Stanzi Prell

By Jennifer L. Kronstain In 1993, a group of journalists boarded a plane in New York, bound for the West Coast. The journalists were handed laptop computers powered by lithium ion batteries and once they were in the air, they switched them on. The flight was predictable--between five and six hours in the air, smooth. What was not so predictable at the time was the batteries' performance. The computers ran easily from New York to San Francisco, with power to spare upon the plane's arrival--something many business travelers today take for granted. Before 1993, joked Maxell Product Manager Steve Holl, it's likely the battery would have died

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