desktops therefore, when it comes time for disposal, there is less electronic desktp comp“waste” and fewer parts to be recycled. (winner:  laptop)
  • The parts contained within laptops are harder to recycle and refurbish than desktop computer parts.  (winner: desktop)
  • Desktops typically last longer than laptops since laptops are more fragile and the mobility-factor often means a greater likelihood of damage and a shorter life.  Laptops are also more expensive to repair (e.g. $500 bucks to fix mine… augh!) and are therefore more likely to get discarded more frequently. (winner: desktop)
  • The toxic materials in desktops are much less than those in laptops (due to the batteries and other materials contained within the computer) so laptop disposal means more polluting toxins. (winner: desktop)

So there you have it.  As I see it, it’s a wash.  Choose what suits your needs.  There is no real environmental choice (unless you “go computer-less!”… something that’s unlikely for any of us!).

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7 thoughts on “A green mom blogger’s choice: laptop vs. desktop?

  1. We use to have a desktop, it worked well before kids. However, with kids & grad school we decided on using a laptop because of the the portability factor & since we can work in the same space as the kids or each other we don’t have to use another room (lights are off there then). But I’d feel better if the laptop had less toxins, was more durable, & easier to recycle when done. Those are advances that I think can be made though & look forward to seeing (I Hope).
    .-= beth aka confusedhomemaker´s last blog ..How to Edit Photos For Free =-.

  2. Doreen,

    Fantastic job on this..Really.

    Don’t tell Jim I said this, but;

    You may become a better “reviewer” than him!

    The Franchise King
    Joel Libava
    .-= Joel Libava´s last blog ..Searching For a Green Franchise Opportunity? =-.
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

  3. beth – agreed! I, too, am getting another laptop for a lot of the same reasons, but I do agree that I wish they were less polluting when they do wind up DOA!

    Joel – well thanks! And Jim always tells me I am a better blogger than he is! Not sure I agree, but it’s a good point for harassment! 🙂

  4. No doubt about it It of course, Desktop. Desktop is Very easy to repair and more comfortable for me. So i am always choosing desktop from my point of view.

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