Feeds
60%
Etón Soulra

Etón Soulra solar-powered iPod dock

Let there be light… and sound

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Review While there are plenty of solar chargers to keep gadgets going in the great outdoors, sun-powered iPod speaker docks are rather thin on the ground. Step forward Californian company Etón Corporation, which specialises in portable and often eco-friendly products such as wind-up and solar radios.

Etón Soulra

Waiting for the sun: Etón's Soulra

The Soulra is a sturdy system encased in rubberised aluminium and IPX-4 rated to survive splashes and spraying from any angle, but only if its solar panel – which doubles as a cover for the iPod enclosure – is down.

Its solar cell is monocrystalline, which is slightly more efficient than other silicon semiconductors for the inevitable cloudy weather that will greet the Soulra in the UK, in contrast to the sunnier climes of the brand’s HQ. The panel charges a built-in, but replaceable lithium-ion battery that provides about four hours of continuous use, or longer if it stays out in bright light for a top-up. It charges your iPod or iPhone while doing so, too.

Though it’s not recommended for optimum performance, I found that the cell also charges indoors if facing a large window on a bright day. Sadly the panel doesn’t swivel to aim in absolutely any direction, you’d need to turn the whole device around.

If natural light is lacking and the battery is exhausted you can use the supplied adaptor to recharge from dirty old electricity. For this it uses 7W to charge, or roughly 10W when also energising an iPod. There is an auxiliary input for other MP3 players and phones but it won’t charge these and you’ll lose the track pausing and skipping provided by the Soulra’s remote.

Etón Soulra

Splashproof with its cover down – ideal for mishaps with hose-pipes or barbecue sauce.

LEDs show you at a glance if it’s charging by sunlight and when the battery is full. The LEDs also give an idea of how much juice remains. I tested the Soulra during a spell of mixed weather and though it charges reasonably well in sunshine, it naturally slows down in overcast conditions.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?