I noted earlier that many portable electronic devices can be recharged through the computer USB ports. For travelers like myself, this is a boon, because it solves two problems:
* Worrying about 220v adapters and voltage converters when travelling outside of North America.
* Lugging along a power supply (aka brick) for every electronic device.
(USB ports provide 5v DC at 0.5W -- sufficient to recharge a typical 3.7V, 1000mW battery in about 2 hours. The device's battery isn't too concerned about the voltage it gets, and acts as the voltage regulator to the rest of the device's electronics.)
For the last year or more, the computer's power supply is the only one I've taken along on trips -- along with the notebook computer, camera, GPS device, PalmPilot, MP3 player...
And now manufacturers have caught on. The latest device I bought, the Mio DigiWalker 310s GPS unit, does not even include a power supply. Mio assumes you will recharge it through the computer -- and pockets the savings for itself. (They do include a car adapter for powering the unit while driving, because the battery last under 2 hours. The adapter is universal: it can be used with any other USB-rechargeable device.)
Somewhat nicer is Samsung's solution: their NV3 digital camera charges from computers, the USB cable has a built-in LED that changes from red to green when the battery is full. In addition, the box included a wall-outlet power supply with a USB connector -- this thing normally costs $30 or $40 in Canada, and can be used to recharge any other USB device. (Note that most digital cameras don't seem to be USB-chargable.)
The Palm TX included a wall charger, and changable plugs for around the world. A nice touch, but since it too does USB charging, I have yet to use the charger.
So now the side of my desk looks like half an octopus: a powered USB hub with four USB cables snaking out to recharge numerous devices.