We've already come across a few gadgets – most notably, some of Sony's newest Walkmen – that can be charged most of the way in just a few minutes, so why not a notebook PC that can do the same?

That's exactly what Toshiba is promising on its stand at this week's CEATEC show in Japan, thanks to a new kind of battery that laps up the juice in a flash.

Ditch the carbon

The Super Charge ion Battery (SCiB) can be charged to 90 per cent of its maximum capacity in just ten minutes and is powerful enough to drive a normal laptop.

The breakthrough (a previous version was announced last year) comes courtesy of a lithium titanate negative electrode that replaces the carbon in normal batteries – why couldn't we have thought of that?

Lifespan improved

On top of the ability to charge and go, the SCiB cell can also handle repeated charging better than existing batteries.

Toshiba says it can survive 6,000 charge-discharge cycles over its lifetime. A lithium-ion battery typically deteriorates after around 1,000 charges.