Sacramento is the only airport we investigated that has wireless charging surfaces (36 of them) for charging devices that travelers place on them. "If that's not enough, there are fee-based Internet kiosks and rapid-charging stations and InMotion and Brookstone stores ready to sell batteries, chargers, noise-cancellation headphones, laptop adapters, and more to eager technophiles," says SMF spokesperson Laurie Slothower.
#6 Oakland International Airport (OAK)
On the plus side, Oakland International Airport offers ample outlets at the gate areas and a healthy number of USB outlets. On the negative side, you'll find a proper work deskonly every five gates, on average. Southwest has helped matters considerably by installing numerous charging stations--a small wooden table with a two-plug electrical outlet and two easy-to-access USB ports between pairs of large, comfortable chairs.
If you're lucky to find one of these between-chair stations, you can sit in relative comfort with your device charging beside you, though working on your laptop while it's parked on the wooden table can be a bit awkward. For travelers who can't find a comfy chair to sit in, Southwest has installed numerous "power stations"--tall walk-up tables usually studded with five outlets each.
#7 New York LaGuardia (LGA)
Like the Big Apple's other big airport, JFK, LaGuardia is an older facility that has become decidedly more tech-friendly in some respects over the past few years. The number of available outlets per gate now exceeds 7.2, and the airport's Wi-Fi service averages a workable 2.5 mbps on average throughout the airport.
Perhaps the most promising tech development at LaGuardia is the work of Delta and its restaurant management partner OTG. They've installed 70 iPad kiosks in Terminal D. As at JFK, travelers can sit at a high table (with outlets) and use the embedded iPad to access restaurant menus, flight updates, weather conditions, and online entertainment while waiting for their flights. The iPads at LaGuardia have been so popular that Delta and OTG plan to install an additional 400 of the devices by early 2012, OTG's Aziz says.
#8 Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
Like many other airports around the country, Salt Lake City International has been adding electrical outlets to its gates over the past few years--and today the gates at SLC provide an average of 5.4 outlets and 3.0 USB ports each. We counted 23 workspaces (19 desks and 4 cubicles) scattered around the airport, most of which included a power outlet. We didn't spot any Internet kiosks or business centers, however.