Don’t get us wrong, we think trees are great – but we’ll be damned if we’ve ever found one with a mains socket for our MP3 player.

Trees cleverly get their energy from the blazing battery in the sky, and so can your gadgets thanks to the Solio. It has three solar panels that fan out to soak up sunlight and send the energy to gasping mobile phones, MP3 players, digicams and handheld GPS devices.

Shine on me

The Solio comes with a supply of connectors to fit a range of devices and is very simple to use. You check the charge level by pushing the battery indicator light and if it needs more rays you just point it at the sun.

Placed in direct sunlight it takes between eight and ten hours to fully charge but once it's topped up, its internal battery will store power for a year and has enough capacity to fully recharge two mobiles.

Charged down

It might be so environmentally -friendly that it makes deer blush, but ten hours is a long time if you are desperate for power and that's only if the sun is blazing. Get a grey day in the UK and you’ll struggle to get it fully charged before sundown.

Still, if you’re near a power point, the Solio can also be used as a spare battery. Plug it into the wall, charge it up and the next time your gadget needs a little more juice just let the it suckle on the Solio’s teat. Everyone’s happy.

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