Despite the fact that Apple shareholders feel no sense of morality when it comes to the company's environmental performance — they voted down a proposal to reduce the company's carbon footprint — Apple has managed to create one device which is being widely heralded as the greenest computing device to date — the iPad.  

Gizelle Imamo over at Huffington Post put together a nice summary of the gadget's greenest features:

  • Recycled aluminum casing
  • Ultra-thin, uses less materials
  • LED display far more efficient than LCD screens
  • Mercury-free
  • PVC-free (polyvinyl chloride) 
  • No brominated fire retardants
  • Saves paper by promoting digital books
  • 10-hour battery life due to energy efficiency
  • Apple can fully recycle the iPad
But she missed one major feature that may be the greenest of them all — the iPad ostensibly collapses three devices into one. By acting as a phone, laptop and eReader, the iPad is setting the stage for the ultimate "converged device." We're not nearly there yet — the iPad misses several key features, including a camera and computing power that would rival a high-powered notebook. But the writing is on the wall. Here's Walt Mossberg's video review of the device:

Many younger people as they enter the market will be turning to the iPad as a way to have both an eReader (imagine no more paper textbooks and the ability to search) and a portable computer (and to some degree a television). Mouse and keyboard are not required with the multi-touch screen.

In addition, the device also acts as a phone. It's hard to imagine people will ever be letting go of their pocket-sized phones in the near future, but the fact that one COULD avoid having a cell phone contract by buying the iPad is appealing, especially if you are on a budget. At $500 that is a whole lot of functionality in one very light-weight (and pretty green) package.