Finding a power source for one's favorite portable gadgets can prove to be an extremely difficult, especially when one is visiting some remote location, with absolutely no power lines or outlets to be found in the near vicinity. For this reason, the PowerTraveller company has launched back in the second half of 2007 its powermonkey-eXplorer kit, which allow users to recharge devices while being on the go and using nothing more than the power of the sun.
In fact, the powermonkey-eXplorer system is formed out of two different devices, namely the solarmonkey (a solar charger) and the powermonkey itself, which is nothing more than an ultra-portable, 2200 mAh Li-Ion battery. The combo of the two devices makes this kit ideal for those persons who'll be away from civilization for a fairly long period of time, but are not exactly willing to cut off all communications with the outside world.
The powermonkey-eXplorer is compatible with a very wide range of portable devices, whether we're talking about mobile phones, iPods (including here the 2'nd generation iPhone), MP3 and MP4 players, PDAs, as well as some of the world's best-known portable gaming consoles, namely the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS and DS Lite.
The device from PowerTraveller has a 4.5 – 5.5 V output voltage, accompanied by a maximum output current of 700 mA (max). It offers users up to 96 hours of standby for mobile phones, 40 hours on one's iPod, 5 hours on one's games console, 48 hours on their PDA and 6 hours on MP3/MP4 players. Furthermore, it can be used for charging the devices directly from the sun, acting as some sort of intermediary between the solar charger and the respective devices.
Beside being able to provide quite a hefty amount of power, the powermonkey has also been designed specifically for outdoor trips, as it sports a rugged, rubberized body, which measures just around 90x45x38 mm, at an overall weight of around 83 grams.
Price-wise, the powermonkey-eXplorer from PowerTraveller can be found in pretty much the same range as all of the other similar devices on the market, namely somewhere in the close vicinity of 100 US dollars ($92, to be accurate).