Solar can look good even without a tan

The Sanyo charger can power your products via USB

Sanyo solar charger

Maybe we're just superficial (OK, probably), but we've often suspected that appearances are a key reason that solar products haven't taken off with the masses. Too often they look like something you'd find listed under " contractor's special " than, say, at Bang & Olufsen . So leave it up to the marketing-obsessed electronics business to come up with some effective packaging. Case in point: Sanyo's new Eneloop device, whose solar-powered batteries can recharge products through a USB connection while looking decent enough to display in the open. Now the marketing department just needs to work on its product names. (Eneloop?)

(Photo: Akihabara News)

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    Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.

     

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