Solar charger hooks up with iPod, PSP and DS

Sunny days needed to make panels pull their weight

Solar-powered devices like the Solar-fine 1350 from Links International in Japan always sound like a great idea but rarely deliver much in practice, due to the inherent problem of actually finding enough sun at the right time to make them practical.

The new ¥7,980 (£33.50) charger tries to make itself more attractive than the competition by including adapters for juicing up the most common products. Dongles are included for a range of devices, including almost all Japanese mobile phones, various handheld games machines, including the PSP and DS, and - of course - most members of the iPod family.

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With a capacity of 1350 mAh (you guessed that one, right?) and a voltage of 3.7V, the Solar-fine is obviously up to the job, but a solar-charging time of ten hours might explain why Links has sensibly included the option to charge by AC or USB too.