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Gadget fuel cells starting production now

Fuel cell
Toshiba has been showing off prototype fuel cells for years

Finally, after more than a decade of waiting, it looks like gadget fans are about to get their hands on the Holy Grail that is real, honest-to-goodness fuel-cell power.

The long-awaited route to limitless battery life when away from a mains supply is being swept clear by Toshiba, which says it will begin commercial production next month.

Pricey at first

Methanol fuel cells for recharging the batteries of standard laptops and mobile phones will start rolling of Toshiba's Yokohama production line in May.

Although initial prices will be somewhere between ¥10,000 (£68) and ¥50,000 (£340), the company says it will cut that substantially when output peaks.

Best to come

Better yet, Toshiba says it will be able to start building PCs and phones with fuel cells built in before the end of this year, which means users will simply need to carry a small bottle of methanol for days-long running times.