LG Chem, part of the LG Group, is looking to be first to the market with a notebook fuel cell. Their fuel cell technology has been developed and now they're gearing up to produce and market it, with the possibility of availability before the year ends.
LG Chem's direct methanol fuel cell kit comprises of a base unit, likely to cost around $500 and a fuel cartridge, likely to be priced at roughly $1, according to LG Chem. This design means, however, that the fuel cell technology is external to the notebook, rather than an integral part of it. While the kit weighs less than 1Kg and can power a 25W laptop for around 10 hours, it does mean that users will have another item to lug about with their laptop.
Taiwanese tech news site Digi Times reports that LG Chem's design is all in-house and they will start marketing it without first partnering up with notebook vendors.
Fuel cell technology is being developed for a variety of portable uses, from the laptop right down to MP3 players. Concept designs and working samples have been shown by various companies, but actual commercial adoption of the cells isn't likely to take off until next year. It remains to be seen whether LG Chem's external solution will, regardless of whether it is first to market or not, will be popular, or whether alternative, possibly internal solutions, prove more favourable.
Digi Times has more on LG Tech and their new fuel cell.