For a device that's so extremely popular that the rest of the tablet market is inevitably compared to it first and foremost, it seems that the iPad is undeniably inexpensive when it comes to cash needed to charge it up. The iPad has an internal battery - a rather large one, at that - and according to Electric Power Research Institute, it's only costing you an average of $1.36 USD a year to keep the device on. This study also included several other devices and electronic items you've got around the house as well, with the most expensive item being a refrigerator at $65.72 per year.
This study showed a desktop PC to be costing you $28.21 USD a year on average to keep powered up, while a 60-watt compact fluorescent lightbulb costs users $1.61 a year (surely not constantly running that whole time, of course.) The EPRI focused on the iPad in this study since it is without a doubt the most talked-about device on their list, and they've come up with a few other interesting points as well.
An average desktop computer uses 20 times more power than an iPad, said the study, and if the number of iPads tripled instantly to 67 million, we'd only need one small power plant operating at full strength to provide enough power for them each to be charged up whenever necessary.
These iPad tests were done by EPRI researcher Baskar Vairmohan, who studied the effects of a possible switch from the current notebook and gaming console culture of many to a one-tablet household (one tablet per person, that is.) What he's found is that with the trend of tablets replacing notebooks and desktops at a rather large rate, we could be looking at a big decrease in power consumption in the near future.
Of course there's also the iPhone, which Vairmohan calculated to cost just 38 cents per year to keep charged up. Imagine if the only device anyone had was that - cash in!
[via Jonathan Fahey]