.. how long is your ipod/iphone going to last sat out in the sun on a 40C+ day then?
While there are plenty of solar chargers to keep gadgets going in the great outdoors, sun-powered iPod speaker docks are rather thin on the ground. Step forward Californian company Etón Corporation, which specialises in portable and often eco-friendly products such as wind-up and solar radios. Etón Soulra Waiting for the sun …
"it would take some time to recoup the extra cost by using free energy alone". That's the understatement of the year.
Let's say the panel generates 5W (it'll be closer to 1W in reality), and you do this for 12 hours a day, every day. And you make use of all the electricity stored.
That means you generate 0.06kWh per day, which at 12p per kWh is 0.72p per day.
Now let's say you're only paying a £50 premium over a comparable dock without solar cells. Under these most optimistic assumptions, you'll take 19 years to recoup the investment, assuming it's still working then. And that ignores the interest you'd have gained on your £50 over that time.
I'd have been interested in the actual efficiency of the solar panels. My own experiences with them on electronic devices is that they are not actually that effective, and are just as much a gimmick as anything.
Four example, over five days of Glastonbury sunshine this year I just about managed to charge my Solio's internal battery almost full - which equates to around 75% of a smartphone. But that was blazing hot all day, every day.
I would love solar charges to be more efficient, but until then they have to be supplemented with wind power. If only rain could provide electricity...
I've had two of their devices, most notably a wind-up AM/FM/shortware radio that also functioned as a mobile charger. It died (or at least the wind-up charger did) after my gf made a simple mistake connecting the phone charger connection to the wrong input. Something anyone could have done, and something that shouldn't have killed it.
Beyond that, it was cheaply made, with a battery cover that NEVER could be made to stay closed, and had terrible sound quality to boot. I rate it as one of the worst purchases I have ever made.
Review Peripherals purveyor Logitech's Signature M650 is its latest take on a workplace mouse, and The Register has a raked a talon over one.
The Signature range comes in three colours – graphite, rose, and off-white. We were given the white left-handed version (the buttons are on the right-hand side – the image below is of the right-handed version).
First impressions were good. The mouse can be connected to a computer via Bluetooth or USB dongle, which lurks in the battery compartment. It looks smart, and the moulded design fits an average hand well. Our unit weighed in at just over 100g so not particularly hefty.
Review Mechanical keyboard manufacturers have typically swerved Mac users. It's not personal, it's just business.
The Mac has a fraction of the traditional PC market share, and a significant proportion of mechanical keyboards are intended for competitive gamers, rather than those who type for work (be they developers or writers, or in the case of your correspondent, both).
The Vissles V84 is therefore a bit of an oddity. This compact keyboard (84 keys) ships with a Mac layout by default, although it comes bundled with standard Windows keycaps, as well as the ability to switch into a standard PC layout by pressing down a key combination.
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