updated 01:05 am EST, Tue January 4, 2011
New higher-wattage solar kits available as well
QuickerTek has expanded its line of solar chargers for Mac notebooks to include the MacBook Air (11- and 13-inch third-generation models) as well as all the current MacBook and MacBook Pro models. The Apple Juicz Solar Charger, a photoelectric tarp, is available in 27- and 55-watt capacities and is designed to be used outdoors or in environments where sunlight is available but reliable convention power is not. The 27-watt model is designed for MacBooks and MBAs; the larger 55-watt version is intended for MacBooks and MacBook Pros.
The new solar charger design is more durable, easily folded and unfolded and very lightweight with an included laptop-sized case (which has room for the computer itself) for easy transport. It feature grommets around the outside so that it can be secured to the ground, and uses the conventional Apple MagSafe connector. The area of the 27-watt model is 41.5 by 30.5 inches and will completely recharge a MacBook Air in about 12 hours (the 55-watt version, which can charge the Air in about half that time, measures 59 by 43 inches).
While the charging process is slow compared to conventional electric supplies, and expensive compared to battery packs, it is ideal for travel, boating, camping and other areas where power is hard to come by or weight is an important factor -- the 27-watt version weighs 1.78 pounds, while the 55-watt version weighs 3.9 pounds. The 55-watt version is said to be sufficient to both charge a Mac notebook as well as use it at the same time. The kit also includes a 12-volt female car-charging adapter and a connector from some of QuickerTek's other products such as wireless antennas and external battery packs.
The 27-watt version sells for $700, while the 55-watt version sells for $1,200. Both come with a one-year warranty.