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There are plenty of solar-charging devices on the market design for smart phones or mobile phones. The Spark case from Voltaic Systems is focused on a much larger device, the Apple iPad. Spark includes 8-watt, waterproof solar panels that can produce a peak output of 6 volts or 12 volts. That means it will take about 10 hours to completely charge an iPad using just the sun. On thing that makes this gadget intriguing is the fact that you can buy it for your tablet and also use it to juice up other consumer electronics devices. At $299, Spark isn't exactly inexpensive but it does come with a two-year warranty for the panels and a one-year warranty for the battery.
The SoliCharger, which works with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s, combines a case, solar charger and speaker systems into one device. Weighing about 9 ounces, the case also comes with adapters and can be charged through the USB port on your computer if you can't find some sunlight. SolLight says you can also use the case with a Sony PlatStation as well as other MP3 players or mobile phones. The device usually costs $59.95 although the company was running a holiday special for $49.95.
The Modlet from ThinkEco and sold by Best Buy reinterprets the modest electrical outlet, turning it into a smart device that can help homeowners better manage power consumption for appliances and such. How does it work? You plug it into a standard wall outlet and the plug in the consumer electronics products or appliances that are sucking up too much power. The Modlet is programmed via a wireless connection to your computer. (You have to download software to get it set up.) The starter kit is $50, including software; additional two-socket Modlets are $44.95 apiece.