Dell is Going Green

Dell is switching to mercury-free light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, to illuminate laptop screens starting in mid-December, a move aimed at making the computers softer on the environment and easier to recycle.

Dell said the LED displays consume less energy (43% less for 15″ screens) than ones lit with CCFL – cold cathode fluorescent lamps – the technology that is standard in Dell’s existing notebook computers.

The laptops shipping with LED screens represent about two-thirds of Dell’s notebook sales, and include Latitude E models and two Precision mobile workstation models.

Dell said LED backlit displays will be standard in at least 80% of the laptops it sells by the end of 2009 and in all its notebooks by the end of 2010.

Dell’s promise to use only LED displays in two years one-ups Apple Inc.’s 2007 commitment to get rid of the less-expensive fluorescent displays “eventually.” Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple uses LEDs in its MacBook Air, its 15-inch MacBook and one configuration of the 17-inch MacBook Pro, plus all iPods and iPhones.

Hewlett-Packard Co., the world’s largest PC maker, also has begun selling optional LED-backlit screens on some of its laptop and tablet computers.

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