Environmental gadgets are normally the domain of those nice guys at Hippy Shopper, but Friday has brought a warm glow to our hearts, and a review of the Solio power charger to boot.
There’s not much to explain about this little guy. It takes its power from the sun, and then juices up your iPod, or your phone, or your smartphone, or your handheld gaming device.
Designed in the UK, it obviously knows its heritage. When the sun isn’t out, you can use the AC charger (included) to power it up. It then holds the power for up to 6 months, so it’s there for you in an emergency.
It takes 4 hours to charge from the wall socket, but 8 hours of pretty constant sun to charge outdoors, which is a rare event down my way. Fully charged, it’ll fully power a phone, and they reckon one hour of sun power will provide one hour of iPod play. I’d say it’s slightly more conservative than that. in fact, this isn’t a spur of the moment charge – you need to be sure you’ve got sun, or have already stored the power from the wall.
It comes with the AC cable and an iPod cable. There are numerous other ‘tips’ available for pretty much every model of everything you can imagine. These are available either individually, or, if you’re the kind of person to have several different phones, you can buy a Phone Pack. For a full list of the connectors available, check here.
It’s £40, so you’ll have to be a dedicated environmentalist, or live in sunny climes, to fork out for it. On the other hand, if you breakdown and your battery’s dead, and you’ve stored power on the Solio in an unforeseen fit of planning, the value could be priceless.