A Bright Idea for School and Office Laptop Storage
Storing and charging laptop fleets gets messy for schools and businesses. But laptop storage cabinets solve headaches.
Cable management with traditional AC power laptop trolleys is a process. Employees — technicians, teachers, office administrators, or others — often need start by turning their trolleys around to access the rear door. Once they get the door unlocked, they need to thread a power plug into the trolley interior’s power strip. The next job is to home the transformer into the trolley’s adapter holder unit. Then it is time to connect the AC cable’s AC adapter into the transformer’s AC port. Trolley users also need to plug the DC adapter into the laptop. To do that, they need to have the laptop loaded into the trolley shelves.
If it sounds like some doing, that’s the process for one laptop.
The more laptops there are, the bigger the job, and the messier the cable gridlock.
To set up a single trolley properly, an IT technician might need to allocate one working day.
There’s another issue too.
Laptop end users might need to bring their laptops and power cables between school/office and home.
In these scenarios, schools and workplaces have two options: disconnect and reconnect to accommodate; or pay for an additional power brick.
The former option is time consuming and inconvenient. The latter: costly.
The good news, however, is that advancing USB-C standards are enabling more cost-friendly and efficient charging solutions.
The implications for schools’ and businesses’ efficiency and productivity are important.
Charging Laptops With USB-C Power Delivery
In 2021, the USB Promoter Group announced the release of the USB Power Delivery (USB PD) Revision 3.1 specification.
In a signal of where USB charging is heading, the new update enables the delivery of up to 240W power over the USB-C cable and connector.
As the USB Implementers Forum [USB-IF] states, USB has evolved from a data interface with limited power supply capabilities to a data interface and a primary power supply.
The Forum highlights that laptops are amongst the many devices today to take their charge and power from USB ports.
As USB increases its power delivery capabilities, this will become truer.
Already today, many consumer electronics manufacturers are designing USB-C chargers that can deliver an impressive 100W power to laptops.
ALOGIC’s USB-C Laptop Charging Cabinets
At ALOGIC, we are regularly expanding our USB charger range for households and offices who need to power their laptops.
Recently, as part of our Smartbox range expansion, we introduced the Smartbox Power Wall 15-Tilt Bay Charging Wall Cabinet and the Smartbox Power Cube Plus - USB-C 8-Bay Charge & Sync Cabinet.
In both, power strips with standard AC outlets are out, and intelligent USB-C power units are in.
All Smartbox operators need to keep their laptops stored, synched, and charged, are USB-C cables.
Cable clutter on the interior is bare minimum, and laptop users can plug in their computers with minimal mediation.
Because USB-C cables are ubiquitous and universal, schools and businesses have the flexibility to use idle USB-C cables they might have on site, too.
Some will also have access to USB-C cables that come out of the box with supplied laptops.
We can supply Smartbox customers with customised cables to fit their cabinets.
This helps make IT maintenance simpler. Technicians or cabinet operators can quickly troubleshoot why cables aren’t charging by viewing LED indicators at the front.
The Wish List for Laptop Charging Cabinets
For IT support staff and technology leaders, the wish list for laptop charge, synch, and storage solutions is long.
Schools want solutions that are safe, and units that are easy to mount or transport.
Given the value of laptops, they also want secure solutions.
All businesses benefit from laptop storage cabinets that are physically durable, and future-proof for tomorrow’s USB-C devices.
IT decision-makers enlisted to coordinate best-practice laptop storage need reckon with questions such as:
- How can I organise device storage so end-users have easy access to their tablets and laptops?
- How will I manage cables to support students and employees’ access to laptops and tablets?
- How space-friendly is my laptop storage solution for classrooms and offices?
- How well equipped is my storage solution to accommodate a wide range of BYOD or CYOD devices?
Smartbox Solutions for Laptop Storage
The Smartbox Power Cube Plus is an eight-bay USB-C [PD 3.0] charge [45W power delivery for each device] and synch storage cabinet.
It powers a full range of USB-C devices, including tablets, Chromebooks, and other USB-C laptop devices sized up to 14”.
Its LED lights give users an easy view of the charge and synch status of each connected device.
ALOGIC designed the stackable and wall-mountable cabinets to be robust, and gentle to handle in education settings, including early learning and primary school.
The Power Cube Plus cabinets are also designed to be scalable. Schools and businesses can deploy additional cabinets as needed.
The Smartbox Power Wall is a wall-mountable USB-C cabinet that stores, charges [45W power delivery per device], and synchs 15 USB-C devices. This includes tablets and virtually all USB-C laptops sized up to 13”.
The Power Wall is well suited to secondary school learning settings.
Its tilted shelves minimise the cabinet’s depth and, therefore, protrusion off the wall.
In active or busy settings, this is a big help for safety, space conservation, and general ambience.
ALOGIC has also specifically designed its shelves to safeguard laptops when users load them.
Considering the Best Laptop Charging Solution for Your Workplace
To help decide if a charging cabinet is right for your workplace, carefully consider the following:
- How valuable are your school or organisation’s laptops and tablets?
- How secure are they currently?
- What impact would a laptop charging cabinet have on your education or business outcomes?
- What budget does your business or school have for a laptop charging cabinet?
- Do you have the IT support necessary to introduce laptop charging cabinets?
- Do you have space for cabinets?
- Do you envision yielding long-term economic benefits from introducing an efficient laptop storage solution?
Safety and Security for Laptop Users
The Smartbox Power Cube Plus and Smartbox Power Wall are warranty-backed, and safety and security compliant for cabinet and laptop users in educational and business settings.
They feature active ventilation to control the temperature of charging devices.
In adherence with USB Power Delivery 3.0 standards, the cabinets feature over voltage, over current, over temperature and surge protection for all connected devices.
They are engineered to safely deliver each connected USB-C device 45W power delivery.
If you’re responsible for the security of your organisation’s devices, you can safely lock them with ALOGIC’s steel locking mechanisms.