Solar Charger Stories November 9, 2015

For whatever reason, accessory companies commonly send out review samples of solar-powered Apple accessories late in the year — rarely if ever in July, when the sun is at its peak pretty much everywhere in the United States. So even though I’m a fan of solar power, my ability to make the most of these accessories is naturally limited by the modest sunshine available for testing. The wisest solar-powered accessories I’ve tested hedge their bets by storing energy in batteries that can be used (and wall-recharged) even when the sun’s not out. Others become worthless when the sun goes away.

Anker’s 21W PowerPort Solar Charger ($55) and RAVPower’s 15W Solar Charger ($50) are portable solar panels connected to USB ports. They’re extremely similar to one another, each hiding two USB ports in a pocket to the right of three solar panels. Unlike Solartab (reviewed here), neither has a built-in battery, so you can only use them when the sun’s out — and optimally, directly overhead. One strikes me as a slightly better pick than the other, but unless you live in a frequently sunny climate and have hours to spare under the sun, or plan to travel somewhere with sunshine and no wall outlets, there are better-priced and more practical ways to keep your devices fueled up…

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Solar Charger Stories September 30, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: Anker Dual-USB Solar Charger $40, WD 4TB NAS $160, Cards Against Humanity 20% off, more

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Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

TiVo makes the DVR sexy with 4K content, AirPlay and one-click commercial skipping

Anker 14W Dual-USB Port Solar Charger: $40 shipped (Reg. $50+)

WD My Cloud 4TB Personal Cloud Storage NAS $160 shipped (Orig. $220)

Amazon Gold Box – Cards Against Humanity 20% off: Starter Kit ($20) and Expansion Packs ($8)

Get a no-contract iPhone 6s from Boost Mobile for just $450 shipped (Orig. $649)

Apple iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi: 16GB $380 shipped (Reg. $499), 64GB $490 shipped (Reg. $599)

More new gear from today:

LG 34-inch 21:9 UltraWide LED IPS Monitor: $620 shipped (Reg. $780+)

More deals still alive:

USB Power: Anker 15,600mAh Battery Pack $24 (Reg. $30), Lumsing Wall Charger + 3-ft. MFi Lightning Cable $10more

Four magazine subs for $16 (or less): Wired, Dwell, ESPN, GQ, Rolling Stone, Men’s Fitness, and many more

New products & more:

Bose’s latest connected speaker lowers the entry price into the SoundTouch family

Keurig’s new KOLD brewer lets you make Coca-Cola at home but it’s going to cost you

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