Low-Energy Computing

I use my laptops to browse the web and do other things that tend to be graphical in nature. I also use them for the terminal, sometimes to SSH into another system, sometimes just to edit something using emacs or whatever. Laptops are generally nice, so long as I can fit my hands on the keyboard and have enough screen real estate to do whatever I need. They also tend to use more power than I think necessary for the simpler terminal-based tasks.

The one I'm using now, a Lenovo x131e, uses about 8 watts or so with TLP installed, running from battery. My Dell XPS 15” uses about 6 watts idling on battery, without TLP installed. It only seems to go up a little while browsing the web or working on a document. (Obviously something like Youtube, or a heavier app will use more.)

On the other hand, a Raspberry Pi uses maybe a couple watts. A Pi Zero W I have uses about 1 watt. A display is going to bump this up, as will a USB accessory (the Pi Zero W in this case just has a USB to Serial adapter connected, and is connected to Wifi). But, for typing a text document, or using SSH, I'd like to think a small, basic display wouldn't add too much more. Something like a text-only smart phone.

There are various projects for cyberdeck type things popping up, which I guess are close to this. It doesn't have to fit in my pocket, but being straightforward to use and low-power would be key.

Find me at @toroidalcore@hackers.town