Ecomodo – The Best of Treehugger

Ecomodo – The Best of Treehugger

treehugger-gizmodo-week109.jpgThis week at TreeHugger: We finally catch a glimpse of the elusive (finally real) Vectrix 100% electric motorcycle at Oracle OpenWorld. Check out our quick how-to for multi-function printers, to get yourself a one-stop shop for fax, email, scanning, printing and more.

We pull the curtain back on the Eco Media Player; an iPod killer, it may not be, but this pretty slick gadget featuring wind-up power definitely gets our attention. The smart kids at MIT have converted an exercise bike to charge a battery that powers their notebook computer, giving new meaning to the phrase “bike to work.” Lastly, Dell’s new Inspiron 531 is the PC manufacturer’s first consumer desktop to achieve Energy Star 4.0 requirements; so what?

TreeHugger has had its eye on the Vectrix 100% electric scooter for a long time, since we first spied it back in 2005 all the way until we had proof that it really existed, and really worked, too. So, while seeing one here at OpenWorld might not be a big shock to the regular TreeHugger reader, itís still important: to see an innovative product come to market from start to finish; to see that green tech can be sexy and cool; to see a quick glimpse at the future of urban transportation technology and know that itís just the tip of the iceberg. Check out our pics of the shiny new Vectrix and take a test drive today.

Recently, multifunction printers have been made more and more available to provide one stop shopping for all your home office needs; these pretty amazing devices can print, scan, copy, fax, email, and save files to your network, and act as an information hub to bridge the gap between your paper data and your digital data. There are dozens available; which ones are green? Unlike the typical green printer, the choice is not so simple.

The Eco Media Player doesn’t bill itself as an iPod killer, but it does just about everything the ubiquitous media player does (and a little more) as a video player, music player, FM radio, LED torch, photo viewer, hi-fi recorder, memo recorder, data storage device and a mobile phone charger. The eco prefix is applied because it does all of this without need of replacement batteries. Power comes simply from winding a fold-out handle on the rear of the unit (or, if you want to cheat, charging it via USB cable to your computer). One minute of cranking gets you 40 minutes of play time.

The smart kids at MIT never cease to amaze us with their smart-tech mash-ups; most recently, they’ve converted an exercise bike to charge a battery that generates more than enough juice to run a notebook computer. Lazy bloggers and home office employees everywhere, the message is simple: get off your fat asses and start pedaling.

Lastly, Dell’s new Inspiron 531 is the PC manufacturer’s first consumer desktop to achieve Energy Star 4.0 requirements (that puts them in the top 25 of all PCs when it comes to energy efficiency). Featuring a 80 percent-efficient power supply and a paperless owner’s manual, the machine is also auto-set to switch to a low-power sleep state after 15 minutes of inactivity. Entry-level configurations, which start at $369, include an AMD Athlon-64 X2 dual-core processor, 1GB of DDR2 memory, 160GB hard drive, CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive, nVidia integrated graphics, Windows Vista Home Basic, and a one-year limited warranty with at-home service and support thrown in for good measure; overall, a pretty solid green machine.

TreeHugger’s EcoModo column appears every Tuesday in Gizmodo.