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


uses to power up electronic gadgets. The mat plugs into an AC wall outlet and charges devices fitted with a receiver case. To charge a device, you place it on the mat. Powermat works with popular handhelds such as ,, , and game consoles. For large devices like laptops that don't fit in cases, Powermat provides a universal charger with 8 tips. (You connect the tip to your device, and place the charger on the mat.) Powermat sells for about $100. The receivers go for $30 to $40.

Powermat isn't the only wireless charger on the market. provides similar functionality, and device-specific chargers for the and are available too.

Powermat is best suited for handheld gizmos. For charging a laptop sans wires, Dell offers a more specialized solution. Its new includes an optional docking station that uses inductive charging to power up the battery. It's debatable whether the admittedly clunky stand offers much of an advantage over a tethered charger, but the $2100 Latitude Z600 (priced with the wireless option) is a good start. Note to Dell: Shrink that charger!