Universal Notebook Charger Standard Challenges Manufacturers To Deliver More Common Designs

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News Posted: Wed, Dec 18 2013 9:50 AM
In the world of technology, it's fairly tough to get the myriad companies that make our gadgets tick work together. They've all got plenty going on within their own camp, and they all feel that their take on a given technology or approach is the ideal one. Every so often, you'll find that companies are willing to work together, as has been the case with adopting the USB standard across pretty much every laptop and phone with few exceptions. We've seen plenty of areas where standardization could benefit consumers, and laptop charging is definitely one of them.

To date, there has been no concerted effort to truly create a uniform standard for laptop chargers, but that's changing. The International Electrotechnical Commission [IEC] Technical Specification 62700 is the one to pay attention to, as it would push a wide array of laptop makers to agree on a universal standard for charging.

IEC general secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk had this to say: "The IEC International Standards for the universal charger for mobile phones has been widely adopted by the mobile phone industry and is already starting to help reduce e-waste.  A single power supply covering a wide range of notebook computers is the next step in lowering e-waste and its impact on our planet. I am proud that the IEC has yet again managed to make the best possible technical solution available."

The benefits would be numerous: supply chains would be easier to manage, and e-waste would likely go down. The new standard seeks to cover the charging plug, connector, and even the environmental considerations. It's hoping to have the charger ready for distribution next year, but as we've seen in the past, getting a meaningful amount of large companies to agree on implementing it will be easier said than done.
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About time

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Problem is standards prevent innovation. While it might be nice to not have to buy new charger, or carry two different ones around. I'd rather be temporarily inconvenienced and give the company the ability to try and come up with a better charger/ports.

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Jun replied on Wed, Dec 18 2013 11:44 AM

This should work out. I don't like it when there is a lot of proprietary stuff. I love the fact that I can use my friend's mini USB when they come over and vice-versa.

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acarzt replied on Wed, Dec 18 2013 11:57 AM

"Problem is standards prevent innovation."

How do you figure?

I'd say USB 3.0 is faily innovative...

I don't see PCI-Express slowing us down.

DDR memory has been working out pretty good...

The ATX form factor seems to be working as well...

802.11 standards have been doing wonders for wireless. Without these standards you have to buy new adapters for all of your devices every time you changed your wireless router.

Proprietary is overrated 90% of the time.

If no one has come up with some super awesome innovative laptop charger by now... what makes you think someone is going to revolutionize the laptop charge now? Everyone has been using the same technology for years now they just keep putting different tips on the ends and using different voltage and amperage.

A standard AC adapter for laptops means they will be cheaper and easier to get replacements for.

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because we all stopped and excepted USB2.0 - wait now have USB3.0.

an unfortunate fallacy you believe in.

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Hello, I think if you can manufacture a universal charger would be best, but it requires a notebook manufacturer labeled consistent, otherwise unreasonable voltage, current, etc., will damage the computer.

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