Feeds
60%
Solar Freeloader Pico

Solar Freeloader Pico solar-charged back-up power supply

Energy for free

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Review Running out of battery power can clobber your day and leave you incommunicado when you least want to be. There are various secondary power supplies on the market, but few of them can recharge themselves entirely from daylight. The Freeloader Pico claims to be one that can.

Solar Freeloader Pico

Solar's Freeloader Pico: free energy on tap?

The Pico is essentially a 800mAh lithium-ion battery attached to a small solar panel and a USB port. It can be charged from any USB socket too, though that takes away the appeal of getting ‘free’ power.

There are four LED indicator lights, distributed in a little sine wave pattern just above the solar panel. They light up when you connect a gadget - the more lights are on, the more power is available. One of them lights up when the Pico is charging over USB, while another indicates when it’s soaking up sunlight. They both go out when charging is complete, so at least there's some use to it.

As advised by the manual, I first charged the Pico from my PC's USB port and the battery was full to the brim in three-and-a-half hours, slap bang in the middle of the three- to four-hour range Solar quotes. The Pico then dispensed its charge to a Samsung SGH-X820 phone, taking the handset from no charge to a full three bars in just under 45 minutes. So far, all the claims were fulfilled.

Solar Freeloader Pico

The indicators show you how much charge you have - but only when you connect a device up

I did have to ask Solar for extra connectors for the Samsung and an LG Shine as neither of these phones were supported out of the box. Solar bundles standard connectors for Nokia and Sony Ericsson phones, and provides a mini USB adaptor for handsets that use that kind of connector. It has a full-size USB port too, so you can charge iPhones and the like that way. Solar provides a host of adaptors for a huge array of gadgets, priced at £4 or £5.

Application security programs and practises

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.