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Add ‘Outlet Outrage’ to Your Lexicon

We've all felt it, but now there's a name for it: outlet outrage. It happens when you are forced to lug your laptop between airport departure gates in the hope of recharging your computer.

A travel study commissioned by Intel Corp. found that consumers' attachment to their mobile devices can be mood-altering. Losing a device is more stressful than losing a wedding ring, the study found. Being able to use your device anywhere is soothing.

Here are some of the statistics:

Almost half (44 percent) of U.S. travelers admitted feeling anxious traveling without their mobile computing device (Ultrabook, tablet or laptop), and 87 percent of young adults (18-29 years old) feel happier when traveling with their devices. Survey respondents also ranked losing these mobile computing devices when traveling as more stressful than losing their wedding ring (77 percent vs. 55 percent).

Despite the annoyances of traveling with devices (heavy products, tangled power cords, extra battery packs, and going through security), 63 percent of young travelers who participated in the study admitted to going out of their way to secure power for their device. This includes sitting on the floor (37 percent), searching public bathrooms for outlets (15 percent), or choosing a restaurant or coffee house based on outlet availability (33 percent).

Clearly, investing in a lightweight, power-sipping device (read: Ultrabook) would alleviate many of these worries. Several other (more challenging) stressors that were noted in the study included device envy, tech peeping, and theft.

9 comments on “Add ‘Outlet Outrage’ to Your Lexicon

  1. Eldredge
    June 20, 2012

    You don't have to travel to have outlet outrage. Try to find an available power source if you want to relax in the family room and watch TV while weeding out your e-mail. Between all the gadgets attached to the TV, and competition from other family members seeking their own power source, you can have all the same inconveniences at home!

  2. mfbertozzi
    June 21, 2012

    Well, if we consider for a few minutes how was/is tech's evolution and where we are with regard to power recharge – speaking for myself – we will find that good steps made in tech are not so good power supply; we still need adapters, we still need sockets for plug…I've have experienced power recharge by near contact for my mobile handset and laptop's battery, it worked very good, but nobody tells about and the picture is again as per Barbara's article…who knows real reasons?

  3. elctrnx_lyf
    June 21, 2012

    The revolutionary low power devices will be definitely welcomed by all kind of user group. But are we sure the ultrabooks really consume lesser power than the smaller sized laptops. 

  4. mfbertozzi
    June 21, 2012

    @elctrnx_lyf: honestly, it is not a easy answer, I think improvement in components is good, but in parallel people need also a step forward in friendly recharging as per their “nomadic” attitude for business or laisure raison.

  5. William K.
    June 21, 2012

    At home anybody who is competent to be an engineer should not find it difficult to add an additional outlet, although adding anothger whole circuit is a bit more effort.

    At an airport, why should anybody expect to charge up for free? It will just be a short time before there are outlets available for a small fee for a half hour's use. In the interim, GET OVER IT!!! people have lived for centuies without having to depend constantly on their electronic toys. Consider that you might even be able to have an interesting conversation with the person seated next to you.

  6. Eldredge
    June 21, 2012

    True. I've done both in the past (added amn outlet and a new circuit), but never just for the purpose of supporting my charger!

  7. Himanshugupta
    June 22, 2012

    Losing a device is more stressful than losing a wedding ring

    especially because we are both emotionally and mentally invested in the device. Probably if study could correlate the “happy married life” to “stress with losing a wedding ring” then they could find a high correlation factor.

  8. Barbara Jorgensen
    June 22, 2012

    I have to admit I was a little surprised when I realized traveling without my laptop would make me a little crazy. As someone who grew up with a TV with 3 channels you had to change manually and and single landline phone (a party line, no less!) you'd think I'd be over myself (as one reader astutely puts it.) And I definitely have the outlet issue in my home, especially in the home office.  I really like these kinds of human-interest surveys, excpet when you recognize yourself in the results 🙁

  9. Mr. Roques
    June 26, 2012

    Well, what about “laptop” rentals in conferences? At least for me, this would make some sense. I have all my files in the cloud, and most of the time you simply check email and edit a few documents (while in a conference or event). This would allow you to travel without your most sacred device and have an easier trip.

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