Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

67

August 3, 2010 • Reviews

Accessory Review: Charge Your Mobile Devices With The Power Of The Sun

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External batteries are great, but they’re only as good as the mAhs they possess; once you deplete them, until you find yourself near a charging source they become useless. The Monaco Mobile Power Solar Charger from Wireless Ground takes care of that problem by harnessing the power of the sun to recharge itself. You can use the battery to recharge you device and then recharge the battery on to go so it’s ready to be used again.

In addition to the battery itself you’ll also get some tips to charge with. The Monaco comes with a USB out cable which can be fitted with either the included micro-USB or mini-USB adapter. It also comes with a USB or AC power adapter if you wish to recharge the battery via wall or computer power instead of the sun.

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There are three ways to recharge the Monaco before you go to use it.

1. Via AC power. You use the included USB cable and AC adapter – total recharge time is 6 hours.
2. Via USB. You use the included USB cable and your computer – total recharge time is 6 hours.
3. Solar. Just expose the Monaco to direct sunlight – total recharge time is 8 hours.

A LED on the front of the battery turns red when the Monaco is charging either from the AC adapter or direct sunlight. Once fully charged the LED turns green.

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The Monaco battery holds 1800 mAh. That’s about the average for external batteries, including the popular Mophie Juice Pack Air for the iPhone. These batteries generally offer close to one full recharge of the iPhone, and the Monaco is no exception. I let my iPhone run down to just below 20% and was able to recharge it back to 100% using only the Monaco.

The Monaco works with almost every mobile device on the market including all the “idevices”. I tested it with my iPhone 4, iPad and iPod Touch. You do need to use the Apple charge and sync cable to make it work, though.

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Check out the video below for a full review of the Monaco from Wireless Ground.

Currently on sale for only $39.95 (that’s 50% off), this battery is a deal worth checking out. Most external batteries cost much more and don’t work with multiple devices like the Monaco does. Not to mention the solar power capabilities that the it possesses as well.

When you’re out and about you can use the Monaco to recharge on the go. When you’ve depleted its power supply simply leave it on the dashboard of your car and when you return it’ll be refueled and ready for more charging.

Perhaps my only complaint is the lack of indicators when charging. Unfortunately there’s no way to tell how much power is remaining in the Monaco once you’ve used it a bit.

You can find out more about the Monaco Solar Power Solar Charger by visiting the Wireless Ground website here.

MSRP: $79.95, currently on sale for $39.95

What I like: Environmentally friendly, recharge on the go, good capacity.

What Needs Improvement: No indicators for power remaining.

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