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Finsix aims a shrink ray at laptop power adapters

Bulky laptop power adapters could soon be out of a job with the impending crowdfunding launch of the pint-size Finsix adapter.

Finsix adapter
Who's a pretty, pretty princess?
Amanda Kooser/CNET

LAS VEGAS -- My laptop comes with an additional burden: its honking power adapter. An unwieldy brick that follows my MacBook around like a ball and chain. Finsix is rising up in rebellion against chunky adapters by showing off what they're calling "the world's smallest laptop adapter." Guess what? It is pretty small.

I'm looking at one of the prototypes, the product of five years of research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and two additional years of preparing it for commercial release, here at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. The Finsix adapter is a dainty princess compared to my regular adapter. It provides the same charging capabilities and reaches the same touch-temperature, but it's just so much more compact.

The Finsix adapter is scheduled to go into crowdfunding mode on either Kickstarter or Indiegogo this March. Expect it to go for about $90 with different tips to work with different laptops. Finsix is currently working with Apple to create MacBook-compatible versions.

There is some scientific magic working behind the scenes to make the Finsix so small. I'll let the company take it away: "By combining fundamental circuit concepts including resonance and wave shaping with new power conversion architectures, we can cycle up to 1,000 times faster than today's systems without wasting any more energy."

What everybody is really going to care about is the size of this thing. Every little bit helps when you're hauling your tech gear all over kingdom come.

Finsix adapter comparison
Here's the Finsix posing with a quarter and a MacBook adapter. Amanda Kooser/CNET