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Eco-friendly solar charged media player

Is this about to be put in the shade by a solar-powered player?

In these economic hard times it can be difficult to justify treating yourself to yet another new gadget, but the latest PMP from the Far East at least lightens the burden in a novel way by cutting electricity bills.

Singaporean firm Shiro's SQ-S media player not only has all the functions you'd expect in a PMP that's destined to live in the shade of Apple and the other big boys, but it also draws its power from the sun.

Quick charge

Leaving the device in the sun's glare for just four hours charges it fully, bringing up to 35 hours of audio playback and seven hours of video.

The 60g device, which should go on sale next month at around £120, supports a full hand of file formats, including MP3, WMA and OGG, as well as JPEG and TXT.

Nonetheless, in spite of the solar panel attached to its rear, a 1.8-inch screen, a built-in mic, an FM tuner and a healthy 16GB of flash memory, the SQ-S is, we feel, likely to be little more than a niche curiosity in a world dominated by iPods.