We’re all so tooled up with gadgets these days that we could do with a small nuclear power station in the airing cupboard to keep all the batteries charged up. Power is a problem – especially if you care about the environment, but also if you’ve ever sat down on a train with a six hour journey ahead of you and realised to your horror that you forgot to plug the iPod in over night. No power equals no tunes.
The powermonkey-explorer offers a solution to the power conundrum. It’s a small rocket-shaped device that stores up power for when you’re next on the road and need to charge something up. But probably the coolest feature of the powermonkey-explorer is that it comes with a ‘solar-slave’ – a small solar panel that you could dangle out of your rucksack, or put on the back of your car.
Not only is this great news for your carbon footprint, it’s also a life-saver if you forget to plug things in before you go out – if you’ve got your powermonkey and solar-slave combo with you, you really can charge on the go, with the sunshine as your power source.
The set comes with a black carry case, that features adaptors for loads of different devices – the default is a Nokia socket, but there’s gizmos for iPod, PSP, and loads of phones. There’s also adaptors for charging the powermonkey itself via the mains or USB. If it’s missing an adaptor for your phone or other device, you can visit www.powermonkey-explorer.com and see if the company is selling it separately.
The design of the units is robust and understated, and it works really well – the carrying case is about the size of a stack of five or six CDs, and you could fit your iPod and all the powermonkey-explorer bits and bobs in there as well, so it’s a really good buy for travelling if you hate to be without your tunes or phone.
At £65, the powermonkey-explorer isn’t cheap, but it has the potential to be a real life-saver. It’ll also make you feel like you’re helping the environment (did you know how much electricity is drained by idle chargers left plugged into the wall? It’s a lot). If running out of juice when all you wanted to do was zone out with your iPod drives you to despair, treat yourself to one of these.