Mobile phone, MP3 player, GPS, PDA, laptop; they all need charging don't they? While doing so from the comfort of your home or car is easy, go slightly further a field and you start to run out of charging options.



In steps the Sunlinq 6.5W solar charger, a lightweight solar charger that will harness the sun's rays to give you juice for your electronic toys and gadgets.

Small and compact - when folded its about the size of a DVD case (closed dimensions: 130 x 230 x 13 mm), the charger rolls out to reveal five solar panels capable of utilising the sun's power with little to no effort.

Unlike the Solio Charger we've reviewed in the past, the catchment area is considerably bigger (open dimensions: 750 x 230 x 0.8 mm) and in addition to its area the Sunlinq comes with charging options that can suit most requirements.

Rather than opt for specific tips to suit specific products, Sunlinq has gone down a more conventional power supply route. In the box, among the power cables you get a cigarette lighter socket and two small 12V jump leads for starting vehicles. While the cigarette lighter socket main seem a strange accessory to include at first, it does mean that if you can get a cigarette charger for your device, you can charge it with the Sunlinq solar charger. That means, iPods, PSPs, most PDAs, GPSs and even most laptops.

Verdict

The Sunlinq portable charger is what solar chargers should be. Small and compact it makes for an ideal addition to any camping trip.



In good sunlight it took us just 3 hours to charge a drained MP3 player but like all solar powered devices it will depend on how much sunlight you can get. In what can only be described as good fortune for the company, when we tested it the UK experienced a mini heatwave, so we haven't been able to test it on a dank, overcast October afternoon.

As a charging solution, it is expensive, however as it works we don't mind so much.

Power users can opt for a 12W or 25W model if they really want to get the juice flowing.

If you are a gadget lover and want to stay connected on any camping trip or expedition this should do the trick.

This product was kindly loaned to us by www.selectsolar.co.uk