Did you ever think how much power does your cell phone consume? Yes, we know it will be negligible but once the number of consumers has grown to a very high number all around the world, the power being consumed as a whole may be significant?
Let’s do some simple maths and we are not getting into any fancy tools here. It’s simple arithmetic. You will need to find three numbers about your phone before you start this calculation. The numbers are:
What do you use your computer for? Surfing Internet, chat, gaming, social networking, downloading, desktop computing including documents, spreadsheets or presentation making or just watching your photos and videos? Today’s mobile phones are capable of doing it all, rather sometimes more than the traditional phones. They have faster processors, more ram, faster wireless Internet connectivity and larger memories.
Today I will start another series of posts that will tell you how to use your phones to do things that you usually do with your computers including desktops, laptops and netbooks. This series of posts will include tips, tricks and software that you can use to avoid the use of computers and just use your phone 🙂
Why are mobile phones better?
If you have not done so, you can read my earlier articles that prove that laptops are better than desktops, because they take around 60 watts of power as compared to a few hundred watts. Then we also discussed that netbooks are even better than laptops taking half the power as compared to a full sized notebook. Today we will move one step ahead.
To prove my point I used this app called Nokia Energy Profiler. The app is a free download available on Nokia OVI store for almost all Nokia devices. The application gives you exact numbers in terms of power consumption, network bandwidth utilization and a few more important things that you never come to know when using a mobile phone. Just like any other computing device, Nokia phones consume low power when idle and take more power when performing more computation.
Here are a few screen-shots. As you can see, when the phone is idle, it takes 0.18 watts on average. When navigating the menu and viewing simple content like photos on the phone screen, its consuming 0.23 watts on average. In the third screenshot, the phone is being used for a voice+video call over a wifi network and the battery usage is at it’s top, that is around 2 watts.
In the last screen shot you can see the sudden rise in battery consumption when there’s an incoming call ringing and picked up.
In any case, this particular cellphone is using less than 2 watts of power which is way less than the other computing devices we listed above.
Use mobile phones for your computing needs whenever and wherever possible. You’ll save power and will contribute your efforts in keeping this planet green. Happy Green Computing!
We have been discussing the green-computing advantage of Laptops over the Desktop computers when it comes to power consumption. Today we’ll take the discussion one step further in our green-computing section.
All of us have heard about net-books, the miniature versions of the laptops/notebook PCs. Capabilities of the Netbooks are good enough for normal use, desktop computing and web-surfing etc. The advantage they give you is the size, handling and power consumption.
We discussed the power consumption advantage of Laptops over Desktops in a previous post. We discussed that Laptops typically take around 60 to 65 watts of power during normal operation. An average Netbook running on Intel Atom processor consumes around 30 to 35 watts of power during normal use. This is actually around half of the power consumption of Notebooks and Laptops.
So if you are not a power user and desktop processing, chatting, Internet surfing is all what you have to do on your PC, prefer a Netbook instead of a Notebook.
I know a number of Netbook haters out there not because of their capabilities in terms of specifications but due to their small size, very small screen and no optical drive. You can purchase a few components and make a good desktop docking station for your Netbook to overcome these issues. For example, you can buy a larger LCD screen, a USB Keyboard, Mouse and a USB external optical drive. While you are on the go, you live with the small components and when you are back home, you can enjoy a full fledged computing experience right out of your netbook with a lower power consumption.
Green Computing Bottom Line
Don’t use desktop computers at all. Use either laptops, notebooks or netbooks for a green-computing advantage. You should prefer a netbook over the notebooks and laptops as well as they consume the lowest power of them all.
This is a typical question every eco friendly minded person asks himself. I cannot tell you exactly but here are a few general guidelines that will tell you how much power your computer generally consumes. Keeping it very simple, there are two main components of a computer that take most of the power. A screen and the CPU box (that contains most of the electronics of your computer). So we will have different power consumption ranges for these two components.
Power consumption for Computer Screens
In general, the power consumption is higher for CRT monitors. The older fat monitors and TVs are all CRTs. You can read more about the CRT here. The flatter, thinner and lighter monitors take lesser power and are eventually more green and eco friendly. These could be LCD, TFT, LED or Plasma monitors and have their own different properties, but in general they consume power lesser than a CRT. Following is a very general comparison:
Typical consumption of a 17 inch CRT is on average consuming 100 Watts
Typical consumption of a 17 inch LCD id on an average 30 Watts
So an obvious option is to ditch your CRT and move on with a lower power variant, most popular are the LCD monitors.
Power Consumption for CPU
If you have a desktop computer, your CPU will comprise of several parts and all these parts will determine how much power your PC will consume. Moreover, what operation you are performing on the computer will also determine the power consumption. As a rule of thumb, a typical desktop computer consumes around 300 Watts. If you want to know about your desktop, try to find the power supply inside your CPU box and the sticker will show the total power of the machine as shown in the image below.
Following is an example of a typical 300 Watts desktop power-supply side sticker:
In case you have a laptop, the power consumption is much lowe. I’ll be posting something about it in my next post.
Amazon.com has long been optimized for mobile experience but today I came across this interesting app by Amazon.com for BlackBerry devices. You simply go to http://www.amazon.com and it offers you to download the app. The app is simple to install and use. It has normal options of searching products, reading descriptions, viewing reviews and checking out product photos and eventually buying it right there and then fromt he app.
The feature that impressed me a lot is called “Amazon Remembers”. The feature allows you to take a photo of an item that you want to purchase and Amazon suggests a product same or similar to it.
Here’s how it actually detected my BlackBerry charger 🙂
The app showed me the number of steps I need to perform to make the feature work. I grabbed my BlackBerry charger and took a photo right away to see how it works.
It took a few seconds to upload the file.
I thought it will fail if its automated and it will take more time if it is manual but it literally took 30 seconds to get the status updated in the app and an email in my inbox that the product has been identified. Here’s what it found:
OMG! Its dead accurate. There is definitely sitting there identifying items for us 🙂
Then I added a Nokia E51 and that got recognized correectly as well
And then I got a bit too odd on Amazon guys and added a few un-popular items and obviously they started returning totally unrelated results.
Amazon’s BlackBerry app is not only an easy way of shopping online but it provides you value against the plain old mobile site. Most apps out there actually replicate the functionality of their browser based app but this one has much more to offer.
Green Home Computing Approved
Last but not least, to match our theme of Green 2010, this app fits into the environment friendly computing model. Using mobile for shopping is much more eco friendly as compared to shopping using conventional desktop computers.
Go -Green, you must have heard the slogan and might be practically working on the idea as well. Go-Green is a movement, a frame of mind or a philosophy that is very much concerned about the environment. Environmentalism is another name for going green. The philosophy has been promoted throughout the ages but has gone intense in the current times and there is a whole set of guidelines to be followed in every walk of life that eventually reduces or eliminate the effect of our ways on the environment. Eco friendly ways of life are our social responsibility that not only help keep the environment as it is, does not cause negative effects on environment but also helps us in several ways like saving money and time, improving our health and reducing negative impacts on our health and lives and making businesses more profitable.
If you have been reading my blog, I’ve always been talking about technology, computing, electronics, gadgets, internet, online services and other related things. We will talk about the green aspect of all these things and the life-style surrounding them.
We will be talking about the computers and how to go green with computing. How to go for eco-friendly internet use and which gadgets are more environment friendly. We will also look at different appliances at home and will replace them with new more energy efficient ones. We will talk about energy saving and more energy efficient alternatives. So stay tuned for all-new-more-green 2010 on BA’s Brain Waves 🙂