CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


Solar chargers need to go on a diet

The SolarPort isn't huge but we'd like to see smaller ones

It's great that solar rechargers are starting to catch on, but we're not thrilled at the idea of carrying one that's 10 times the size of the phone it's supposed to power. Brunton's "SolarPort 4.4" isn't that big and won't give us a hernia (we hope), but it's still not as portable as we'd like.


The charger, which Red Ferret says is designed for handheld devices and nothing bigger, weighs 19 ounces and measures 9.3 by 6 inches and 1.5 inches thick. That would stow easily in a bag or maybe even a large purse, but it's still too bulky for a pocket unless you're Andre the Giant.

A smaller alternative is the Solio charger that's about as thick as the SolarPort but only 4.7 by 2.5 inches and weighing less than 6 ounces. (It's also cheaper--$79 vs. $110.) Given our spotty gym schedule, that seems a lot more doable.