PC World's parent company DSGI has revealed more details about its supposedly 'carbon neutral' PC – claiming the computer will draw just 45W, 23 percent of a standard PC's 200W, and have the same capacity as a current PC, enough to run Vista.
The PC will feature wood casing for the keyboard, screen and mouse, while the use of recycled materials and low electricity needs will reduce its carbon footprint to 85 percent of a standard PC.
Reminiscent of a wood-framed Morris Traveller estate, the 'green' PC is mostly made from recycled aluminium, steel and plastics. There is an external power supply and the hardback book-sized aluminium chassis has lots of ventilation slots, removing the need for a fan.
Simply removing a fan doesn't reduce a PC's power-draw by 155W, however, and the expectation is that the wooden PC will use a notebook-class CPU and graphics chips, making it a pedestrian performer. Its enhanced and power-hungry graphics capabilities will probably not be available.
To make the wooden PC carbon-neutral, PC World will buy carbon offsets. These are being criticised as allowing people to use carbon-emitting devices now with no guarantee that an equivalent amount of carbon will actually be taken out of the atmosphere over the next ten to thirty years. It may also offer customers low energy light bulbs.
DSGI has climbed aboard the green bandwagon with its Currys outlets switching off sales of incandescent light bulbs. All of DSGI's UK retail chains comply with the new WEEE directive - they have to though, and Currys' new distribution centre in Newark helps the group reduce carbon emissions by 600 tons per annum.
Some DSGI set-top boxes are graded 'Energy Saving Recommended' by the Energy Saving Trust. The group is encouraging the use of recycled carrier bags and working to phase out use of stand-by functions.
John Clare, DSGI's chief executive, said: "Electronic devices form a key part of our lives, and as the number of electronic appliances we own increase, DSGI works actively to offset the trend of increased domestic energy consumption. I believe that it is critical that DSGI maintains its position as being actively engaged in this area. As a business we are now more effectively showcasing the good work that has already been done and the progress the business has made.
"Making progress on the green agenda is rightly the responsibility of all of us. There are numerous ECO-friendly initiatives each one of us can take that will have a positive impact of the environment, and maybe the easiest would be to flick or unplug the electronic device when it is not in use. We also recommend consumers to buy Energy Saving Recommended appliances, such as AA-rated white goods. This is not just beneficial for the environment, it can also help reduce customers energy bills."
The wooden Advent could be on PC World's shelves by autumn and cost £399 with the wooden flat-panel screen costing £100 more. A model with an integrated screen will be available later on.