USB solar panels charge cell phones on the go

Sanyo's new Eneloop Portable Solar USB solar panels can charge your cellphone and other mobile devices. They're fairly compact and easily portable as well.

Sanyo's Eneloop Portable Solar panel can charge mobile devices on the go.
Sanyo's Eneloop Portable Solar panel can charge mobile devices on the go. Sanyo

If you plan on walking through the desert with a cell phone anytime soon, you might want to check in with Sanyo before you leave.

Its new Eneloop Portable Solar panels can charge portable devices through a USB connection. They're also relatively compact and a cinch to tote.

Sanyo's stylish Eneloop line of energy products includes a popular brand of rechargeable batteries and a lamp that doubles as a flashlight. Last time we posted about Sanyo's solar panels, they were chic but clunky. The new book-size, business-slick Portable Solar comes in sets of one or two panels (weighing about 8 or 15 ounces), with a handy hook to hang in a window.

Sanyo's Eneloop Portable Solar panel can charge mobile devices on the go.
Sanyo

Sounds great, especially if you're keen on saving energy and the environment.

But you'll also have to carry the Eneloop Mobile Booster (2.5 ounces) because it contains the lithium ion battery that stores the solar energy. You then connect your cell phone, gaming device, or whatever to the Booster.

You might also have to lug your laptop to charge the Booster if the weather doesn't cooperate. Though it takes 1.5 days to 3 days to fully charge the Booster, an hour's worth of sunshine is enough to power 20 or 40 minutes of talk time on a cell phone, which is fine for an emergency according to Sanyo. It depends on the number of panels you have and, of course, sunshine.

The included mesh bag at the back of the panel can hold the Booster, as well as a cell phone or other device.

The Portable Solar panels go on sale August 10 in Japan with no specified price from Sanyo, though Crunchgear says it will cost $90 for the single-panel unit and $150 for the double-panel one.

 

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