The list was developed based primarily on energy efficiency and reduction of hazardous materials, but it also included power supply efficiency, recyclability and packaging. The three main certifications used in decided the list are the Green Electronics Council's EPEAT label, the U.S. EPA's Energy Star certification, and the E.U.'s RoHS directive requirements.
Justin Thomas, the editor of the website, said 2008 is the first year that there was sufficient overlap in reliable third-party green certifications and IT products on offer to make a Greenest Computers list possible.
The overall list is divided into two sections: the five greenest desktops and the five greenest laptops. Only Lenovo and Apple have products on both lists: Lenovo's ThinkCentre M57 desktop and Thinkpad X300 laptop, and Apple's Mac Mini desktop and the MacBook Air laptop.
MetaEfficient's desktop list includes three traditional machines, all of which are highly energy efficient, and are at least 90 percent recyclable: the Dell Studio Hybrid, Lenovo laptop, and the Mac Mini. Also on the list are two cloud computers, which have no hard drives, and instead store everything online. The Zombu Desktop Mini is a Linux- and subscription-based machine, while the CherryPal PC runs Linux as well, but is intended solely for basic web browsing and computing apps.
For the list of laptops, the three traditional machines -- the Lenovo Thinkpad, Toshiba Portégé R500, and the MacBook Air -- are all EPEAT certified were developed to minimize the use of harmful chemicals in the machines themselves. The list also includes the ASUS Eee PC, a groundbreaking, micro-sized laptop built for energy efficiency as well as performance-per-dollar.
Full reviews for both lists are available on MetaEfficient; the short lists are below:
Dell Studio Hybrid PC
Lenovo’s ThinkCentre M57/M57p
Apple Mac Mini
Zonbu Desktop Mini
Lenovo Thinkpad X300
ASUS Eee PC
Toshiba Portégé R500-S5007V
Apple MacBook Air
HP 2710p Tablet Computer