I would be remiss not to link to a post by my colleague Catherine Wolfram at Haas. The short story: using a Kill-A-Watt meter she found that Severin’s Dell uses 50 times as much energy when idle as her iMac. Presumably the Dell is not going to sleep. I don’t know what version of Windows it’s running, but I suspect it’s not the very latest (Severin still has an iPhone 3GS with little interest in upgrading, last I checked). Nevertheless, it will always be easier to implement reliable sleep/wake functionality when the same vendor manufactures both the hardware and the software.
I don’t have much else to say about this except that with our new SmartMeter it became abundantly clear that the main electricity drain in our apartment is the 46″ Samsung LCD TV. It’s ironic that “old” technologies like lighting and refrigerators have become very efficient, but “new” technologies like computers and TVs have not. Of course, normalized by computing power or screen size, efficiency has increased remarkably for these devices. But in an absolute sense, it has not.