Novothink's iPhone Solar Surge charging case finally shipping

The first Apple-certified solar charging case for the iPhone and iPod Touch is now available for purchase.

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Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
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David Carnoy
The iPhone version of the Solar Surge retails for $79.95. Only black or white are available now. Novothink

Back in November of last year we wrote about an upcoming Apple-certified iPhone and iPod Touch solar charger from a company called Novothink. Well, four months later, the Solar Surge charging case, which Novothink is marketing toward "outdoor enthusiasts," is now available for purchase.

As anybody who's tried to charge an electronic device using a solar charger knows, it doesn't juice up the device nearly as quickly as your typical power adapter would and the Surge is no exception. The charging case can provide up to 30 minutes of talk time on a 3G network or 60 minutes on 2G from 2 hours of direct sunlight. Novothink also includes a USB cable to charge Surge on cloudy or rainy days, though you'll obviously need to be near a power source--or a charged-up laptop--to recharge the unit.

In the company's marketing materials, it shows the Surge in an array of colors, but for now anyway, it's only released black and white models that you slip your iPhone or iPod Touch into. The iPhone version retails for $79.95 while the Touch version goes for $69.95.

Check out Mark Licea's Green Show video for a closer look at the Novothink Surge: