iTech SolarCharger 906 review: iTech SolarCharger 906

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The iTech SolarCharger 906 is lightweight and can be mounted to your car's windshield. It comes with plenty of adapter tips to accommodate all kinds of portable devices.

The Bad The iTech SolarCharger 906 needs at least 40 percent of power already in it for it to solar charge. It also needs optimum direct sunlight.

The Bottom Line Despite its limitations, the iTech SolarCharger 906 does work as a quick, easy, and eco-friendly solution to charge up your portable devices.

7.0 Overall

Keeping your cell phone or portable entertainment device charged all the time can be a hassle, especially if you have to constantly look for a wall socket to plug in a charger. And if you're out in the middle of nowhere, then you can forget about that. Solar chargers can be a way to get around that constraint, provided you live in an area with plenty of sunlight. One such device is the iTech SolarCharger 906. It's easy to use, but you do need to plug it into a wall socket every once in a while for it to be useful. The iTech SolarCharger 906 retails for around $60.

The SolarCharger 906 is a simple rectangular slab. Measuring 4.13 inches long by 2.52 inches wide by 0.59 inch thick and weighing around 3.53 ounces, the device is quite a bit smaller and lighter than other solar chargers we've tried, like the Solio Universal solar charger kit . Of course, the entire front surface of the device is a big photovoltaic cell that is designed to convert rays from the sun into battery power.

Behind the charger are LED indicators for the battery status and the charging status. There are four LEDs for the battery status; when all four light up, the SolarCharger 906 is fully charged. The charging status LED flashes red when the device is solar charging, and is solid red when it's charging via USB. There's also a button on the back of the device that, when pressed, will show you the current battery status.

On the bottom is a charger jack if you want to charge up the SolarCharger 906, plus a Mini-USB cable for powering other devices. The solar charger comes with 10 adapter tips: a DC-jack adapter, an 8-pin adapter, an LG adapter, a Micro-USB adapter, a Nokia 2mm jack adapter, a Nintendo DS Lite adapter, a Samsung adapter, a Sony Ericsson adapter, a Sony PSP adapter, and a female USB adapter. To charge up an iPhone or an iPod, you need to hook up your Apple dock connector to the female USB adapter.

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