Bob on Development

January 22, 2007

A Laptop Battery Breakthrough?

Filed under: Hardware — Bob Grommes @ 8:00 am

News comes today of a purported huge breakthrough in battery technology that promises to at least double battery life — my guess is likely more if the form factor stays the same. Although it seems to be developed foremost with automotive and other heavy duty applications in mind it also is said to scale well in both directions.

Various announcements like this are made from time to time and I usually have a “wait and see” attitude but this company seems different. It has attracted some mainstream investors, has been very low-key / low-hype, and availability of commercial product appears imminent, that is, probably within this year. Furthermore, industry skepticism and concerns over the technology’s limitations are much more applicable to the hostile environment under the hood of a car than to the relatively genteel environment of a laptop computer, where operating temperatures are relatively stable and there are not usually huge issues with vibrational stresses. Accidents with laptops can destroy current batteries, too.

If laptops can have a solid 2 to 3-fold boost in battery life then the ball game changes. Many developers do a large chunk — even all — of their work on laptops these days. The ability to work all day, even a couple of days without recharging while having what is likely to be a lighter and faster-charging battery — what’s not to like?

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