You know what, when talking about green computing, as an individual user, one of the smartest switches you can do today is to switch from a desktop to a laptop computer.
For those who have used both a laptop and a desktop computer, there will be that intuitive feeling that a laptop consumes lesser amount of energy than does a desktop.
The intuition is indeed correct.
In most cases, you will indeed be consuming much less energy for the same duration if you use a laptop instead of a desktop computer.
Simply because a typical laptop’s power rating (energy consumed per second) is much less than that for a desktop.
A desktop typically uses 200-250 Watts on average during its operation, while a laptop could be averaging only about 75 Watts during its operation.
Put another way, a desktop on average could be consuming three times as much energy as a laptop computer would for a similar duration and operation.
While specifics could vary from one brand of laptop/desktop to another, overall, there is little doubt that you will be using a lot less electricity to do work on your laptop than on your desktop.
In fact, to conserve electricity, one of the software company bosses for whom I consulted converted all desktops for his employees to laptops. Today, all employees use only laptops while at work, even though very few of them actually carry their laptops home!
And while on the use of laptops and computers – one thing you should not worry about too much is the phantom power. Sure, switch off the computer, but don’t worry about it too much if you have left it on occasionally, because this will consume very little electricity.