Here's some news that's sure to please the greens, while not costing much of it. A Linux-based desktop computer released today is reported to consume just two watts of power, and can save about US$35 a year in energy costs, according to company claims. The CherryPal C100, which its namesake company says is so-named because it's "sweeter than an Apple," is built around a Freescale 400 MHz processor, runs Debian Linux and includes 50GB of cloud storage. The sticker price with 256MB DDR DRAM and 4 GB internal NAND storage is $249.

At first sight the C100 reminded me of a Mac Mini, Apple's own paperback book-sized computer. But similarities are skin deep, to be sure; Apple's is far better equipped (but also costs more than twice as much). Still, CherryPal packs a tri-core MPC5121e mobile GT processor capable of performing 800 MIPS "while only consuming as much power as a clock radio," said the company on its Web site. This results in "performance you would expect from a full-size desktop computer." CherryPal uses 80 percent fewer components than a traditional PC, CherryPal says; the unit includes no hard drive. "And because it has no moving parts, it operates without making a sound and will last 10 years or more."

And it's cherry where it counts. There's hi-speed WiFi (802.11b/g) plus a 10/100 Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports, VGA headphone-level stereo audio out and a 9vDC 2.5mm 10 watt AC-DC adapter power supply. Total weight: less than one pound. CherryPal is 1.3” high, 4.2” wide and 5.8” deep. Also preinstalled is the OpenOffice suite and Firefox, the latter of which servers as the unit's operating system interface. There's no keyboard, but there's free 24-hour tech support.

CherryPal was founded in 2007 by German-born tech entrepreneur Max Seybold.