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But you probably wouldn't guess that the Latitude Z charges wirelessly. And as far as we can tell, it's the first laptop to do so. Surprised that this is coming from Dell? You're not alone.
The wireless charging is handled elegantly enough. An inductive pad that's built into a laptop stand can accomplish a full recharge in "about the same amount of time" as a standard-issue cabled charger, according to Dell. While smartphone maker Palm has a similar (albeit smaller) wireless charging system for the Pre, and companies like Visteon and Wild Charge have debuted wireless charging accessories for phones, no PC maker has incorporated the idea until now.
You've still got to have the inductive pag wired in, and the laptop does have to be on the pad to recharge. So the pad is wired, but the laptop is not.
so if you are hauling your laptop around you need to remember 3 things
if you are sitting around on the couch and your battery is running low but you just want to plug it in and keep going... sit the pad on your lap thats plugged in.
some things are just stupid to do wirelessly and this is one of them. sure its cool for a bunch of mobile devices that you can throw on 1 pad and they all charge but this use of the tech seems silly.
Kudos to Dell (did I really just write that?) for adding this feature to their new model.
Think big: did anyone patent parking lot recharge pads for electric vehicles yet? ;)
If is could suck energy from a wall-mounted coil up to twenty feet away with an efficiency of more than 90%, it might be useful but nothing less capable than that is likely to be adopted for laptops.
If Dell want to introduce something new and useful, how about pushing an industry-standard power supply (that uses an IBM connector because the Dell ones are useless).
One thing that puzzles me is why laptops tend to use 18V or thereabouts for power supplies - you would think 10V to 15V would be more sensible since they could then be plugged directly into a car's electrical system (provided adequate filtering was used).
Toshiba : 15V
IBM : 16V
Dell : 19.5V
There's no reason why these should be different, they just are. All that's needed is a standard voltage and maybe three different ratings (for netbooks, laptops and desktop-replacements, maybe 50W, 75W and 100W) with a connector designed so that a 100W supply can be used on a 50W laptop but not vice-versa.