Gadget Review: Solio Magnesium Solar Charger
What would your Eco tombstone look like? What if every piece of garbage you ever created was set in front of you? While it’s obvious that in order to live in today’s society you must create trash, the latter half of the decade has seen ecotarianism (that’s my word) flourish from grassroots and non-profit organizations to full fledged government participation and bandwagon trendyness. Solio has made past headlines in the sustainable energy arena with their line of hybrid solar chargers. The Solio Magnesium Edition Charger is the latest iteration in their product line.
Like previous versions, the Solio Magnesium Edition is a universal charger that draws its power from the sun or from a wall. Now fully compatible will all iGo tip adapters, the Solio is capable of charging literally all of your gadgets. The Solio Magnesium Edition comes with several tip adapters and the rest are available at the iGo website. From PDA’s to GPS and portable gaming systems, there are tons to choose from.
Fanning out like a windmill, the Solio Magnesium Edition has three solar panels to collect energy. The quick start guide stated that in fully exposed sunlight the Solio would be fully charged at between 10-12 hours and 24-48 in partial sunlight. Ouch! Living in Portland means an average of 200 days of cloud coverage. I think Solio sales charts will clearly show better figures in more sunny areas, as what good is a solar charger if there is no sun! To my benefit, I was graced with about 4 hours the other day so I could get some sun up in this Magnesium Edition.
Fours hours in the sun the Magnesium Edition gained 2 of 5 power bars. Not bad. Immediate gratification types may be initially troubled by not seeing full bars but it’s nothing they can’t overcome. Myself included, I like to charge my battery packs to full capacity just to feed the OCD beast dwelling inside of me. That said, the Solio Magnesium Edition is gonna be the type of charger that you need to distance yourself from in order for it do its job. Just leave it somewhere sunny and set it free!
Charging from the wall took about 4-5 hours to fully charge the Solio, which got me around two full charges on my iPhone. Easy enough, the Solio Magnesium Edition has one button that designates charge level as well as charge initiation. Just plug in you device and hit the button. When charging the button will blink green to indicate a charge in process. Any time other that you can check the charge level by pressing the button that will then subsequently flash 1 to 5 times depending on level of charge. Simple.
The Solio Magnesium Edition boasts that an hour of sunshine will give you twenty five minutes of talk time on a cell phone and an hour of music on your MP3 player. So anytime you are in an area void of electricity, the Solio Magnesium Edition will be there for you when industrialized humanity can’t. The Solio Magnesium Edition will also store power undeterred for up to a year. As well, the lithium ion battery will last anywhere from 350-500 completely full charges. Not that I tested that.
Ideal for camping or literally any outdoor activity, the Solio Magnesium Edition allows itself for propping up or hanging with the pencil sized hole running through the middle. Lightweight and small, the Solio Magnesium Edition has a nice matted feel to the heavily constructed plastic, and there is a water resistant seal on the USB and power inputs. Definitely not indestructable, it would have been a nice idea to have a cover over the one exposed panel when the Solio Magnesium Edition is folded up.
Where you live will be a definite factor for consumers as the amount of available sunlight is a huge contributor to the efficiency of this product. While it would be better to see faster sunlight charge times, that’s more of a complaint to solar panels in general and not the Solio Magnesium Edition Charger. Another note is that if you are charging a bunch of gadgets, you will have to manage all the little iGo tips. It would be cool if all the iGo tips hooked up to a janitor’s keyring or something. It does come with a nice hemp bag to carry the Solio Magnesium Edition and a wooden pencil for propping up. I already had my Apple iGo connector from CES, but the included female USB adapter will let you use Apple products right out of the box. Also in the box are a variety or world adapters for the wall plug.
No real excessive gripes except for price, the Solio Magnesium Edition Solar Charger is worth looking into if you are getting your “Apocalypse Gear” collection together. At over a hundred dollars, it might be hard for some people to choose this as their first solar product. Theoretically it should never become obsolete and you could very well use it as your one and only charger. If you think of it like that you might be able to get by the hefty price tag. You gotta spend some green to be green! Add also what Kermit says in regards to being green.
- Eco-Friendly, sustainable, free and renewable energy
- Small, lightweight, and compact
- Able to charge all your gear
- Micromanaging all your iGo tips can be annoying and unecessary
- Solar panels take their sweet time for a full charge
Buy it here for $139.37