Computers

ENERGY STAR makes it easy to find an energy-saving computer to meet your needs. Using the ENERGY STAR product finder, you can select from hundreds of certified efficient computers from the best, most trusted, and most popular brands -- like Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo and others.  In addition, you can filter the list of models by specific attributes such as:

  • Form factor (e.g., desktop, notebook, two-in-one notebook, tablet, etc.)
  • Processor speed
  • Memory
  • Networking features

Computers come in a wide range of forms and functions – from lightweight tablets to that old office workhorse, the desktop computer. However, the boundaries continue to blur. You can buy a new desktop computer almost as small and inconspicuous as a laptop or find a laptop that’s just as powerful as desktop. There are laptops designed to be used like tablets and all-in-one desktops without a separate monitor. See our buying guidance for help navigating all the options and select the right model for your situation. 

Regardless of the form and function you seek, be sure to look for computers that have earned the ENERGY STAR label to save energy and help protect the climate. They are third-party certified to be energy efficient and use 25% - 40% less than conventional models by using the most efficient components and better managing energy use when idle.  

Interested in energy efficient office phones, multi-function copiers, printers, scanners, or monitors?  Learn more about ENERGY STAR certified office equipment.

Current Specification Effective Date: November 18, 2018

The ENERGY STAR certified computer product criteria require that computers operate efficiently in multiple modes of operation (such as Off, Sleep, and Idle), utilize efficient power management features, and utilize energy efficient power supplies.

The ENERGY STAR performance specification covers desktops, integrated desktops, notebooks, slate/tablets, portable all-in-ones, thin clients, and workstations, tailoring the criteria to each product type. It provides a base allowance per product type, which limits the amount of energy the product can consume and then adds allowances for features that increase energy demand. In addition, the specification sets requirements for power management. These are set so that the display will go to sleep within 15 minutes of user inactivity and the system will go to sleep within 30 minutes of user activity.

For a complete description of the specification, please go to Computer Version 7.1 Program Requirements.

Learn How a Product Earns the Label

Best Practices When Buying a New Computer

When buying a new computer, start by searching for those products that are ENERGY STAR certified. ENERGY STAR certified computers are set up to save you energy straight out of the box and cover all types of computer types. However, there are additional considerations that can save you even more energy, when making your purchasing decision.

          1. What type of computer do you need?

There are so many different types of computers in the market and they each use different amounts of energy. Consider what you need the computer for and adjust the processing power to that need. Tablets are the least energy consumptive products and can easily handle internet browsing, streaming, and other general usage.

Other products, in order of increasing energy consumption, are notebooks (and two in ones), integrated desktops, desktops, and workstations. These products can offer increasing performance if you are doing more computational work. Each product offers different benefits and drawbacks so it is important to consider all the factors of how you will use the product.

         2. Consider purchasing solid state drive (SSD) storage.

SSD storage options are rapidly becoming more cost effective with each generation and these products offer better performance, particularly speed, and increased efficiency compared to hard drives.

        3. How much computing and graphics performance do you need?

The fastest CPU/GPUs are not always needed depending on how you are using your computer and often come at an additional cost. Consider what the end-use is for the device and target the appropriate performance for that use.

        4. What display are you using?

 Higher resolution and/or enhanced performance integrated displays, such as 4K, come at a much greater energy cost as well as negatively impacting the battery life of the notebook computer.

Once you have your ENERGY STAR certified computer, make sure that you do not turn off the sleep settings on the device as this offers the best pathway to continued savings for your device. Your ENERGY STAR certified computer has its power management settings installed as-shipped. If you are looking to make the case to your IT administrator to turn on the power management settings, use this calculator to show the savings that can be achieved by engaging power management.