12 Gadgets That Let You Ditch Power Cords, Wires and Hassles

Our tech lives are entangled in wires. Nearly every electronic gadget and gizmo we buy comes with its own charger, and don't forget the additional cables for transferring data, listening to audio, and so on. Wouldn't it be nice to cut the cords and go completely wireless?

Unfortunately, a cord-free tech life is still a fantasy, although things are improving. Charging mats for handheld devices such as cell phones, MP3 players, and game consoles are just now hitting the market. Dell has a similar, albeit larger and less elegant, product for one of its new Latitude laptops. The spec is cutting cables to HDTVs--well, except for the power cord. Wireless music systems are becoming more affordable, and that means fewer speaker wires to trip over. Computer peripherals are getting in on the action too; some multifunction printers and external hard drives and ditching their data-transfer cables.

If there's a downside to the wireless craze--at least from an energy standpoint--it's the AC-to-DC tradeoff. Power adapters and their cords are cumbersome, unsightly, and they tether you to a wall outlet. By comparison, battery-powered devices like wireless keyboards, mice, speakers, and Bluetooth stereo headphones are far more convenient, but require an endless cycle of recharging and replacement.

Ultimately, cordless gadget nirvana may require a long-distance such as the one dreamed up by famed inventor and engineer . But until that day arrives, keep stocking up on those AAs.

Here are several new and updated products that will help you cut the cords in your life.

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