What if laptops (or any other device) didn't need specialized AC adapters? Well the USB Promoters Group just revealed a near-complete spec revision that would allow USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports to deliver up to 100W of power.
The spec would be fully compatible with existing cables and connectors, though it's unclear if existing hardware would be able to take advantage of the new spec in any meaningful way. As Electronista points out, the standard USB port is capable of delivering 5W of power. Specialized chargers, such as the iPad charger, can give as much of 10W. A more finalized version of the spec will be presented later this fall, and it should be ready for implementation in early 2012. [USB via Electronista]