By Andrew Liszewski
While I like this pocket sized solar battery charger, I’m not really sure how effective it would be when actually carried around in a pocket. The Violetta Solargear can be used to recharge 2 AA or AAA batteries, or with an optional power adapter can be used to juice up devices that recharge over USB.
From what I can tell the Solargear only works with these special Violetta NI-MH batteries, which are designed to withstand high temperatures from being recharged in the sun. The Violetta website is pretty vague when it comes to charging times, but I assume it’s no speed demon given the relatively small size of the solar cell it uses. But, with a set of special DC cables you can actually connect multiple Solargear units together to speed things up.
The Violetta Solargear sells for about $45 on the Studio del Sole website, while a set of 4 AA batteries is about $18. 4 AAAs is a bit cheaper at about $15 and the USB charging adapter is about $23.