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We’re all getting
credit-crunched, the economy is in recession, utility bills are
sky-rocketing and climate change is threatening the environment – who
is going to save us. Well, Advent reckons it can with its new green and
environmentally-friendly Eco PC, designed to save electricity bills and
the planet.

The PC comes in recycled packaging and uses just 25W
of power, which should keep the energy bills down. Although at £600 it
is an expensive way of cutting costs.

Out of the box, the
machine is a thing of beauty, it has to be said. It is around the size
of two telephone directories stuck together and stands upright unlike a
tradition desktop computer. This gives it the air of a games console.
The sleek fins on either side, increase the visual appeal but also do a
job. These fins are heat sinks designed to draw heat away from the PC,
which again should cut down on the need for heavy-duty fans that eat
electricity.

The front is unassuming with a oval power button
and a slot for inserting discs. On the back is a place for screwing in
a wireless antenna, DVI and S-Video outputs, 4 USB ports, an Ethernet
port and six audio ports for surround sound. There is also two PS/2
ports for connecting a keyboard and mouse – but as the machine comes
with a Bluetooth integrated keyboard and mouse, this is pretty much
suplus to requirements.

{mospagebreak}The aim of the machine is to be as green
as possible – therefore the innards reflect this. There is a Intel Core
2 Duo T5250 chip running at 1.5GHz. This is more at home inside a
laptop. Of course, compromises have to be made and perhaps an Intel
Atom processor was thought not powerful enough for a desktop machine.

There is also 2GB of memory and an integrated Intel 965 Express
chipset. So far, so entry-level. Storage is limited to 160GB, so
further expansion may require an external hard drive. The drive itself
is a 2.5-inch affair, designed to fit the Eco PC’s small form factor.

The integrated keyboard requires batteies and keeping true to the green
philosophy it has bundled in some rechargable Gold Peak ReCyko
batteries and a recharger.

While the computer uses 25W when idle this doubles to around 50W when
in use and going full pelt. This is still considerably better than most
desktop computers runnig at between 125 and 175W. Of course using a
netbook-type processor could have got this figure down to 17W working
at full speed. Maybe the next Eco PC will consider using this chip.

The software bundled in with the PC is Windows Vista Home Premium and
Cyberlink Power2Go disc burning software. To cut down on paper, the
manuals are in pdf form.

{mospagebreak}While is can be said that it will use less energy than normal PCs, the
initial cost will mean that a return on investment will be longer.
Perhaps if these types of PCs take off then manufacturing costs will
also come down making such devices more appealing to potential
customer’s bank balances.

Rating: 7.5/10

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