Whilst by no means the first solar panel based gadget charger, the new Freeloader 8.0 from UK company Solar Technology is certainly a particularly compact device that, thanks to its impact resistant aluminium body, which serves to protect the pull-out solar panels when not in use, is designed to take more than its fair share of knocks and scrapes.
Featuring 120mA premium quality crystalline solar cells that pull out from the top and bottom of the unit when required, Solar Technology’s Freeloader 8.0 comes complete with an integrated Li-ion battery allowing the unit to charge its own battery prior to passing on the juice you iPod or other compatible gadgets (see below for a compatibility list) courtesy of a master cable with twelve adapters. And, should the sun not put in an appearance, the device is also capable of charging directly from your computer via a USB connection
Great as a back-up power device that can be relied upon when your gadgets charge runs dry, the Freeloader 8.0 Portable Solar iPod and Gadget Charger is listed as being compatible with the following devices:
- LG Chocolate series phones
- Motorola V66 series and current V3 series phones
- All Nokia current and N series phones
- Samsung A288 and current D800 series phones
- Sony Ericsson T28 and current K750 series phones
- 4mm straight jack for Sony PSP, Tom Tom sat nav, digital camera’s, PDA’s and two-way radio’s
- Mini USB for Blackberry Smart phones, Bluetooth headsets etc
- USB 2.0 female socket for iPod, iPod Shuffle, MP3 players, smart phones, PDA’s, GPS plus much more
- Nintendo DS lite connector
- Supports iPod, iPod shuffle & iPod video up to and including 60Gb (will support 80Gig with optional iPod Connector)
Solar Technology’s Freeloader 8.0, which measures in at 123 x 62 x 17mm and weighs 185g, is available in silver and pink and retails for £20 / $40.