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  1. #1

    Where are the wireless laptops?

    I kinda want it to go mainstream so wireless charging points in cafes and libraries become standard. It’s going to take a big hitter like Apple to make that happen – and even then, they’ll need to include it across their entire range for it to take off. Niche products just aren’t going to create enough waves.

  2. #2
    Couple reasons it hasn’t been pushed forward yet. One is the problem of metal, if you have a metal body then it won’t charge wirelessly period. Yes you can mix in plastic or glass panels, but then there’s a level of smoothness lost in the design. Another is transmission loss. At a phone level, 5 watts is easy enough to deliver over induction (up to 10 watts with Qi), but a laptop typically needs 40-100 watts (never mind gaming laptops needing much more than 100 even). 40 could be feasible, but with a large contact area. So as a result, you have to have these big pads to wirelessly recharge (100 watts would probably be infeasible for induction). That would limit its appeal for mobility, you won’t really carry around a pad to charge if it’s larger than the laptop. And then, exactly like with Qi, we won’t see it just provided free of charge in public places either, at least not until there are a lot of people demanding it, and people won’t demand it until they can use it, chicken and egg and all that. In addition, the cost for the pad will be high, figure around $100-200, public places won’t feel like paying that much just for the slightest bit of convenience for their customers to not have to plug in (in addition to few customers having the technology in the first place).
    And not to mention, many people plug stuff into their laptops anyway. With Thunderbolt 3 you might just plug one cable and be done with it anyway. But if you have wireless recharging and you still plug in Thunderbolt 3 (or USB) then what’s the point? You could’ve went with a dock that charges your laptop anyway. And the companion to this tech was supposed to be WiGig, which seems to have died, but WiGig would have allowed wireless docking.

  3. #3
    I think over the air charging will come about before this does. The cost and effort to fit a restaurant with wireless charging enabled tables (strong enough to power phone and laptops) is just too big. Not to mention you can’t move those tables around or stack them at the end of the day.
    The next step for coffee shops is free over air power, just like free wifi. And it will only take one box in the establishment to do this.

  4. #4
    There are a bunch of Starbucks locations with in-table wireless chargers for phones. As well as wireless charging stations in airports
    I don’t think wireless charging is practical for laptops though, unless the efficiency somehow increases drastically, I don’t see it ever being mainstream.
    Over-air charging though, that’s what I’m hoping for next.

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