If you really need to surf while kayaking

Subject: General Tech | August 9, 2013 - 12:28 PM |
Tagged: solar power, SolarFocus, battery charger, Solar Mio Pro

The unfortunately named Solar Mio Pro does have something to do with juice but nothing to do with coloured water.  It is a series of solar panels measuring 18.1" x 8.7" unfurled, 8.7" x 3.3" x 1.4" when rolled up; which charges a 3.1" x 3.4" x 0.6" battery that can then recharge any device which can be charged via USB.  The whole package weighs less than a pound which makes it perfect for camping and backpacking.  The battery is a 3.7V lithium-polymer battery rated for 2650 mAh and provides 5V output at up to 1A which was enough to charge the Nexus 7 and iPad which The Tech Report tested, though not up to a full charge as the battery was exhausted before that.  There are some small disadvantages to this $125 charger which are revealed during the journey down the Pacific Rim.

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"Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are handy accessories in the wilderness, but charging them can be challenging. We look at the Solar Mio Pro USB charger to see if the sun can be of some assistance."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

August 11, 2013 | 06:45 AM - Posted by collie (not verified)

I'm a little suprised you guys never did a article on this http://solaptop.com/en/

August 12, 2013 | 09:10 AM - Posted by razor512

On ebay they sell 12,000 mAh li-ion battery packs which have 2 USB ports and 2.1 amp output.

I am able to get a full charge and a half out of them on my HP touchpad (which is good since the tablet is using power while on standby. best of all, the battery packs cost about $11 including shipping

*****ebay warning/ note*********
(though you have to search around since most of the sellers have found a way to game the system on ebay's shorting by combining multiple items into 1 listing in order to get a price range instead of a single price so you may see a 12000mAh battery pack with a price listing of $1 to $20 where you have some cheap crap to get them at the top of the page when you sort by lowest price, but with an overpriced battery pack)

search around and you will find a good deal.

Furthermore, that Solar Mio Pro is an insane ripoff. For about $16 you can buy 2 6in x 6in solar panels rated at 3 watts each. then for about $4 you can have a wide input switching regulator (TI makes a bunch suited for solar arrays), which can then be wired up to a USB cable and connected to the charge port of your 12000 mAh battery pack.

While it will not look as nice, it will work better than the mio crap (especially since you will have more solar area instead of tiny panels which only add up to half of the surface area of the unfolded pouch thing. and it would cost a fraction of the price

I hate it when companies charge insane prices for products like this. there is nothing special about it as the technology has been around for well over 30 years. It is also not complex to come up with so there is no massive R&D cost to justify a higher initial price.

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