Because most smartphones use the same microUSB cables for charging, it’s easy to borrow a wire from a friend, dig one out of a drawer or buy a replacement at the corner store. However, if you lose your laptop’s AC adapter, you’ll have a much harder time finding a replacement, because each brand has its own proprietary connector.
Enter USB Power Delivery, a new standard that will allow such high-wattage gadgets as laptops and large tablets to get both power and data over a single USB connection. At CES 2013, we saw a demo laptop getting power in and sending HD video out over USB. In 2014, we expect to see the first shipping products.