An updated version of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for Computers became effective in September. The update to Version 6.1 of the specification will not have any effect on products previously certified to Version 6.0, and re-certification to the new specification is not mandatory.
The ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for Computers Version 6.1 expands the scope of the computers specification to include two new product type, Slates/Tablets and Portable All-In-One computers. A new sub-type of Notebook computer, the Two-In-One Notebook, is added to the definitions. Power management and energy efficiency criteria including base allowance, functional adders, and mode weightings, for Slates/Tablets and Two-In-One Notebooks are the same as for Notebooks. Power management and energy efficiency criteria for Portable All-In-Ones are identical to the requirements for Integrated Desktops. EPA intends to evaluate the energy efficiency data gathered for the two new product types in order to develop specific energy efficiency requirements for them in the next planned release of the specification, Version 7.0.
The test method was also updated to include the display brightness settings for testing the new types. Portable All-In-Ones displays are set to 150 nits (cd/m2) for testing, the same as Integrated Desktops were in Version 6.0. Slates/Tablets display are also set to 150 nits, which is higher than the brightness setting for notebooks, 90 nits. An additional Short Idle power measurement for Notebook computers, with the display brightness set to 150 nits, is required for data reporting purposes. The additional data is for the EPA to evaluate the effects of higher Notebook computer brightness settings during test for a possible change in the test method in the Version 7.0 release.
On October 31, EPA also updated the specification to reflect that External Power Supplies (EPS) shall meet the Level V or higher performance requirements under the International Efficiency Marking Protocol. This update does not affect currently certified computers but rather allows computers powered by a Level VI EPS to be ENERGY STAR® certified.
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