Green Tip #162: Use Your Laptop to Save Electricity

One way to save on electricity is to use a laptop instead of a desktop computer. A desktop computer generally uses 2-4 times more power than a laptop. A laptop computer is designed for optimal power consumption for many reasons, such as:

  • Battery constraint. We want to use a laptop as long as possible without needing to recharge it.
  • Heat. We don’t want the laptop to heat up too much so the user can use it on their lap. Although, I wouldn’t recommend this to men because even a little heat will kill the “boys.” :)
  • CPU. The CPU in a laptop is usually a low power CPU. It is designed to use less power than a comparable desktop CPU. The part is more expensive and consumes less power.
  • Graphic and other computer components are also designed to use less power.

A laptop computer will cost more initially, but it will cost less to operate and will save electricity. The desktop computer will generally be more powerful performance-wise and if you need serious performance, a desktop will probably be better. We have both a desktop and a laptop computer. Our desktop is much more powerful than the laptop, but it is also newer and I occasionally play games on it so it has a powerful graphic card. I plan to get another laptop at some point to use exclusively for my blog and other businesses. A laptop is so much more affordable these days, it’s a great option for general everyday use.

Study from University of Pennsylvania

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9 thoughts on “Green Tip #162: Use Your Laptop to Save Electricity

  1. You can also modify settings on laptops to adjust power consumption based on what you’re doing. Processor power, screen brightness, wifi turned on or off, and when your computer goes to sleep can all affect how much power your computer draws. Your laptop cord will also continue to draw a small amount of power regardless of if the computer is turned on so you might consider putting it on a power strip or unplugging it when you’re not using the computer.

  2. What about upgrade/repair ability? Our last desktop lasted 9 years. The current one is 3 years old and we haven’t even upgraded anything on it yet – I expect it to last 10 years or more. Laptop useful life seems to be about 4 years and then it’s cheaper to replace than to upgrade.

    We both have laptops from work but our home computer is a desktop because of that ability to keep replacing parts.

    1. Good points Rosa. My desktop, that Mrs. SPF was using, is deprecated in a BAD way – but it is 9 yrs old. But we kept working to keep it going. My laptop (and Acer) lasted 5 yrs and is still pretty good for a back top mobile system – until we give it to charity.

  3. My old laptop’s battery is dead but what I like about my recently built desktop is that it has green options for power saving and reducing heat generation as well. When I’m blogging or doing other “light” loads, it only consumes a few watts of power. It can potentially go up to hundreds of watts but I’m not usually doing anything that demands that most of the time. ;)

  4. Well, electricity can be saved in many ways, we should shut down our laptop if we are not working or if we are going for tea break of for any work which require 30 mins to 1 hour.

    Also, there are some problem in your laptop duet to this it may consume more power then required, if so then you need to repair your laptop.

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