Ride out storms with Eton ZoneGuard radio, solar boomboxes

Get weather alerts during serious storms, or crank tunes under the sun while charging mobile devices.

Tim Hornyak
Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
2 min read
From left to right, Eton's Rukus XL, Rugged Rukus, and ZoneGuard. Tim Hornyak/CNET

LAS VEGAS--If you're stocking up on gear to prepare for the next major hurricane, Eton has unveiled some handy gear for when the power fails.

The ZoneGuard is an emergency clock radio that combines an AM/FM radio and NOAA weather alerts.

It also has SAME (specific area message encoding) technology to broadcast automatic weather alerts, as well as LEDs that flash three colors depending on the severity of the warning.

Developed in partnership with the American Red Cross, ZoneGuard also has optional wireless speakers that you can put in different rooms when you're away from the unit.

It can run off an AC adapter or AAA batteries, and debuts in the first quarter of 2013 starting at $39.99.

Eton also took the wraps off solar-powered batteries and speakers for use out in the sun or when the power's out.

With a price tag of $99.99, BoostSolar has a single solar panel to charge your battery packs or mobile devices via USB. Its lithium battery fully charges in 10 hours under the sun, though it also has a Micro-USB DC input, which can juice it in seven hours.

The Rukus XL and Rugged Rukus, meanwhile, are solar-chargeable speaker systems with Bluetooth one-touch pairing.

The 7-pound XL, at $199.99, recalls Eton's Soulra solar boomboxes. It's a large unit that charges in five hours in the sun, giving about eight hours of playback. It has eight speakers with 22 watts of stereo sound.

The lightweight Rugged Rukus, priced at $99.99, has a splashproof rubberized exterior, a 20-square-inch solar panel and a USB port for charging your mobile devices.

They're slated for release in the first or second quarters of 2013, and are worth considering next time a monster storm is bearing down on you.