12 of the best... travel gadgets
Don't leave town without them
A clever and affordable solar charger, the SolarMonkey is actually two products in one. The solar array itself can be folded in two for easy transport and protection. When folded it measures 110 x 70 x 10mm and weighs a next-to-nothing 88g. It can be used to charge portable devices directly. Alternatively, utilise the SolarNut, as this part of the device can be used to store a charge from the Monkey with its 150mAh rechargeable battery. Once the Nut is charged, you can use it to recharge one device while you use the Monkey to charge a second. The Monkey has a maximum power output of 240mA, depending on the strength of the sun.
The charger comes with nine adaptors including ones for most common makes of mobile phones, iPods, iPhones and anything with a miniUSB charging port. The Monkey also has a handy rucksack strap so you can charge up your Nut as you traverse across the great outdoors. All in all, a pretty faultless bit of kit.
Reg Rating 95%
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FreePlayEnergy EyeMax Wind-Up AM/FM Radio
The wind-up radio is the acme of planet saving echo-gadgetry, because it’s a damn handy thing to have about when the lights go out. A full charge will keep the radio going for around 25 hours, while a brisk one minute crank will provide power for around an hour. If the sun has got his hat on you can leave the EyeMax out to charge with its solar panel or you can recharge it via its miniUSB port when the opportunity allows.
The telescopic aerial proved a dab hand at tuning into AM and FM stations, no matter where we tried it, aided by the nicely low-geared analogue tuning dial. The 0.5W single speaker is hardly what you would call Hi-Fi, but it makes a decent fist of things. If all you want to do is listen to the Archers, the World Service or coverage of England's
catastrophic failure success in the Ashes, you should be pleasantly surprised. While not exactly small and light at 112 x 60 x 186mm and 700g, the EyeMax is robust and certainly feels up to the rough and tumble of the great outdoors.
Reg Rating 90%
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