Embedding Wireless Charging into Your Laptop

Wireless charger in chromebook

Looking for a project to do [Jason Clark] thought it might be fun to integrate a spare wireless Qi charger into his HP Chromebook 14.

He started by cracking open the Qi charger — it’s held together by adhesive and four phillips screws hiding under the feet pads — all in all, not that difficult to do. Once the plastic is off, the circuit and coil are actually quite small making it an ideal choice for hacking into various things. We’ve seen them stuffed into Nook’s, a heart, salvaged for a phone hack…

Anyway, the next step was opening up the Chromebook. The Qi charger requires 5V at 2A to work, which luckily, is the USB 3.0 spec — of which he has two ports in the Chromebook. He identified the 5V supply on the board and soldered in the wires directly —  Let there be power!

While the coil and board are fairly small, there’s not that much space underneath the Chromebook’s skin, so [Jason] lengthened the coil wires and located it separately, just below the keyboard. He closed everything up, crossed his fingers and turned the power on. Success!

It’d be cool to do something similar with an RFID reader — then you could have your laptop locked unless you have your RFID ring with you!


  1. rexxar says:

    That seems like a really inconvenient place for a charging pad, to be honest. You couldn’t use while you’re typing, you’d knock it off with your wrist.

  2. Jedi says:

    This is genius! You would never have to plug the chromebook in! Right up there with my invention, the Usb-powered laptop charger: never be tethered to an outlet again!

  3. John says:

    I thought USB 3 was only rated for 900mA of current draw, with a maximum rating of 1.5A?

    Besides, embedding a device that uses the full power capability of external ports would mean that he would have to remember not to use the USB 3 ports whilst the phone is charging.

    Perhaps it would have been wiser to create a dedicated power supply…

  4. bremenpl says:

    In general I am a fan of qi but i dont agree tgat this is a good idea to embed one in a laptop. They generally suffer from heat and with this inside they will do more. Phone and the transceiver itself can get really hot while charging.

    Btw, there are laptops with rfid (ie. Dell latitude).

  5. cyborgworkshop says:

    Hey guys, laptop owner here.
    I tried putting the Qi coil in the back of the LCD first, but it discolored the screen as it got hot. I find that I use the chromebook 80% of the time for netflix or just other media consumption, so setting it on the deck really isn’t inconvenient for my usage. As for power, USB 3 allows up to 5 amps but requires a device not to pull more then 1.5 with data. Beyond 1.5, unless its a charge port, is supposed to disable data transfer. 3.1 ups that to 2 amps. Either way the chromebook has plenty of current to work with.

  6. I just use a short 7″ USB to mini USB cable. I can transfer files, charge my phone and tether to the phones 4G service. Why waste the battery with wireless charging?

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