We’ve been testing a few portable solar chargers lately and this nifty little “Sun Power Pad 3000” cell phone and tablet charger from Secur Products has a couple of different features that we haven’t seen elsewhere (yet). The one that caught our eye is an input port so you can recharge the battery with a wall charger just like you would normally charge your cell phone or tablet, which is a nice thing for us portable solar gadget fans who have less than desirable solar exposure at home.
A Range Anxiety Solution for Portable Solar Chargers
Think of the wall-charging feature as a range anxiety solution for portable solar chargers. Even if your solar exposure at home (or work, or wherever) isn’t so great, you can still get part of your charge from the sun, then top off the solar power pad with a wall charger if you want to have a full battery while you’re on the go.
Even on a partial charge, the Sun Power Pad portable solar charger is quite handy. We couldn’t wait to try it out, so instead of sticking around for a full charge we dashed out of the house with a cell phone in the red zone at a 12 percent, plugged into the solar charger which showed only two bars on its four-bar display.
Within less than an hour, the cell phone was back up to the 80 percent range, which was more than enough to get through the day. If you decide to try this at home, keep an ears open for another handy feature: you’ll hear a little buzz when the Sun Power Pad has run out of juice, so you know when you can unplug.
A Smart Phone-Friendly Portable Solar Charger For AppleHeads
We learn something new every time we try a new solar device, no matter how simple it looks. In this case, we learned that the world does not revolve around Apple, and that you should empty out the entire contents of the box before you start pouting.
When our Sun Power Pad arrived on our doorstep there was a bit of an initial letdown, because the input port for the wall charger is not compatible with iPhones.
But, sunny days returned as soon as we shook everything out of the box. Secur Products packs the Sun Power Pad 3000 with its own compatible cable, which you can connect to any USB wall plug, iPhone or no iPhone.
Just a heads up, a USB wall plug is not included in the package, probably because Secur assumes you already have at least one on hand for your other devices. If you don’t, you probably someone you know has like six or eight extra ones lying around.
As for the output, that’s just a standard USB port, which you can use on any smart phone or iPhone. We got that aforementioned 80 percent charge on an iPhone, btw.
Portable Solar Chargers That Look Good On Pillows
Another thing we’ve been learning is that when it comes to choosing a portable solar charger that will be hanging around your living space, you’ll want to think about balancing functionality and looks.
Some solar products are designed for multi-use functionality, but if you don’t need all the bells and whistles then you’ll go for simplicity. We took the above glamor shot of the Sun Power Pad to illustrate that in terms of simplicity you don’t have to get down to the bare bones. Sometimes a bit of color is all it takes to make a panel of solar cells look downright juicy.
A lot more portable solar charging action is coming down the road — literally — so stay tuned.
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