Solar media players aren't quite there yet

But Thanko's latest effort deserves praise for trying.

Newlaunches

The way things are going, it's possible that portable solar chargers could be bypassed altogether if manufacturers can build the technology directly into their media players and other handheld devices. Not many are doing that yet, but we have seen a few.

A few months back a company called eMotion unveiled a solar media player , though it seemed to sacrifice other specs to make room for the green technology. Now Tokyo-based Thanko has released its own version with similar shortcomings, an MP4 player with 4GB of built-in storage and a 2-inch display, according to CrunchGear. The solar panels, which can be separated from the unit, also have their limitations: An hour of charging powers only 15 minutes of video play and 35 minutes of music.

Still, these companies deserve at least some praise for making an effort. Because the value of that solar integration will become abundantly clear when the world has successfully eluded oppression of the Sanrio empire .

About the author

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

     

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