Before I get into it, I want to first thank everyone who chimed in over e-mail and in the forums, sharing their shovelware horror stories after last week's crank-fest. I wish I had time to respond to everyone, but someone, somewhere pointed out a program that everyone needs to know about: PC Decrapifier. Install this on your brand-new machine and it'll strip out just about all the unwanted junk. You're welcome. Okay, onto this week's rant!
Enter Wireless Charging
[A public Mea Culpa to Jared. I didn't think I was making a personal attack, merely providing a counterpoint. I cut out a couple bits that might've been misconstrued, but the thought is still there: I was in the room and used it and don't fully agree with master Newman's assertions.]
So last week, as I was racing around writing up a bajillion and one laptops, news dropped about the Dell Latitude Z600. One of our stalwart bloggers, Jared Newman, took it upon himself to chime in on the whole wireless charging thing: "Dell Laptop Fails to Excite With Wireless Charger."
As one of the guys who actually saw the thing up close, Dell's wireless charger impressed me. It wasn't any more monstrously oversized than some laptop stands I've seen, and it looks slick. I know that Jared qualified his statement later on, but I want to be clear about something: I don't think that Dell's target market for this $2000-plus product is either Young Master Newman pontificating in his Bloggo-bunker (tm) or me in my nerdy man-cave.
I'd dare say that that even among corporate raiders, the Z600 has a limited audience--like Michael Dell and maybe a couple of his buddies. That isn't stopping me from appreciating the potential in this bit of kit. I mean, I look at car magazines all the time--but that doesn't mean I'll be buying a Bentley anytime soon.
Back to the Future
But back to to the topic of wirelessness. This tech that'd make Tesla proud has been kicking around for years. It's only now finding its way into the Pre's Touchstone charger, the Duracell charging mats, and this new notebook. Complaining about wireless charging now is like whining about the 1983 Motorola DynaTAC because it didn't fit in your pocket.
As I hop into my plutonium-fueled DeLorean and peek at the future, I'm looking forward to ubiquitous wireless charging. Jared, you want to buy multiple power bricks and stow them at various locations? You go right ahead, buddy! Me, I'm sick of having to lug around an extra pouch of wires and plugs just to know my gear won't konk out on my next business trip.
I know Dell's clunky docking station isn't practical in its current incarnation--but I'm optimistic that it points the way for the future. Who says that you'll need to charge the Z600 with a landing pad two years from now? Maybe there will be a portable version. Or maybe wireless charging stations will be eventually be just as common as hotspots--in hotels, airports and coffee shops.
But as for right now, you know what wouldn't suck? Having real-world appraisals of how long a laptop will actually last between charges. But that's a whole other rant for a whole other blog.
Taking the opposite stand against Jared is making me feel like a shill for Dell. Or maybe that I'm being too warm and fuzzy about the future. So I'm going to turn it over to you folks. Who do you side with: Jared? Me? Or do you think both of us are blogging idiots? Hit the comment box below or send e-mail to PC World with "ATTN: Darren (Wireless charging? I just want a laptop that lasts more than 5 hours!)" in the subject line.
Need even more nerdity? Follow PC World Senior Writer Darren Gladstone on Twitter (gizmogladstone) for more ramblings on all things tech (and games).