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Image courtesy BBC News
Toshiba works its magic on fuel cells

The mobile applications for fuel cell technology are slowly starting to come into focus for Toshiba. The company, which began fuel cell development four years ago, has demonstrated a working prototype "dock style" fuel cell which can power a Portege notebook for up to 10 hours.

Toshiba has developed a program which displays to users how much fuel is remaining in the tank. The company has also taken many precautions to ease the concerns over the methane being in such close proximity to the notebook. In addition, Toshiba has made the actual fuel cell unit durable enough to withstand abuse without leaking. "We've dropped it on its front, its back, its edges, and we've found it to be extremely strong," said Tomoaki Arimura of Toshiba's Methanol Fuel Cell Group. But while most of the reaction to the system has been positive, there have been a few downsides found in trial testing. From BBC News:

The trials also highlighted the model's rough edges. The first becomes apparent as soon as it is switched on. There are small but constant whirring noises and the persistent sounds of tiny clicks made by the pump and valves. Some people may find such noises irritating. Feedback from the trials showed that some thought the shape and size of the refills inconvenient.

Toshiba is also working on a "flat-bed" fuel cell which sits under the notebook. The company showed a pre-commercial prototype at CES. Advances have to be made in miniaturization of the fuel pump, valves and other components to make this style of fuel cell viable. The company wants to eventually shrink the components down to the point where they could actually fit within the body of the notebook.

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Why not ethanol...
By BladeVenom on 6/1/2006 8:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
I want an ethanol powered laptop, so it can use the same fuel I do.

Bah! WUSSIES!!! Methanol SMETHANOL...
By rushfan2006 on 6/2/2006 10:45:54 AM , Rating: 2
What you all don't know is right now my company is working on the first "FUSION REACTOR CELL" to power your laptop (and consequently your entire neighborhood with the optional power grid link-up accessory)....10 hours of life? HA HA HA! With the Fusion Reactor Cell you can power your laptop for 10,000 YEARS in non-stop full power mode....

And don't forget every Fusion Reactor Cell comes with our exclusive and patented "Armaggeddon Anti-Theft" device....if the laptop is removed from its security cable without the proper finger print / number code combination a verbal timer will count down from "20" informing the would be criminal that they (along with everyone in a 5 mile radius) has scant seconds left of their meager lives before every particle in their body hyper accelerates to the core temperature of the sun in under 1/1000th of a second. :)

By bldckstark on 6/2/2006 12:32:18 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, get real. They would heat up faster than that.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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