CES 2018: Longer-lasting gadgets showcased

From BBC - January 10, 2018

Spare a thought for the attendees of the CES tech show who decided to briefly leave their phones in charging towers.

The devices got locked inside when a power cut plunged the exhibition hall into darkness.

Having to constantly keep personal devices charged is a nuisance we are all, by now, familiar with - even device-makers are frustrated.

During Huawei's press conference, the firm's chief executive acknowledged that battery life was among the top complaints customers make about smartphones.

He went on to explain that this is why Huawei's new Mate 10 Pro included a bigger battery than many rivals - at 4,000 milliamp-hour (mAh) capacity.

Seeing the world's largest consumer electronics trade show briefly hobbled by a blackout perhaps makes gadgets with especially long battery life seem all the more appealing.

If so, a new flurry of devices at CES this year are offering to outlast their power-hungry brethren.

Take Lenovo's Miix 630 tablet, a two-in-one that comes with a keyboard.

It is meant to last up to 20 hours on a single charge thanks to is power-efficient Qualcomm processor, a chip initially designed for mobile devices.

That claim from Lenovo has not yet been tested, but it's a tantalising promise of a more battery-confident future.

Qualcomm has been working on improving efficiency in the various components that it provides to the makers of consumer gadgets.

At the company's press conference this week, one executive said that the firm's new Bluetooth system-on-chip slashed power usage by 65%.

As a result, wireless headphones could last nearly three times as long on a single charge, he suggested.

More from CES:

Another firm making similar advancements, this time for chips used in so-called internet-of-things devices, is Sigma Designs.

It announced that its latest series of processors, the Z-Wave 700 line, could allow things like wi-fi connected sensors embedded in furniture and walls to last 10 years on one coin cell battery.

Powering through CES

If there's anywhere that tests the lifespan of a battery-powered device, it's CES itself.

There's often a race to plug in at the few available charging points and visitors to the tech show often find themselves texting last minute rendez-vous details to colleagues as their phones die.

BBC Click's Lara Lewington says keeping her phone charged up has been "a nightmare".


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