Dell Releases Latitude Z: Laptop that Charges Wirelessly

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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.

Latitude Z on its charging stand
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
Latitude Z by Dell

Comments

Khaled

That charger look like it’s connected to a wire wink

otherwise that’s a very thing 16” notebook, I am sure it’s a high end T9900 CPU no?


“SU9600 (1.6GHz) & 4.0GB DDR3 Integrated Memory
SU9400 (1.4GHz) & 2.0GB DDR3 Integrated Memory”
Guess not, so it’s a big ultra portable?

Lee Dronick

Nice bevel on those rear corners. Looks like an ethernet port on one, and I don’t know what on the other, maybe power, the photos on their website doesn’t point out what port is what. I do like that cherry color.

“Ability to read .doc, .xls, .ppt and .pdf documents” They had me worried for a moment until saw that feature listed.

jbruni

One thing that no one ever talks about is the efficiency of these sorts of things. In the age when everything should be going green, how much power does this device consume to charge its battery? That is how many Watts of power in compared to Watts out?

If a wired charger takes a fraction of the power to charge the battery shouldn’t we be considering that instead of wireless chargers?

ziploc

I can’t really see the advantage here.  For all practical purposes the plug-in charging stand replaces the plug-in power supply/charger.  So instead of carrying a small charger around that you “shudder” PLUG IN to the laptop, you have to carry, or leave in one spot, this big stand that you DON’T have to PLUG IN the lap top.  So basically we are giving up size/convenience in order to set the laptop down instead of plugging in?

Am I missing something?

-zip

Lee Dronick

So instead of carrying a small charger around that you ?shudder? PLUG IN to the laptop, you have to carry, or leave in one spot, this big stand that you DON?T have to PLUG IN the lap top.? S

Yes interesting that it was not offered with a portable brick. Maybe we are missing seeing that on their website, which I find as incomplete as their products.

ziploc

Additional Info:

The charging stand is above and beyond the normal “brick” charger.  It is not available in the low end model, optional in the mid level model and required in the top level model.  For the mid level model it is a $398 upgrade. 

From their website:

For Latitude Z to charge via the Dell Wireless Inductive Charging Stand, an internal charging module must be installed in the laptop. The module must be installed when the system is purchased and cannot be installed later. Selecting the charging stand below will install the wireless charging module

Lee Dronick

Thanks Ziploc

ctopher

I know of at least 2 laptops where the power jack failed. (2 out of the hundreds of laptops I know smile ) These physical connections have a limited lifetime and will eventually fail after so many cycles of plugging and unplugging.

So there is value in this charging method.

As for efficiency, I believe it can go either way. You can read the wireless power consortium’s take but you know the answer they would want. Still their arguments seem reasonable.

Khaled

so how much are these adapters sell for anyway?

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