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Powermonkey-eXplorer portable solar charger uses the sun to power iPods, cell phones and other devices

August 23, 2010 | 11:24 am

PMEX_Pink (2) Solar-powered outdoor gear seems all the rage these days, and with good reason. Harboring the useful power-generating abilities of the sun is an idea whose time has come, especially if out hiking, camping or anyplace where one can't just plug in and recharge cellular phones, iPods or other electronic devices.

Enter the Powermonkey-eXplorer. This portable charger is capable of holding enough power to provide an additional 96 hours of standby time on mobile phones, 40 hours of playtime for iPods, five hours on game consoles, 48 usage hours on PDAs and six hours on MP3 or MP4 players. Equipped with compact solar panels, the Powermonkey-eXplorer can also be used to charge devices directly from the sun.

Featuring an LCD screen that displays battery capacity and the level of charge, the Powermonkey-eXplorer also has short-circuit, over-charging and anti-discharging protection. The exterior shell is made of rubberized casing, making it water resistant while helping protect it from nicks and dings even in the roughest situations. Designed for lightweight versatility, the Powermonkey-eXplorer comes with a Velcro strap, handy to attach the solar panel to a backpack for sun exposure to charge devices while on the go.

Also handy are the provided tips for myriad devices and the interchangeable heads for the plug-in charging adapter so that the device can be used when traveling in other countries.

Each Powermonkey-eXplorer kit contains the following:

One Powermonkey-eXplorer portable charger
One solarmonkey portable solar charger
One universal main charger, which will work in over 150 countries and has interchangeable heads for U.S., UK, Europe and Australia
Tips for: Nokia and mini Nokia, Retractable USB cable, Micro USB, Mini USB, Samsung G600, iPod / iPhone tip, LG Chocolate, Sony Ericsson wide connector, Female USB, DC4.0 for Sony PSP
One storage case and user guide

Available in pink, grey, blue and yellow, Powermonkey-eXplorer retails for $119.95 and can currently be purchased online via stuffjunction.com and Amazon.com.

Bottom line, this is one awesome device in its versatility. I tried using it various ways -- plugged into the wall, via the solar panel and using just the Powermonkey-eXplorer -- to charge and power numerous devices and found it worked great for all, which made me realize that when traveling I could just take the Powermonkey-eXplorer and leave the other power cords at home.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: Powermonkey-eXplorer charger in pink. Credit: Powertraveller.com

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