One of the things that prevents thin and light laptops from getting too thin is that they usually need to be large enough for at least a few ports. But that’s not an issue for the Craob X, because this laptop doesn’t have any physical ports at all.

The result is a laptop that’s 7mm (less than 0.3 inches) thick and which weighs just 1.9 pounds and relies on a magnetic wireless accessory for things like charging and connecting wired peripherals including displays, keyboards, mice, or storage devices. The only catch? I can’t actually tell if the Craob X is a real thing you’ll be able to buy one day or just a concept.

Craob isn’t exactly a household name, and the Craob X appears to be the company’s first product. The Craob website is filled with sleek-looking pictures, but they all look like renders rather than real-world photos. And there’s no word on the pricing or availability for this port-free laptop yet.

Theoretically the technology required for a port-free laptop exists. Heck, Apple released a MacBook with just a single USB-C port and a headphone jack nearly seven years ago, and since then it’s become increasingly common to see notebooks with just a few ports. Sooner or later it seems inevitable that some PC maker will try to remove the last few ports. It’s just a little unclear whether Craob will actually be the first to bring a port-free notebook to market.

But here’s what the company is promising:

  • 13.3 inch 4K display with slim bezels and a hole-punch camera cut-out
  • Up to Intel Core i7-1280P 28-watt Alder Lake processor with Iris Xe graphics
  • Up to 32GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • Up to 2TB PCIe 4.0 x4 storage
  • WiFi 6E

The wireless charger can attach to the lid of the notebook magnetically, letting you top up the battery without plugging a cable into a port. And the same accessory that provides wireless charging also includes USB Type-C, USB Type-A and headphone ports plus a microSD card reader, allowing you to use this port-free laptop with… things that need ports.

Pictures of the “portshub” charger also show an interesting design that allows you to lift the top, wrap the charging cable around the center, making the charger/hub into a compact accessory that you can easily throw in a bag before you leave the house.

You can find more images at the Croab website.

via VideoCardz, HotHardware, and MyLaptopGuide

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17 replies on “Craob X is a port-free laptop with a wireless charger”

  1. Instead of writing, “the result is a laptop that’s 7mm (less than 0.3 inches) thick and which weighs just 1.9 pounds,” which is a really confusing mix of measurement systems, why not just say it’s 7mm thick, and weighs just 800g? Everyone understands metric, but not everyone understands the bizarrely medieval measurement systems that some Americans still insist on using.

  2. Cooling sucks on laptops, it sucks worse when you shove all that in a thinner package, and a mag port on the screen, yeah I know this isn’t the days of CRT but really it can’t that good for it, considering lots of places require wired connections for security, external drives, etc, this may fill a niche slot somewhere between over priced crapples and chromesucks, but it’s not the next big thing.

  3. I think they really missed the boat on this. I think this trend of less IO ports is reversing.

    The new 14″ and 16″ Macbook Pros are getting some of their IO ports back, and theyre using a design with thicker boxy edges. Also many new laptop designs are starting to abandon the old false-thin edges that the Macbook Air popularized years ago.

    There has been a few other laptops released recently with a more utilitarian look, and thicker edges. I don’t think people want “form over function” anymore. I think the next period of electronic design is going to be function over form.

  4. I can see hipsters who care a lot about being pretentious being all over this. This might sell well.

    1. I know some hipsters who would totally get this. They bend over backwards to flaunt that hipster minimalist persona.

  5. Meh, Fujitsu’s current light and thin notebook is under 1kg with the larger spec battery and has more ports than most full sized devices: full size SD card, 2 USB A, ethernet, locking port, 2 USB C, HDMI, headphone jack. It’s 16.9 mm so I guess it’s a chonker compared to this imaginary product but, uh, yeah I’d rather be able to plug stuff into my computer than have a glorified tablet in laptop form (even tablets usually have a port.)

  6. I still have yet to see any outlet that has reported on this explain how that hub/charger actually transfers data to the laptop. It’s not listed anywhere, and the specs don’t make any sense. Consider that the site claims the hub has Thunderbolt 4. AFAIK, there isn’t a wireless standard that can transmit data at TB4 speeds or handle the communication between the necessary controllers.
    I think this is a concept. I wouldn’t call it a scam since they aren’t asking for money or pre-orders, but there’s no way this thing is real or will ever see the light of day.

  7. It amazes me how in recent years, designers look at existing things like smartphones and laptops and figure out ways to deliberately make them worse.

