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Dell adds wireless battery charging to new laptop

Dell also is bundling the Arm chip in laptops for quick boot capabilities

Dell introduced the Latitude Z business laptop, which includes a new wireless charging technology that could eventually find its way into other Dell systems, the company said on Tuesday.

The Latitude Z can be placed on a special stand that generates an electromagnetic field to recharge laptop batteries wirelessly. The technology, which Dell calls inductive charging, takes the same amount of time to recharge laptop batteries as an AC adapter, said Steve Belt, vice president of business client engineering at Dell.

“There’s a coil in the bottom of the notebook and then there’s a matching coil in the stand. You set them next to each other and it generates a current that flows and charges the battery,” Belt said.

This is the first time Dell has included wireless recharging in its laptops. The recharging stand must be purchased separately, however, as an optional extra. The technology could help reduce the dependency on power adapters traditionally used to recharge laptops.

Dell is also adding new hardware that will allow the laptop to boot quickly while giving it “always-on” capabilities similar to those in a smartphone. The laptop includes an Arm processor — a type of chip more often found in smartphones — to boot a laptop quickly for fast access to commonly used Web applications like e-mail and a Web browser. The processor is included alongside an Intel processor, which is used to run the Windows OS.

The laptop is a vehicle to demonstrate some of the latest mobility features Dell could ultimately put in more of its business laptops, Belt said. Inclusion of some of those features in further laptops will depend on how the market responds to the technologies, Belt said.