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i.TECH's Solar Charger 906
Charge your mobile device with sun power
By John Virata

i.TECH's Solar Charger 906 is different from other device chargers in that the 906 harnesses the energy of the sun to recharge and power your mobile devices. The unit is about the size of an iPod touch and features a 3.7 volt 1260 mAH rechargeable battery built onto the back of a monocrystalline solar panel on the device. Setting up the solar charger for charging is as easy as sliding on two of the included suction cups and sticking it onto your car window. If you don't drive a car, place it on a windowsill or anywhere there is ample sunlight. And don't worry about overheating the unit as it will automatically stop charging in the event that the charger reaches 127 degrees Fahrenheit. The Solar Charger 906 can also charge the battery of your device as it charges its own internal battery via solar or USB power.

The i.TECH's SolarCharger 906 provides the means to charge a device in an environmental way, via the sun, without the use of electricity. It takes a while, up to 27 hours based on my tests in usually sunny Southern California to charge the 906's battery via the sun, but only three hours via the USB cable/electricity. In fact, the company recommends that you charge the battery via USB prior to first use.

One of the cool aspects of the device is the check battery status indicator button located on the back panel of the charger. A simple press will tell you how much of the battery is charged, indicated via blue LED lights. The adapter tips in the package include a jack adapter, 8 pin adapter, USB adapter, LG adapter, micro USB adapter, Sony PSP adapter, Sony Ericsson adapter, Samsung adapter, Nintendo DS lite adapter, and a Nokia 2mm adapter.

i.TECH Solar Charger 906

i.TECH's Solar Charger 906 ($54) aims to take the energy cost equation out of charging your mobile devices by harnessing the sun's energy to charge batteries. What a novel concept right? For years, the United States has ignored the power of the sun, instead relying on fossil fuels and nuclear power to quench the country's insatiable thirst for energy. While the SolarCharger 906 might seem insignificant in the amount of energy saved by using the sun to power such devices as mobile phones, iPods, and PSPs, just think of the energy savings if energy companies adopted these types of technologies (and not just give lip service with feel good commercials during the commercial breaks on CNN or any of the other cable channels) to meet the demands of America. American business needs to step up and come up with some innovative alternative energy solutions.

The device is compact and features the widest variety of compatibility adapters, and the best feature yet, is the capability to charge your mobile phone using sun power. It takes a while, but once charged, you've got more talk time. Once the battery is charged on the 906, simply connect it to your mobile device and it will charge the battery in your device. It takes a while to complete, but you can monitor it by checking the LEDs on the back of the 906 or checking the battery status on your device. In all, it's an ideal solution for those who wish to harness the power of the sun, those on vacation who don't want to bring multiple chargers and those who just like really cool gadgets.

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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at jvirata@digitalmedianet.com

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