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Dell joins alliance to bring wireless charging to laptops

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Dell Venue 8 Pro logo
Dell Venue 8 Pro logo

Wireless charging for laptops is now in the works at one of the top competing standards. The Alliance for Wireless Power has just added Dell as one of its members, and it's announcing today a new wireless charging initiative to begin powering larger products, including laptops and some appliances. While wireless charging on laptops has never been out of the question, it appears that Dell is interested in actually making it happen down the road.

"We are excited to work with other industry leaders in the A4WP to deliver on the promise of easy, flexible wireless charging across an array of mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops," Glen Robson, Dell's chief technology officer, says in a statement.

A new way for Ultrabooks to break from their power cables

The A4WP's new initiative will allow for charging of devices between 20 to 50 watts — a range that average consumer laptops should fall between. The alliance points out that this should include Ultrabooks, and that's likely no coincidence: Intel joined the A4WP last year, and letting consumers leave their chargers at home has been an ongoing goal for it. That's largely taken place through increasingly battery-efficient processors, but the proliferation of wirelessly charging laptops and public wireless chargers could offer an additional avenue to accomplish that.

"Extending [A4WP's] Rezence specification to include higher-power, more capable devices like Ultrabooks and 2-in-1’s is a necessary evolution that will help to accelerate charging station installations," Sanjay Vora, a general manager at Intel’s PC Client Group, says in a statement.

The A4WP appears to see serving larger electronics as one of the keys to its standard succeeding. While we're far from deciding on a winner, the alliance already has one big factor that should help its success: just last week, it and the Power Matters Alliance — one of its two major rivals — entered a preliminary agreement to begin merging their standards. Even without the PMA's help, A4WP now has over 80 member companies on board. And with the addition of what it's calling its "first major PC manufacturer" today, it'll have plenty of help in its quest to move all types of gadgets over to wireless charging.