Wireless charging has become a common feature for smartphones, earbuds, and other gadgets in recent years. But laptops? You usually have to plug them in to charge their batteries.
Lenovo’s new USB-C Wireless Charging Kit could change that. Sort of. The company isn’t building wireless charging capabilities into its laptops, but the $140 kit coming this October will let you place a 13 or 14 inch laptop on top of a charging mat to refuel the battery.
Here’s the idea – the kit consists of two parts. There’s the mat, which you can plug into any 45 or 65-watt charger. And there’s a receiver base, which plugs into a USB-C port on your laptop and rests on the bottom of the computer.
This should let you place your laptop atop the charging pad, allowing the receiver to soak up power and pump it into your laptop.
Lenovo says the system uses a “first-of-its kind Power-by-Contact” charging system rather than the more Qi wireless charging standard.
Lenovo’s charging mat measures about 13″ x 4.1″ x 0.3″ and weighs 0.9 pounds, while the receiver is 12.1″ x 0.8″ x 0.3″ and weighs about 1.5 ounces.
While an adapter stuck to the bottom of your laptop isn’t quiet as elegant as building charging coils into the computer itself, the upside is that you should be able to use the system with existing laptops.
All you need is a 13-14 inch notebook that supports USB-C charging at 65 watts or less. That includes Lenovo and non-Lenovo laptops and it doesn’t matter if your device is running Windows, Linux, or macOS.
This is NOT wireless charging and NOT Qi for your laptop. It is not using induction. What the pad is doing is creating a circuit using a cheap trick. That’s why there are metal prongs at the bottom. It is creating an electric circuit to charge your device. Repeat: It is NOT using air-transmitted electromagnetic induction. See here for yourself if you don’t believe me:
It’s a laptop dock. They invented a laptop dock.
This one adds retrofit ability in exchange for adding bulk to the laptop, with the unique qualities of having no I/O and allowing for freer dock placement.
With Qi there is a huge energy loss … Are you telling me this technology is so much better that using a 45W charger to feed a wireless charger will work with a laptop that accepts 45W with cable as minimum ?
Yes. It sounds like it’s got metal prongs that directly make contact with the metal pads on the charging plate. It’s the same system that cordless kettles use and is nearly 100% efficient. It’s also disappointingly low tech, comparing it to Qi is like saying we’ve invented short range high bandwidth WiFi and we call it an ethernet cable.
They’re claiming 93% efficiency.
How do you cheat by using physical conduction, but only achieve 93% efficiency?
I would have to agree with CampGareth on his analysis. The thing that makes this totally misleading is it using direct metal-to-metal contact to achieve it; it is not air-transmitted electromagnetic induction! It is closing a electric circuit like a standard charging solution. Hence, the metal prongs on the bottom. So the only “wireless” part about it is there is no plug, per se. Whoop-dee-doo. I will gladly take my Surface Connect power adapter over this unwieldy apparatus. It is not at all wireless in the sense that any well-adjusted adult would want or expect. It is no different than charging stations used by high-end domestic robots that create a metal circuit. Wireless, my foot. This is slimy marketing at its finest…
More details here. It even states explicitly that it is NOT inductive charging, but that it is better:
Agreed on preferring other connectors. I’ve got a magnetic USB C connector with all 20 pins so it will happily carry video, data and power at the same time. It cost about a fifth the price of this dock and is more useful.
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