I realize that the issue I’ll be discussing in this post doesn’t affect every consumer or laptop owner out there, but I’m really starting to think that it’s time for PC manufacturers to agree on one standard power plug. If you’ve ever owned a few laptops from different manufacturers, I’m sure you didn’t appreciate the clutter that goes with having different chargers for each of them.
Hey, you can make the same case for mobile gadgets, but it’s definitely not as bad as it once was with those, since so many of them can now be powered using standard mini or micro-USB ports. Digital cameras and phones? Well, that’s still a work in progress, I guess.
I bring this up after Acer and Asus, both manufacturers based in Taiwan, have signed up for a universal power adapter for PC laptops. No word on what the other PC manufacturers have to say, but it shouldn’t matter at this point. The untold story of waste that goes with all those power adapters should be enough to really get some steam behind this project.
Naturally, they would have to agree on everything from the design of the plug, all the way through to power delivery inside the transformer, given the different voltages around the world. Take away the power adapter, and it’s possible that 10 percent of a laptop’s retail cost is chipped off just like that. With certain models it might even be higher.
A consensus of this magnitude would involve the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the non-profit body that helps engineer projects like this. Of course, it’s unlikely Apple would jump onboard, given their patented MagSafe plug, but for the long list of PC manufacturers, it’s high time that they help reduce e-waste and help consumers save a few bucks when buying a laptop.
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