Solar charging – it's a bit of a gimmick, isn't it? Stop right there. Historically, it may have been the preserve of school calculators and those little fold-out chargers you pick up in travel shops. But now it's about to get serious – and stylish – with the Solartab.
It's a solar-powered tablet, am I right? Nope. It may look like an iPad, with its aluminium frame, but Solartab is a solar charger. Measuring 9.7in x 7.6in, it has a much bigger surface area than other solar chargers – enough to charge multiple devices from its two USB ports, using a 5WP solar panel. It also comes with its own version of a Smart Cover – made from polyurethane, so you can set it on wet surfaces – that lets you angle the solar panel towards the sun.
But what about when the sun goes behind a cloud? Or at night? Solartab is way ahead of you – it packs a massive 13000mAh battery, enough to charge your tablets and smartphones several times over. It can either charge up during the day, or you can plug it into the mains using a microUSB port to top it up.
Do I really want to lug a big solar panel around with me? Well, as well as being only a little bigger than an iPad Air, the Solartab is also lighter at 400g. So if you're happy carting an iPad Air around with you, it should be no problem at all.
I'm sold. How do I get my hands on one?You'll need to head over to Kickstarter, where it's just launched. US$90 (£54) will net you a Super Early Bird Special, which is set to retail at US$150 (£90). Pledge US$140 (£84) now, and you can pick up a special Kickstarter Edition, with a laser-engraved cover, custom engraving and numbering. The Solartab's set to ship in July 2014 – just in time for the summer sun.
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