Mobile Computing | News
Voltaic Launches Solar Charger for iPad
- By Dian Schaffhauser
The Spark Solar Tablet Case
A company that specializes in creating solar panels for charging portable devices has just come out with a carrying case that allows a user to recharge his or her Apple iPad. Voltaic Systems' new Spark Solar Tablet Case provides one hour of iPad video playback for every hour in direct sunlight. In addition, the $299 case will charge many other tablet PCs, including the Blackberry Playbook, T-Mobile G-Slate, Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Asus Transformer, and most handheld electronics. When sun is unavailable, the internal battery can fully charge an iPad. The battery can itself can be recharged from a wall or car charger.
At the same time the company also said it would be selling Spark's internal battery as a standalone product. The $99 V39 USB Battery provides backup power for iPads, other tablets, and smartphones.
The front of the case sports four 2 watt solar panels. Solar charge times are determined by the total area and efficiency of the solar cells, but in a statement the company said an iPad could be charged from about 10 hours of sunshine. To withstand the abuse of everyday use, the solar cells are encased in a clear, UV and scratch resistant coating and are also waterproof.
The "Spark" weighs about 2.5 pounds including solar panels and battery and is about 13.5-inches high and 10.5 inches wide.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.