NEWS: Solar-powered charger for your portable

Isn't this heatwave we're experiencing brilliant? Every morning we're out sat on the grass making daisy-chains, sunglasses on, soaking up the rays. And charging our iPhones while we do it of course. Yep, the Freeloader 8.0 from Solar Technology can be powered simply by Mother Nature - and the only thing she'll be charging, is the device in question... Whaddya mean 'have you looked outside'?!

Yes, we realise the United Kingdom isn't blessed with the sunniest of climates, but the Freeloader 8.0 boasts extra sensitive solar panels that are much more efficient at generating power in cloudy conditions, the likes of which we naturally see plenty of in the UK. But on top of that, you can also plug the power pack in to your PC via USB and charge it that way. Power come rain or shine, then.

If the Freeloader 8.0 - we don't know why it's 8.0 by the way - had a middle name, it would be 'versatile'. For some 12 adaptors are supplied with the unit, ensuring it's compatible with iPods, iPhones, MP3 players, some Nokia phones, a few Sony Ericsson phones, Blackberry Smart phones... For a full list of compatible devices, check out the website here.

Once charged, the Freeloader can charge an iPod for 18 hours, a mobile phone for 44 hours and even a PSP for 2.5 hours. Not bad, eh? It comes supplied with the all-important environmentally friendly Li-ion battery, which has an estimated life of around 2 years. All this, and it's only £30. Now if we could just sort that heatwave...

Technorati Tags: Freeloader, iPhone, iPod, MP3, charge, Solar

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for Specialist Tech at Future and was previously the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across print and online for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung, reported from CES, the Bristol Show and Munich High End for many years, and provided comment for sites such as the BBC and the Guardian. In his spare time he enjoys playing records and cycling (not at the same time).