We can hardly believe it but the day has finally arrived: Toshiba just launched the first Dynario fuel-cell for portable consumer electronics. That's right, the long promised
and highly anticipated
direct methanol fuel-cell (DMFC) with dedicated fuel cartridge for on-the-go refueling will go on sale October 29th in Japan for ¥29,800 (about $328) plus another ¥3,150 (about $34) for a set of five, 50ml fuel cartridges. Dynario takes about 20 seconds to fill its 14ml fuel tank with an injection of a concentrated methanol solution at which point it's ready to charge USB-connected devices. Dynario's hybrid structure uses a lithium-ion battery to store enough electricity to charge two typical cellphones, according to Tosh. That works out to be about $1 per recharge, if our calculations are correct, based on the fuel costs alone. We assume the battery can be charged via wall socket power too but this isn't explicitly stated in the press release. The first run consists of only 3,000 units after which Toshiba will gauge consumer reaction before extending the launch outside of Japan. Boy oh boy, a new age in portability has begun.