It seems like today, most everyone spends at least some part of their day searching for a place to charge. The mobile gadget lifestyle is great, unless you are plagued with dead batteries. The PowerBinder strives to alleviate the daily plug search with solar panels and an internal battery. It comes in at $149 and can charge a phone 2.5 times.
The PowerBinder is a portable solar charging station that doubles as a tablet case and work station. The binder comes complete with a pad of paper for notes, and it can hold handouts and other materials that might be needed in a meeting or mobile job. A stylus is also included inside the PowerBinder right next to the microUSB cable. The PowerBinder comes ready to hit the road.
Full-sized tablets can be stored in the PowerBinder via the adjustable holder. The top part of the tablet holder actually slides up and down providing a perfect fit. My iPad 3 fits great and is held safely in place. With the tablet installed, the PowerBinder can be used as a stand. Simply slide the panel that holds the tablet out and fold forward. Velcro holds the angle in place and the solar panels are even still able to collect sunlight for the charge. The provided angle is not very adjustable, but should be useable for just about any situation.
The solar panel on the front of the PowerBinder charges the 5,000 mAh capacity battery while in full sun or can provide a trickle charge while inside using provided light. If a big meeting is planned, and there may not be time to charge the battery using the solar panel, the binder can also be charged using micro USB. I have tried multiple solar devices and found this feature to be extremely useful. The PowerBinder can be charged overnight and carried at full power without the use of the sun. Two USB ports are provided to charge multiple devices and a power switch will initiate charging. An internal battery meter displays the available charge and a lux meter will show the amount of energy being harvested from sunlight.
While most people probably use the PowerBinder for business and travel, I use it for the outdoors. Since I am an avid hunter, outdoorsman and tech geek, there is always a need for charging my devices with no power outlets available. I was able to take the Power Binder with me to the deer blind and keep my iPhone and iPad all charged up. The best part is that I was also able to keep the battery in the PowerBinder charged. This product is great for anyone who may not be near electricity — even if for days. Camping, hiking, hunting and business trips are much easier to manage with the PowerBinder. I recommend the PowerBinder to anyone who may be on the go or could lose power and wants to be able to charge their devices.
What I like: The ability to not only charge via solar power, but also through micro-USB insuring that the 5,000 mAh battery is full and usable on the go
What can be improved: Solar technology requires large panels so the product may seem bulky and a bit heavy to some users
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample