Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Australian Whole of Government Computer Tender

The Department of Finance and Deregulation has issued a Request for Tender for a "Whole of Government Desktop Hardware (Computing Equipment) Panel". This includes desktop and mobile computing equipment, monitors, installation and disposal. All agencies will be required to buy through the panel.

There is an extensive 235 page "Statement of Requirements" available to tenderers. This not only includes the usual desktop PCs and laptops, but also Thin Clients, Ultra Mobile PCs, Netbooks, Ruggedised Notebooks and Mobile Thin Clients.

Tenderers are required to describe environmental aspects of their Tender, but no minimum requirement is specified for EPEAT:
Environmental Assessment: [State whether this Deliverable is registered in the Electronic Product Environment Assessment Tool (EPEAT) or equivalent environmental assessment tool in Australia or overseas and the level attained by the Deliverable (eg Energy Star 4, EPEAT Silver)] [Provide environmental specifications stating the normal range of operation for the device (including but not limited to, temperature, altitude, humidity, dust, noise output, and heat output ...

From: Request for Tender to establish a WHOLE OF GOVERNMENT DESKTOP HARDWARE PANEL, RFT FIN10/AGI001, Department of Finance and Deregulation, 1-Feb-2010
This contrasts with the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) Request for Tender for Provision of Desktop, LAN, Helpdesk and Midrange Services (RFT 0708-705, 7 August 2008), which required at least an EPEAT silver rating. This was possibly too much to ask of suppliers, but not asking for at least the minimum Bronze rating may be too little.

Green features required include: US ENERGY STAR 4.0, BIOS Support for Green and Plug and Play features and Support for Wake-on-LAN. There is no specific requirement for
recycling or environmentally sensitive disposal of surplus hardware.

Support for Linux is mentioned, along with Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Vista and Microsoft Windows 7.

Table of Contents
1.1Structure of Statement of Requirements4
1.2Criteria Definitions6
1.3Structure of Requirements Statements6
1.4Integration of Deliverables7
1.5Occupational Health and Safety7
3.1Standard Desktop PC17
3.2Power Desktop PC31
3.4Thin Client59
4.1Ultra Mobile PC72
4.3Lightweight Notebook96
4.4Standard Notebook109
4.5Lightweight Ruggedised Notebook122
4.6Standard Ruggedised Notebook136
4.7Mobile Thin Client151
5.119 Inch Monitor164
5.220 Inch Monitor170
5.322 Inch Monitor176
5.423 Inch Monitor (If Available)182
5.524 Inch Monitor188
5.630 Inch Monitor193
5.736 Inch Monitor198
6.2Centralised Services213

From: Part F - Statement of Requirements, Whole of Government Desktop Hardware Panel, Request for Tender FIN10/AGI001, Department of Finance and Deregulation, 1-Feb-2010

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Energy efficient LCD monitors with Led back-lights

Newer LCD monitors (and screens in some laptops) are being made with LED backlights in place of the previous fluorescent ones. These allow finer control of the light and so provide energy savings. The new Dell G-Series models are claimed to use half the power of their predecessors: 18W for the G2210 22-inch and 20W G2410 24-inch. One catch with this is that Dell is not offering smaller size LED models. The larger the screen the more power needed. So if you replace a 17 inch florescent back-light screen which uses 20 Watts (Dell E1709W) with a new LED 22 inch one which uses 18 Watts , you are only going to save 2 Watts (10% not the claimed 50%).

But there are some other power saving features of the monitors which may still make them worthwhile. They only use 0.15W in sleep mode, compared to 2 Watt for previous units. Also a sensor reduces the screen brightness automatically in dim rooms. The screen is also dimmed when displaying a mostly white image. Apart from saving energy, it can be painful for the eyes to be suddenly confronted with a very bright white screen.

The screens are also ENERGY STAR and EPEAT Gold compliant. A claim of being 28 percent lighter than comparable models seems a little odd, as LCD screens are not very heavy anyway. But perhaps this indicates less material is needed to make them, which is an environmental benefit.

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