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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.