How much energy does it take to power those iPads?

19 thoughts on “How much energy does it take to power those iPads?”

  1. But is there not a substitution effect to take into account; that some of your iPad use would otherwise have taken place using a laptop, desktop or TV?

  2. I agree with Andrew. Most of the time that I spend using my iPad is time that I am not using my HP laptop which definitely consumes a lot more power. I would think that increasing adoption of tablets would lower computer related electricity use on per capita basis, not raise it.

    1. I agree Beau. We should be using lower power devices for our web and media needs. However, the energy consumed to manufacture our laptops and tablets usually greatly exceeds the energy that the consumer will ever use by charging it. So the culture of having multiple devices and buying the latest model of the next i-thing is what the energy conscience should be concerned with.

  3. I must say the thoughts shared by all comments about the substitution seems very obvious to me as well. How’d you miss that one OM? Also, in terms of the iPad as an e-Reader, have we considered the difference in carbon footprint of the hundreds of books, newspapers and articles which were not printed to paper?

    1. Since we are talking of substitution, consider the amount of time, efforts,costs for recycling a iPad vs recycling a book, newspaper ans suddenly iPad isn’t green. Green tech is when you have something completely recyclable

      1. really, cause I read hundreds of books a year. And since I now read ebooks exclusively, there is a huge benefit in less recycled waste, less delivery related pollution, less automobile travel.

        This OM article is like a lot of “green” discussions; barely scratches the surface rather then conducting an exhaustive look at the benefits. It is obvious to every one of the readers: iPad consumes less energy then desktop or laptop, and produces less e-waste when recycled, and probably has about the same product life as either. Come on! Bottom line your article with what the REAL environmental benefits are. Not that difficult.

    1. Matt

      For some of us it is enough to do work on. I can read all the blogs, twiter etc, do most of the important daily tasks – read and reply to emails, communicate using Socialcast with our team, pay bills etc on my iPad and when I need to write, I can easily use an Apple keyboard to bang out a blog post, much like this one. So yes, I am glad I have an iPad for most of my day, though I wish I had more free time.

  4. Before I spent all my time on my ipad, I drove around the city in my pickup truck cum barbecue on wheels giving out free, freshly smoked ribs. I’d say my carbon footprint has dropped.

    it’s true!

  5. Om: I’d argue that the net impact is negative since they represent a very power efficient device replacing very power inefficient devices – consider all the PCs being used less. And if you wanted to get really technical about it, consider the beneficial impact of time shifting – most iPads are charged at night when demand is less meaning we have less peak load meaning fewer power plants.

  6. Doesn’t scream a market opportunity to develop and sell solar chargers? There are solar chargers for phones, why not package it up as part of your apple purchase…come on Tim Cook and Apple Inc…put your marketing hats on.

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