Smartphones and tablets may have a lock on this whole mobile revolution, but don't count the ol' clamshell laptop out. At this week's Computex tradeshow in Taiwan, Intel showed off two futuristic technologies that will usher in a new era of laptop design.
There are many smartphones that can be wirelessly charged. So why not a laptop? The simple answer is that laptops and other large electronics require a lot more power, and consequently, would take a much longer time to charge wirelessly than with a cable. Intel, however, is ready for change.
The company says its mid-2015 chipset platform "Skylake" will lead to laptops that take advantage of new advanced wireless charging technology. Intel demoed Rezence, a magnetic resonance charging system that can be installed under a table and allow for wireless charging through surfaces such as two-inch thick wood.
Rezence also has the advantage of being able to charge several devices at once. Just imagine coming home from work and setting your laptop, smartphone, tablet and smartwatch on your desk and all of them start charging automatically. That's what Intel's vision is.
But why stop at wireless charging? Intel also revealed WiGig, a way to wirelessly "dock" a mobile device to peripherals such as a screen or storage when its within range. Intel claims WiGig will be able to deliver transfer speeds of up to 7Gbps, which should be more than sufficient for general screen-sharing or data transfers.
In addition to plans to get wireless charging and docking to become a common feature, Intel's next chipset platform "Broadwell" will pave the way towards laptops without fans. What does that mean? Basically that even lighter, thinner and more energy-efficient (better battery life) laptops are coming.
The laptop isn't dead. Far from it. Despite mobile's crazy rise, Intel's still heavily invested in PCs. We still need PCs to do work (and play serious games). Laptops are about to get their second lease on life. Good times are coming.