  8. How can i possibly install or repair operating system on something like this?

    1. (Omni-Man voice): That’s the neat part, you can’t!

      This is by design. The end goal for most hardware manufacturers is to sell you something that is impossible for you to upgrade or repair. That way when you need or want more storage, more power, more capability, and so on, you have no choice but to dispose of your expensive device and buy the newer, more expensive replacement.

      The MacBook referenced in the article is a good example of Apple doing this. They limited it to one port so you can either charge the device or add USB storage, but not both (at least not without an expensive, unwieldy add-on dock). This concept device is the next iteration of user-hostile consumer devices, designed to prevent us from truly owning our purchases and keeping us tied into a particular ecosystem.

      1. You are absolutely correct.

        If manufacturers had it the way they REALLY wanted it, you’d pay a deposit and monthly rental fee for every device they offer. When you’re ready to upgrade, you can return it to the retailer for part of the deposit, or sacrifice your deposit and throw it away. Either way, the hardware would completely cease to function as soon as you stop paying your subscription.

        Microsoft and Adobe have successfully taken software down that road. It’s only a matter of time before someone figures out how to do it with hardware.

        1. Even car manufacturers are getting in on the game, with Toyota recently disabling the ability to remote start their vehicles from the late 2010s if the owner doesn’t sign up for their new subscription service. Taking away a feature that was previously included as part of the original sale (and theoretically could have been the reason someone chose that vehicle) so they can start charging a fee to get it back, is the epitome of “user hostile”. Even though they eventually backpedaled, that one decision by Toyota ensured I will never buy one of their vehicles.

          1. Seeing as I bought a tacoma recently I feel personally attacked and therefore ought to say something.
            If I boycotted every company over every blatant act of greed and evil they did, I wouldn’t be able to fit in with society because I couldn’t buy anything. If I’m going to be completely honest, I probably deserve the resultant effects of that, as would everyone if they all boycotted everything.

            When it comes to remote start, the problem is the car company itself actually needs to pay cell carriers for connectivity and data centers for servers so that remote start can work. Those aren’t part of the car, not that most customers know that, although they would if they read the manual. In my opinion this is stupidly designed and overcomplicated and there are better ways of doing it, but a subscription to a service paying for a subscription to a service isn’t that overtly unethical, not compared to paying a subscription for heated seats, which Toyota also talked about and BMW is actually trying to do, and Telsa is even worse.

            Basically every car company is doing this over something or other, because anyone with the power to stop them, isn’t. In fact pretty much every electronic device out there these days ships doing something it really, really shouldn’t.
            The question is, is the device built or programmed in such a way that you can stop it? In the case of my car it was (I didn’t even want remote start, to me that’s a disservice). In the case of the Croab, it’s not.

          2. @Some Guy:

            Well the great thing about boycotting one particular car company is that there are plenty of others to choose from. It would be even worse if Toyota was a monopoly or duopoly.

            You’re exactly right that remote start should never have been tied to an Internet connection, much less a subscription service. Other companies like Subaru (which has strong ties to Toyota!) do it right: Their remote start is a dealer-added option that is available as a one-time fee addon if you don’t get it with the car. It’s not tied to any connection, and works with the existing key fob on the most recent models, with an additional key fob needed for older models. You can even buy the hardware direct from Subaru or an authorized reseller and install it yourself, saving the labor cost, though it still requires a small one-time fee for a dealer to program the addon.

            This is how it should be: You buy it, it’s yours. The only subscription a car should have is for satellite radio, anything else is a huge “screw you” to the buyer.

  9. “Too thin” indeed, I wouldn’t want this even if I could be persuaded it could be made. I don’t believe that lid can actually open and close. It looks like they used two spring steel inserts preformed at various angles, which would also be just enough electrical contacts to turn the backlight on in that prop.
    Just look up “world’s thinnest laptop” and you’ll see they had to do things not at all like this with the hinges, and they’d probably be hard pressed to support the weight of that box on their lids while holding that angle.

    1. My Lenovo Yoga Book has a pretty neat hinge mechanism for holding its position, and it tips when I put the stylus on a loop at the top of the screen.

      Of course I have the 5mm thick device in a 2mm case (which also restricts full folding), because too thin ™ cuts hard when something tips out of a bag onto a table. Even with a gently lived life, its screen has a crack wandering across a corner.

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