Wireless Charging Mat Powers Laptop

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powermat-on-displayWe've seen wireless charging solutions before-- that is, pads onto which you can drop your drained gadgets, sans adapters-- but Powermat's system takes the cake, thanks to its green power distribution, smart design, and, best of all, support for laptops.

Although it uses magnetic induction, just like the others, Powermat still made this budding technology prettier and more environmentally friendly. These products will be available later this fall, but in the meantime check out our photos, first impressions, and video of a laptop charging with a mat, an industry first.

Versatile Design

The Powermat system doesn't include just one product, but rather, a series of designs that cater to different lifestyles and, well, gadget choices. For one, there's a classic mat onto which users can lay, perhaps, three phone side by side. Then there's a three-way travel version, that users can fold up like a map while on the go. Finally (my personal favorite), there's a modular map, whose tiles users can unsnap and arrange any way they like. So, if you're in a hotel whose desk has more length than width, you can stack the ties on top of-- not next-- to each other. One mat comes with an alarm clock (for, among other things, decoration); another comes with a single speaker.

img_2902Like other charging systems, phones must be in a special case while charging (the company's Web site lists supported brands, but not models). Cameras and GPS plug into a cord, at the end of which is a disc that sits on the charging mat (this disc comes with different tips). The company's small iPod docks that sit on top of the mat, receiving the charge. Mats will cost $100; cases, discs, and docks, $30.

Green Energy

Thanks to an RFID reader built into the mat, Powermat's products can tell to what extent gadgets are charged, and can stop charging them once they're full. It's no wonder, then, that Powermat has already won Energy Star's highest rating. Indeed, this is one of the biggest reasons we think Powermat is worth it.

You can make the argument that to plunk your stuff down on the mat-- along with cases, docks, and wired discs-- doesn't exactly achieve the dream of wireless charging. But you'll save outlets by just plugging the mat into one, and whatever you do charge will absorb just the power it needs. That's marginally good news for your electric bill (green gadgets save, on average, about ten dollars each a year, if that), and even better news for the environment.

Support for Laptops

laptop-chargingThe holy grail of wireless charging is being able to set a laptop down on a mat and watch the battery percentage rise. Alas, Powermat doesn't achieve this, but it does still support laptops, something other wireless charing solutions don't do. Here's how it works: there's a special disc, called PC+, which plugs into the notebook's USB port. Set the disc down on the mat, which, of course, is plugged into the wall, and the notebook will start charging.

In this case, in particular, it helps to remember the green benefits. If it weren't for that, toting around a mat, A/C adapter, and corded disc wouldn't be more convenient than toting just the notebook charger (unless,of course, you have lots of gear, in which case you might save yourself from packing many A/C adapters). When it comes to other gadgets, though, especially phones, the convenience of placing it on a mat-- and tucking those adapters out of sight-- is undeniable, even if you do have to dress your phone in a special case.


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  • Patricia Says:

    Have you start selling this LAPTOP power mat yet? Where can I purchase one. My port for my power cord is broken. I do not want to purchase a brand new laptop. This would be perfect for me.

  • Valerie Says:

    Well Todd, If your port to your power cord is broken on laptop as mentioned above, you can't plug in laptop! DUH!!!!

  • Todd Says:

    It says you can power a laptop. BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO PLUG THE MAT IN. WHY NOT JUST PLUG THE LAPTOP IN? Duuuuuhhhh!!!!!! Waste of $$$$$$$$$$$.

  • David Says:

    I just bought it and it is NOT WORTH IT. Even though I only paid $22 Canadian on EBay, I was disappointed when I received it. I just wanted to charge my new Iphone knockoff (a Sciphone 3GS I9++ from China), but I can't.
    First, you have to plug the mat into the wall. Then you have to plug some stupid white cube into your phone or laptop and then lay the cube onto the mat. If however, you do not have a device that fits the adapter tip of the cube then you have to buy it from Powermat, IF they even make it.

    No wonder they are now dumping them cheaply on EBay. Nobody wants or needs something as stupid and useless as this. It is NOT wireless charging. Wireless charging should simply be that you plug in your mat and place your phone or other device on the mat and voila, it charges.

    Do NOT buy this item. A simply wall charger or USB charger should suffice.

  • Peter Says:

    Forgive me for being cynical but what is the point of having a laptop connected to a cable which connects to a paperweight that sits on a mat which is connected the powerpoint via another cable?? Cant anyone else see there is something wrong with this picture?

  • monica Says:

    im in the same position as Matt and Lori. My laptop charging port has been broken for a year and no one is willing to fix it without replacing the motherboard (although i do know its been done before!)....... i need a wireless way of charging my laptop. I would love to know when this will be out to purchase and what price range we are looking at. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks

  • matt wilson Says:

    can anyone tell me when this is avalable. my charging port is broken and i need a simple fix. this product sounds like what i need. if any one can help me i would be greatly appreciated.

  • Lori McGhehey Says:

    I was wondering if this would work for my sony vio laptop. Where the power cord plugs in got broken off and it is non fixable as it is part of the mother board and cannot be reattached.

  • Bill Everson Says:

    I hope this thing can charge my RC car. My idiot brother took the charger apart a year ago, and never got around to putting it back together. Now peices are missing, and i think the cat got hold of it as well. i don't want to shell out the $20 t get a new one, and this would work great.

  • Amy M Says:

    No more lugging chargers for my cell phone, iPod, blackberry, and laptop everywhere I go - sign me up.

  • JohnL Says:

    I can't wait to see this thing in action. The travel version will be perfect for me!

  • cpk1 Says:

    what a cool concept! i can't wait until this becomes available!

  • TKOP Says:

    This would be sweet to end the trouble of trying to find outlet space. Nice work.

  • ACValentine Says:

    I hope they will have a pre-order list.

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