Acer's eco-friendly laptops win Greenpeace approval

acer timeline laptop

Acer has launched a pair of new laptops that have been given the thumbs up by Greenpeace for their eco-friendly credentials.

The Taiwanese computer maker claims its Aspire 3811TZ and 3811TZG are energy efficient, recyclable and green, thanks to the absence of two materials Greenpeace has identified as particularly bad for the environment PVCs (polyvinyl chloride) and BFRs (brominated flame retardants).

The new arrivals form part of the eco-conscious Timeline range, which its maker claims uses 40 per cent less power than conventional laptops thanks to the use of LED-backlighting in the displays and Intel's frugal ULV Core 2 Duo processors.

Battery life is quoted at eight hours, with Acer saying its new notebooks are "way over the most advanced Energy Star 5.0 criteria".

Details such as launch dates and prices remain thin on the ground at this stage, as does a detailed specification, with Acer choosing to focus on green issues for now.

But it's enough for Greenpeace to award Acer a "green star" for its efforts.

PVC emits toxic substances into the environment and is resistant to bio-degradation, while BFR chemicals which are mixed in with plastics to make them more flame-resistant have also been labelled as harmful.

"The chemical characteristics of PVC and BFRs may generate toxic substances like dioxins and furans at products' end-of-life, therefore, the reduction of PVC and BFRs in Acer products will help protect our environment from being poisoned by electronics goods," the company said in a statement.

However, while the new arrivals themselves may be free of harmful chemicals, their power cables aren't a small but significant detail Acer has disappointingly overlooked.

And PC World points out that while Acer is moving in the right direction with its Timeline range, it's not doing so quickly enough a point Greenpeace itself has made in the past.

Indeed, the environmental group's annual Guide to Greener Electronics, which assesses the environmental friendliness of leading consumer tech companies, placed Acer in a middle-of-the-road 12th place, with a score of just 4.5 out of 10.