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Green with Product Envy at Pepcom's EcoFocus

You wouldn't believe the green-fangled contraptions displayed at EcoFocus, the Pepcom technology expo that took place in downtown Manhattan's Metropolitan Pavilion on April 22, 2010. Even the jaded journos and industry insiders who eat and breathe high tech seemed impressed venturing around the floor and into the sustainable future. Models For Earth Day

Ecologically conscious only begins to describe the shared motif of these high tech gizmos that made you feel smarter and more virtuous just pronouncing their names. Other criteria for inclusion in the showcase were clearly wowee and kewl.

Pepcom follows up this event with three other "Focus" demo events in New York before the close of 2010: Digital Experience! (June 23); Holiday Spectacular! (September 15) and Wine, Dine & Demo! (November 18). Beyond New York, Pepcom also offers press gatherings in Los Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Some 200 media types sampled the refreshments and wares at this year's EcoFocus. At the SodaStream booth, they could accomplish both simultaneously.

By turning your tap water into Cola, Root Beer and Ginger Ale, this ultimate eco machine means to save the planet soda by soda. The list of flavors goes on – and for un-Cola kids, there are sparkling water essences such as Lemon-Lime and Berry – but whatever your imbibing pleasure, the real joy comes from SodaStream's reusable plastic bottles.

Just knowing that you're no longer contributing to America's annual consumption of 30 billion plastic water bottles should add some fizz to your day; eight out of every 10 of those non-biodegradable throwaways will plug a landfill for hundreds of years, not to mention the waste of fossil fuels and water that go into producing and distributing them in the first place.

Yet no amount of carbonated beverages could quench one's thirst for a new phone. So another sweet stop was the Sprint table, where the Samsung Restore was being shown. Like its predecessor, the Samsung Reclaim, the freshly designed Restore seeks to send an environToshiba's  Eco Friendly Netbookmentally friendly signal. Sheathed in a cover composed of completely recycled materials with a body made of 27 percent recycled stuff, it features an AC adapter stamped by Energy Star (the energy- and cost-efficiency program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy), and contains no toxic materials such as PVC. 

And once you move on to your next gadget, 77% of it can be recycled. The packaging is also green-minded, and its charger consumes less than the 30mW in standby. So even if the number keyboard on its front didn't slide sideways to reveal a QWERTY keyboard, the svelte (4.6 inches x 2.1 inches x 0.6 inch) Restore weighing 4.32-ounces would find a welcome home in my hand bag.

Next it was on to the laptop corral. Toshiba's newest Netbook, the mini NB305 especially caught my attention. As is the case with the rest of the Toshiba PC lineup, it's rated gold by green electronics agency Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), and meets the Energy Star 5.0 standard. Tweaking the assets of the Toshiba NB205, this successor has a 10.1-inch diagonal TruBrite LED backlit display and an Intel Atom N450 processor, making it a smarter, more power-efficient bear. And its battery life rating is up to 11 hours, meaning you could really get something done on your next flight to Istanbul.

Other features that make it a hardy travel companion are its 250GB hard drive, supported by a Hard Drive Impact Sensor that keeps data from being knocked about, and its USB port with Sleep-and-Charge that lets you charge your sundry gizmos whether the unit is switched on or off or has drifted into sleep mode.

Did I mention that it only weighs 2.6 pounds? That alone could be reason enough to make your wallet $349.99 to $399.99 lighter.

Also on display at EcoFocus were ecologically sound paint, alternative lighting and energy fixes.  But for this fan of easily portable writing devices, the laptop computer stations drew the loudest clucks of appreciation.

For the full skinny, look into:

Metropolitan Pavilion
125 West 18th Street
New York, NY  10011




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