We've been promised portable fuel cells
for ages, now. Ages! Finally one is only months away from release -- but its performance seems so limited we're not sure we care anymore. It's the Aquafairy AF-M3000 and, despite its name, it's powered not by water but by
metal hydride fuel packs. Here's where the bad news comes in: a single fuel pack only provides enough current to get an iPhone
up to a 50 percent charge, and it'll take 90 minutes at that. So, you'll need two cartridges and three hours of your time just to bring a dead mobile back to life, and given each pack costs around $6 (it's 2,625 yen, about $32 for a pack of five), the entire proposition is rather expensive
. That doesn't even factor in the cost of the unit itself: 26,250 yen or about $320. It's set to ship in Japan in April, so get ready to finally enter the future. Nobody said it'd necessarily be a great place to be.
: We heard from Aquafairy, who confirmed that the solution is not ethanol, but is actual a solution of water and metal hydride. Also, the price is just for what are termed "test sales" and there are discounts if you buy a bunch. Maybe the future looks better if you buy in bulk.