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HP's ambitious plan to slash energy consumption in its PCs by 25 per cent by 2010 has been greeted with scepticism in some quarters.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas the computer firm proclaimed its intent to cut the carbon footprint of its desktop and notebook PCs by adopting more efficient power supplies and lower energy chipsets and processors.

HP also boasted that it had more Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) "gold" products than any rival. EPEAT is a voluntary US environmental performance standard for computers.

IT analyst firm Ovum said it is admirable to see a big multinational tech company "taking a lead", but reckoned HP, along with other PC vendors, has a lot of catching up to do to become more environmentally friendly.

"Reducing energy consumption by 25 per cent by 2010 is good, but needs to be tempered by the fact that in 2005 PCs with their big, fat Intel chips were at their most gas-guzzling. And all those new PCs available by 2010 will simply add to the PC mountain," said Ovum.

Rival PC makers are also sceptical. A spokesman for Lenovo told El Reg that 25 per cent reduction was "a great objective", but said it was hard to imagine how HP could deliver that goal.

When asked if Lenovo could offer up its own impressive percentage on reducing energy consumption in its products, the spokesman said: "Clearly we have our own objectives in terms of what we would call green IT [including ditching PVC in all Lenovo products by 2009], but we wouldn't want to commit to a definitive figure."

The Register asked HP to comment on the lukewarm response it had received from competitors and analysts. We also requested an explanation of how its 25 per cent goal was attainable within two years. The vendor is yet to return our call. ®

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