What do you get when you cross a laptop docking station and a power supply unit? A precursor of what future notebook chargers may look like...

Sparkle TC-9321L
(Image credit: Sparkle)

A new device - essentially a docking station with a built-in power supply - may give some indication as to what the chargers for the best laptops of the future may be. 

The Sparkle TC-9321L docking station is fitted with two USB-C ports (one 3.2 and one 2.0), two USB-A 3.2 Gen2 port, HDMI and Ethernet ports, alongside SD card and microSD card slots. But the most remarkable aspect of this device is its built-in power supply that can provide up to 60W of power to devices from its USB-C port. 

The device is compatible with Windows and MacOS devices, alongside Chromebooks, Android smartphones, and tablets, as well as iPhones and iPads equipped with USB-C 3.2 Gen2 ports, according to PC Watch. As such, it can be used with macOS 11.3 or later, Windows 10 or later, Chrome OS, Android, iPadOS, and iOS 17.0.2 or later. 

The laptop power supply of the future

Its dimensions of 78 x 152 x 36mm also means it’s fairly compact, with its 324g weight also making it ideal for hybrid workers and those who want to work on the move – and even means they don’t need to take their power units with them.

The Sparkle is an impressively sized and functional docking station as it is, but the addition of up to 60W of power supply as a feature means it could make conventional notebook chargers with weighty power bricks a thing of the past. 

It could also even come to replace the best portable laptop battery chargers and power banks.

People who need to work on the go, particularly using some of the best business laptops, tend to look for machines that are thin and lightweight, but this often means compromising in terms of functionality.

By incorporating a host of ports into what is effectively the charger, those looking for the smallest and thinnest laptops need not compromise on functionality any longer.

Such a device could also make the laptops of the future even thinner and lighter – not only by removing all superfluous ports but also by incorporating additional components, such as the GPU, or even additional storage for use in backups, for example.

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Keumars Afifi-Sabet
Features Editor, ITPro

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is the Features Editor for ITPro, CloudPro and ChannelPro. He oversees the commissioning and publication of in-depth and long-form features, including case studies and op-eds, across a breadth of topics in the B2B technology space. He also contributes to a vareity of other publications including The Week Digital and TechRadar Pro. Keumars joined ITPro as a staff writer in 2018, and has expertise in a variety of areas including  AI, cyber security, cloud computing and digital transformation, as well as public policy and legislation.