By Evan Ackerman
When it comes to charging gadgets, the most important criteria has to be versatility. Maybe you’ll find yourself near an outlet. Maybe you’ll find yourself with some AA batteries. Maybe you’ll find yourself drunk. Or maybe you’ll find yourself out in the sun, in which case a solar panel would be just what you need.
This solar panel comes in the form of a 4 port USB hub. Yes, USB ports generally provide their own power, so most of the time, this thing will be under a pile of stuff on your desk and plugged in and the solar panel will be useless. But there’s also a 700 mAh battery in there which charges up from your computer, sun or no sun, and you can then disconnect the hub and carry it around to charge anything with a USB interface. When the battery runs out, you can leave the hub in the sun to recharge it.
The idea of fusing a solar panel with a battery is certainly not a new one, but it’s a great combination… Solar charging is slow and restricted to midday, but adding a battery means you can store up the power and use it anytime. And why the heck not make it into a USB hub? For only $22, there’s pretty much no reason not to get one of these if you’re in need of a couple extra USB ports and a portable charger for your gadgets.