Product Type: Ecobutton gadgets
Newest Review: ... I should purchase one to help make a small saving. The cost of the device was around £7 from amazon, although I have seen it available che... more
Helps me feel I am doing a bit more.
Ecobutton PC Energy Saving Device
Member Name: cha97mw
Ecobutton PC Energy Saving Device
Advantages: very easy to use and set up
Disadvantages: easy to catch the button, yet another device needing a USB port.
I like to think of myself as being quite a green and eco friendly person. I recycled from before it became fashionable, we compost, we grow our own, we even save up our plastic recycling till we have a car load and then my hubbie takes it to the recycling point in the town where he works as our council don't touch it, and we are about to have solar panels put on the roof of our house.
One area I am conscious of is that my PC is turned on at the start of the day when I wake, and is left on all day. Being a busy mum, I have to do 3 lots of school runs, as well as walking the dog, cooking meals and doing household chores, but I want to be able to hop onto the computer between tasks and have the window I want open and ready to go. My computer, is next to me, the hardest working member of the household in terms of managing it. From checking out prices online, to paying bills, to me working and earning money.
Although I had it switched to go onto standby after a few minutes of inactivity, I felt this could be even better, and when I read a review on this little device, I knew that I should purchase one to help make a small saving.
The cost of the device was around £7 from amazon, although I have seen it available cheaper than this if you look around.
It is a really simple piece of kit. On opening the box, I was shocked at how little. It is the button you see above, with a cable attached to a USB connector. I have a lot of items that are USB connected, so I need to connect this into the front of my computer, and I also need to take it out occasionally to connect other items such as my MP3 player to the computer to add tracks or to charge it. I initially thought this might upset my computer, as when using USB pen drives in the past, I have just pulled them out and the computer has then flashed messages to me about it not being safe to do so. This is not an issue with this device. It can be swapped at my will.
There was no CD with the device, so I had to go online to their website to register and to download the little programme that works with this button. It took a few minutes to do, and it has not affected my PC's performance in any way. If I need to, I can redownload this software at any point.
On first downloading, I was asked to input some details, like how much my electric costs per unit. I had this information to hand, though I had to put it in as dollars rather than UK pounds. It is enough to get the gist though of the money saving and the carbon saving you get each time you use the device.
I have found the device so simple to use. It glows a bright green when the computer is on, and pressing it instantly brings up a script box at the bottom left of the screen near the start menu, and it shows a few different programmes in this box, before the screen goes dark.
When I come back to the computer, a press of any button starts it again. The first screen I see is this programme, telling me the money and carbon saved in this session and in the history of using the device. Pressing any key on the keyboard then allows me to go back to my work, where any windows I was using are still there and ready to go.
Well, one or two, but only minor.
As already mentioned, it is powered through a USB port. Nowadays, a lot of devices are, so I find that it is hard to find a spare slot in the computer. It can be a pain unplugging some other cable to get this in, but it is worthwhile.
Also, my computer desk is quite small, and not that tidy as I often have all kinds on the go. Receipts to check against the bank account, letters from school, bills to pay, and so on.I found that because my tower is in a cupboard, I could only really position it in one place near my desk, which was pretty much under my left elbow, so without meaning to, I have leant onto it a few times and turned it off.
Another slight dilemna is that the green glow is very attractive to the kids, and it has not taken them long to work out what pressing it does. My 5 year old knows if he presses it then his brother can't make it come back, and the 3 year old already knows pressing it is the quickest way to get mummy's attention again.
None of these problems are that significant though.
Cost savings are minimal. An hour of standby time saved has saved about 4p, and about 4 units of carbon. Not exactly earth shattering so far, but I am definitely of the mindset that a penny saved is a penny earned. It will take me a while to regain the cost of purchase, but it is a purchase I am happy with.
Summary: A nice idea, will take a while to see any real saving.
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