We've been rooting for fuel cell
laptops ever since we were able to form sentences that long, and while they're still a ways away from store shelves, Toshiba
has a promising working prototype that they've been showing around. After four years of work, it looks like Toshiba's main battle has been getting this methanol-powered unit down in size. Currently they've got its bulk down to that of a largish and heavy laptop dock, but at CES they showed a version that sat completely in the footprint of a laptop, and which should be released sometime after the dock-style unit is released in 2007. The current version can power a Portege for about 10 hours, and has been generally well received by testers of various disciplines. The main complaint so far is a vague fear of methanol -- Toshiba is quick to stress the numerous safety features of their device -- and the clicking a whirring noises made by the fuel cell's pumps and valves. The refills can also be a bit of a pain, so hopefully Toshiba works out these kinks as they continue to shrink and refine their device, but we're looking forward to the future of laptop power as it haltingly emerges out of the lab and onto our laps.