Dell announced Tuesday a new laptop Tuesday, the Latitude Z, a laptop that Dell claims is the world's thinnest 16" laptop (0.55" thick), and the first to offer wireless, inductive charging.
The press release offers a litany of boring features aimed at business users, but it's the wireless inductive charging option that caught our attention. The default charging option is via a standard external power supply, and indeed, that's the only option that is available today.
"In a couple of weeks," Dell said that a wireless inductive charging option would also be available. This would allow the Latitude Z to charge by simply placing the device on an inductive charging plate. That means no wires and no connectors, though it also means you can't pick it up and move it if you need it to actually charge.
The Latitude Z on its charging station
This is similar to the way an electric toothbrush might charge, or perhaps a wireless, rechargeable mouse (like the excellent Logitech MX Revolution - US$84.95 - Amazon) that this reporter is using to write this article). Many companies have been working on wireless charging solutions for electronic devices, and Dell's claim to be the first to bring it to market in a laptop appears to be accurate.
There are also companies working on true wireless power transmission, as well. At CES 2008, we saw demonstrated both inductive solutions like Dell's that were in development, as well as one wireless power broadcasting solution that would charge a device when it merely in the proximity of the base station. No such ready-for-market solutions have been introduced, however.
Other features of the Latitude Z include a 1600 x 900 pixel 16" display, a weight of 4.5 lbs., and the above-mentioned thickness of just 0.55". The Latitude Z starts at $1,999; the wireless charging option starts at $2,397 - with an "instant savings" of $238, it effectively starts at $2,159.
Latitude Z by Dell