Netbooks are, by there very nature, low power devices. But dos that mean they’re better for the environment than larger computers? Maybe. Maybe not.
Treehugger tackles this question today, and came up with a few interesting points. On the one hand, netbooks are smaller than typical laptops, and therefore use fewer materials. They’re more energy efficient, and require less electricity. And they embrace the concept that you don’t need the latest or most powerful gadgets to get things done.
On the other hand, netbooks are often so cheap, that you may think of them as disposable and replace them more frequently than larger laptops. What good is it to buy a machine with fewer materials if you buy two of them a year instead of one every three years? Netbooks are also considered by many people to be secondary computers, which means that you’re using it in addition to a larger computer, thus negating some of the benefits (although at least you’re using less power when typing away on your netbook). And most importantly, the manufacturing processes behind netbooks don’t differ very much from those used to build larger laptops. In other words, a fair amount of waste and pollution is still generated, and many netbooks include toxic materials.
What do you think? Are netbooks better for the environment than traditional laptops or not? And do you care?