I love the SolarTab (original review) and I hit up the German company that makes the huge solar panel/battery the size of an iPad for a coupon for you guys. It’s here! Exclusive Coupon Code SOLTAB35 drops the price $35 to an all time low of $94 shipped at Amazon.
Why is the Solartab great? Because it actually works. If you’ve ever tried to charge your iPhones/iPads/etc. directly from a small solar panel you probably know it is pretty difficult. Even with direct sunlight, you aren’t likely to be able to charge the device reliably or quickly. Most USB-charged devices require a minimum of 5W (5Vx1A) of continuous power to even register a charge. Then a cloud comes or the sun moves and you aren’t charging anymore.
Adding a battery to the mix helps, especially if the battery is big and can charge the device quickly on its own without any sun. But most of the solar/battery combos fall into 2 categories: Either messy because they are a bulky 2 step solution or the solar panel is too small to make a meaningful charge and you are mostly using it like a regular USB battery.
SolarTab is a breath of fresh air here. It is a relatively big 5.5W solar panel built on a thin 13,000mAh battery enclosure that fits in an included Moleskine-esque case. Size-wise, think the original iPad with a nice leather case and a huge solar panel instead of a screen.
This is the perfect large battery for a number of reasons. Because it is so thin, it fits like a book (or iPad!) in a backpack, briefcase or large purse. Most importantly, it always has power. I leave mine on my windowsill for when I need to go into the city (usually 1-2 times per week). My iPhone and iPad usually die with heavy use so it’s a lifesaver for my trips home. What’s great is that I don’t ever have to plug it in. A few days in the window will have me back to full for my next trip… expand full story