LAS VEGAS--Off all the things Eton showed off today at CES 2013, I am most impressed with the BoostSolar charger. It seems to be something that comes in handy when I go on a picnic or do anything under the sun, literally.
The BoostSolar is basically a solar charger on one side and a battery bay on the other side. It comes with one removable 4,000mAh lithium battery. The device's 5-inch solar panel can charge the battery in 10 hours. The battery itself then has enough juice to charge an iPhone twice from empty to full.
The cool thing about the BoostSolar is that it also works with a standard Micro-USB charger in case you just want to quickly pack some more power prior to trip. You can have multiple batteries with it if you plan on being out and about for a long time.
On one side, the BoostSolar comes with one standard A-female USB port and one micro B-female port. The former is used when you want to charge a mobile device and the latter is when you want to charge the device's battery from a regular power source. When used without a battery, the BoostSolar can charge a mobile device directly under sunlight.
The BoostSolar is very thin and weighs less than a pound. It's made of rugged plastic and is water-resistant, meeting the IPX-4 splash-proof standard. It's available now and costs $100 with one battery included.