Have you seen that commerical for Energizer’s AA-powered Energi To Go cell phone charger? The one with the guy skydiving (you know, the most common activity for when you need to make a call)? Anyway, every time I see it—and it’s on every night—I always think of the Solio universal charger by Better Energy Systems (probably not the goal of Energizer’s marketing team…). It’s been around for a few years and other companies make similar chargers too, but this is just the one I think of.
The Solio runs on solar power, so it seems to me to be the better companion when hurtling through the sky. Why fiddle with alkaline batteries (Energizer also makes a lithium-based charger for audio/gaming gadgets) when you can just plug into the sun? You need to do this beforehand, though, as fully charging the Solio’s internal battery (3.6V, 1600mAh) requires a rather unreasonable 8-10 hours of direct sunlight. The device can also receive a full charge in about 4 hours via the included AC adapter, but that kind of undermines the whole solar-powered thing.
The Solio isn’t perfect, sure, but its compatibility list is pretty extensive and the sun is a heck of a lot cheaper than a pack of batteries.