Recently I have been trying to reduce what I carry, and where I cannot eliminate it I am trying to reduce the size and weight of the items. To this end I have been fascinated by the new FINsix DART, power charger. Now there is plenty of material available out there on the web about this device, but the run down of the device is it was first shown at CES this year and its a small, yet powerful 65 Watt laptop charger. This is possible by the use of VHF (Very High Frequency) switching, thereby delivering smaller packets per switch (on/off) and thereby saving energy, and allowing the components to be smaller as they do have to use deal with as much energy at one time, but this means very little to most people.
What this essentially boils down to is a much smaller, sleeker and less bulky charger, supplying the same amount of power to your laptop (or other device).
Looking at this device, the size and weight reduction it offers are most certainly a good thing, and provide what I am looking for, that is not to say however there are not issues with this device.
First and foremost is the devices 65 Watts of power (which as most laptops charge at between 16V and 19V would indicate the amperage throughput is someone in the neighbourhood of 3.25 to 4.0 amps), this is however not enough for either my current laptop, which uses 165 Watts, but I am not too concerned about that as I am replacing it early next year, but it is not powerful enough to power the replacement even, which by comparison to my current power hungry beast uses only 85 Watts. This power gap I am sure will be narrowed with time, and I will undoubtedly be able to get one to power my laptop soon enough.
What is a little harder to deal with is the power plug pins. Yes I know it seems minor, and prehaps it is to others, but the bags I use for work are nice leather bags from Saddleback Leather, Pad and Quill or Kent (depends on how and what I am doing as to which I grab) all of these bags apart from being more expensive than most have leather on the interior, which the pins can scratch up and damage.
Many US adapters, including the one from Apple have a solution to this problem, retractable pins, and whilst this works for the “straight” American style pins, I have yet to see one for Australian style pins, check out the pictures below to see what I mean
To this end, FINsix could at least for the US make the plugs retract, but this may not be possible due to the design.
So what the fix I hear you ask, simple a cap, same as that pen that’s in your bag now, a simple cap over the pins, in the same colour as your device, that you can place over the pins when its not in use. I do have another idea, but I am unable to draw it as such currently, I will give it a shot on paper at some point in the near future and do another post about it