The Chinese company aigo has recently introduced the I2911, a portable solar charger for mobile devices. Using the new charger, users can extend their time between conventional charges and operate for longer periods of time off the grid.
Using a collapsible trio solar panel, the aigo I2911 transforms solar power into an electrical current, with a built in 4200mAh battery. Digital devices such as music players, PDAs, cellular phones, and cameras could be charged using the new charger, which is supplied with several connectors suitable for different types of devices.
The drawback, of course, is that not all devices are supported. According to aigo, five brands of mobile phones and six brands of P-DVD and DSC are supported. Unlike some chargers that have only a single LED (which turns green when the battery is fully charged), this one has four indicators to report users the exact charging condition.
According to aigo, which exhibited the I2911 on CES ’09 (covered by TFOT), the new solar charger features a built-in circuit to prevent over-discharge, over-charge, and over-current, which are some of the hazards many chargers face. Moreover, the I2911 features heat reduction, maintaining the battery’s temperature within safe levels.
The new charger has a sleek look, but its design doesn’t make it much of a portable device; it weighs a fairly hefty 630 grams and measures 130 x 80 x 25 mm. The $180 price tag is not terribly cheap but this is the price you have to pay for being off the grid. People who spend long periods of time outdoors camping or hiking might find this charger an ideal solution.
TFOT has also covered Freeloader, another portable charging system based on solar power, and the Voltaic Solar Charging Backpack, announced by Office Depot on April 2008. TFOT has covered other portable charging solutions, which use other measures than solar power: the Datexx SuperBattery is a new hand cranked universal USB charger, and YoGen, introduced by the Israeli company Easy Energy, is another hand-powered generator, operated by pulling a string.
For more information on the aigo I2911, see the company’s website.
Ehud is a student for Communication & Journalism as well as Business Administration in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has knowledge in computers' software and hardware and a keen interest in consumer electronics and innovative gadgets.