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Turn downtime into 'uptime' — even at 35,000 feet


Iam cruising along at 35,000 feet from Auckland to Tahiti, and then to Los Angeles.

The battery in my laptop is good for about two hours, but my wife and I can keep on working, listening to music and watching DVDs for as long as we like, because we have an airline power adapter plugged into the power outlet at my seat.

Airline power adapter outlets have become common in business class, and are starting to become available in economy class. The outlet is standardized across the airline industry, so my airline power adapter will work on any aircraft with a power outlet. The adapter kits (mine is a Targus) come with a selection of tips so that most laptops in common use - including Apples - can be used. The power adapters are simple to use; just plug them in and they will automatically match the voltage and polarity requirements of the laptop to which they are connected.

Lufthansa has introduced high-speed wireless Internet connectivity on intercontinental flights. As this capability spreads to other airlines and airline passengers gain the ability to cruise the Net and tend to their e-mail, the use of airline power adapters will grow.

Edit photos The ability to edit digital photos and videos shot on a holiday or business trip will also increase the importance of airline power adapters, which can give a passenger unlimited run-time, turning the downtime of a flight into fun or productive "uptime."

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