In an effort to keep up with other green-leaning manufacturers, Dell has announced that all of its laptops will be LED-backlit by 2010. LEDs, which are mercury-free, are quickly being adopted by laptop and desktop monitor makers in an effort to stay on the good side of environmentalists.
By late 2009, 80-percent of Dells notebooks will have an LED screen. "Why did we do this? We have been listening to our customers in order to extract customer value, and LED helps to move that agenda along," said Michael Murphy, Dell’s senior manager of worldwide environmental affairs. According to Dell’s internal numbers, switching all of its laptops to LED, which use 43-percent less power than LCDs at the highest brightness setting will save consumers $20 million dollars in energy costs and 220 million kilowatt-hours over 2010 and 2011.
While conserving energy is always a bonus, there are other reasons LED screens are becoming more and more attractive. Not only do LED-backlit displays save energy, but they also, in some cases, double battery life. Again, according to Dell’s internal numbers, an LED screen on a 15-inch notebook could extend the average battery life from 3.5 hours to about six hours. HP claims that choosing the LED option on its Elitebook 6930p notebook can push the battery life beyond 24 hours.
Due to their ever-growing popularity, LED displays for notebooks seem to be Dell’s number one priority right now. However, look for Dell to make the same push on its desktop monitors in the near future. For now, it will continue to push the ODMs that make its displays to dump CCFL-backlit LCDs in lieu of LED displays.
Dell has made other strides to become a truly "green" company. In August, Dell announced it had become carbon-neutral. The computer giant also just released an energy-efficient mini desktop called the Dell Studio Hybrid, which only uses 44W when at full tilt.