Solar panels built into bargain media player

The Feedster

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Jun 26, 2007
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Tokyogadget purveyor Thanko has been responsible for everything from neckties withcooling fans to USB hubs disguised as gold bars, so it’s a relief to see thepractical nature of its latest piece of kit – a solar-powered media player.
Splash ¥9,980 (£48) in Thanko’s online store andyou’ll get the Solar MP4 Multi Player, a 70g PMP with a 176 x 220-pixel colourscreen on one side and a fold-out solar panel on the other.
Odd movie choices
For the price, 4GB of internal memory is prettyimpressive, plus there’s an SD card expansion slot as well. Supported fileformats are an odd mix – MP3, WMA and WAV on the audio front, but a videoselection that includes RMVB and DAT for some reason. At least it can handleAVI movies.
The real attraction, of course, is the solar panel –it can deliver about 35 minutes of audio playback after an hour exposed to aclear – not necessarily sunny – sky. The same period yields 15 minutes of videoplayback.
As you’d expect, the player can also charge via USB(or a mains adapter) so, considering that the same connection is used totransfer data, we’d expect most folk to charge it that way.
Gimmicks aside, there’sstill more up Thanko’s sleeve in the form of an FM radio and a voice recorder.Throw in an onboard 10mW speaker and we reckon you have a nifty little unitthat might suit the kids.