Best Post for Week of 3/8/2008

March 8, 2008

This week is another where the Best Post nod was written by the inner geek.  TecheBlog.com has feature today titled “Laptop Designs that Think Outside the Box“, and one of the machines featured in the post really caught my attention – the LG E-Book.

The most interesting part of this laptop is not that it has an OLED display, which means it draws less power than more conventional laptop displays, and since it doesn’t require a wrap-around frame the visible display can literally go to the edge of the physical screen.

The most interesting part isn’t that the keyboard is actually a second OLED display (essentially a large touchscreen).

The most interesting part is the glowing blue cylinder shown in the picture – a tube of flammable liquid that doubles as the machine’s carrying handle.  Instead of using a lithium-ion battery that stores electricity it gets from being plugged into an outlet, the E-Book uses a fuel cell that produces electricity through a chemical reaction.  TecheBlog says the primary fuel is “blue methyl alcohol”, while Laptoping.com says it can use “natural gas, methanol, and other eco-friendly liquid fuels“. 

I haven’t found any information on the E-Book that was more recent than late 2006.  The Laptoping.com article was published December 2, and even the one official press release on the E-Book that I could find from LG was dated November 27 of that year.

Still, the concept of a fuel-cell powered laptop really intrigues me.  If the power to run the machine comes from liquid that you have to periodically replace and not from an outlet, that should mean that there isn’t a power adapter required.  In other words that’s one less piece of hardware you have to lug around with you through airports.

Then again, I seriously doubt you’d be able to take the E-Book with you on a flight (at least here in the States).  Try explaining to the nice TSA officers why you need to carry more than three ounces of a flammable liquid with you on board.


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