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The Greenest Mac Ever!

May 07, 2010 | By: GBB | No Comments on The Greenest Mac Ever!

In their 2008 Environmental Update, Apple’s CEO Steve jobs reiterated the company’s “goal of eliminating polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from Apple products by the end of 2008”. Among his green promises on behalf of Apple, Mr. Jobs also spoke of removing mercury from their displays and arsenic from their display glass, by graduating to better and more efficient technology.

The Mac Book Pro comes with either a 15 inch screen or a 17 inch one. Both have certain common features that Apple has come up with in their incredible attempt to “re-design, re-engineer and re-everything” their MacBooks.

These ultra slim notebooks are made from BFR-free material for majority of circuit boards and non-PVC internal wiring. In fact the entire new Mac Book Pro family has only Light Emitting Diode displays which provide at least as much brightness as the standard Cold Cathode Fluorescent lamps used by LCD displays. The LED can be housed in a much smaller space helping de-bulk the ‘Pro’. Unlike fluorescent lamps, the LED backlight reaches maximum brightness instantly, meaning you do not have to wait for your screen to slowly get brighter. The display is also designed to dim on entering a dimly lit area.

De-bulking offers significant green brownie points. It means the MacBook pro is slimmer, lighter, easier to transport, more can be transported for the same cost, and require significantly lesser packaging.  More notebooks fitting on a boat or plane means less fuel consumption and thus less CO2 emission. The rewards are huge.

Apple’s comprehensive approach to their carbon footprint impact on the environment is striking because they consider emissions at each stage of a product’s life cycle from production to customer use and eventual recycling of their products. It is good to see a business that does not suffer from the ostrich syndrome.

The exterior is made of a single seamless molded piece of lightweight recyclable aluminium that they call the unibody. While this takes away ‘wiggle room’ for the manufacturers, calling for near-absolute precision, it makes for green technology using computer numerical controls. Lesser loose parts mean less waste eventually. The keyboard webbing is cut to fit the keys perfectly. The keys themselves are curved to fit fingers more comfortably. The illuminated keyboard also offers a distinct advantage in low-light settings as in conference rooms and airplanes.

The MacBook Pro trackpad doubles as a smart button, so it simply means less number of parts. The glass surface ensures smoothness and comfort. The trackpad is ergonomically designed with gestures like swipe, pinch, rotate and four-finger swipe incorporated into its electronic brain.

The MacBook Pro houses two separate graphics processors. While the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT is the graphics powerhouse, the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M processor is designed to save power. Consequently the Pro does not sacrifice graphics performance to save battery.

The 17 inch MacBook Pro battery has marathon performance. It lasts up to 8 hours on a single charge and can be re-charged up to 1000 times using an Apple-developed technology called Adaptive Charging. When compared with the 200 to 300 times you can charge a typical notebook, this is a revolution in battery technology. Considering that the battery is built into the MacBook Pro, it is amazing that it still weighs 6.6 pounds and is under an inch thin. Both models use less energy than a light bulb. The hard drive spins down to consume less power when the MacBook is not being used.

Apple has made good its commitment to green in their new generation of notebooks, the MacBook Pro. Removing arsenic, mercury, BFRs and PVC from the notebook has made the Pro a trendsetter and a role model. The EPEAT gold awarded the MacBook Pro is richly deserved.


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