Taiwanese manufacturers A-Data and MSI plan to unveil solar-powered flash devices at CeBIT, though we're
not quite sure either one is a shining example of bright new ways to harness the sun's power. A-Data's offering, the
Solar Disk USB drive, is a fairly generic thumb drive with a solar-powered LCD that displays its available capacity.
Given that USB flash drives with LCD displays are becoming fairly common, and that the use of a solar cell to power
such a display isn't exactly earth-shattering (we seem to remember picking up our first solar calculator about 20 years
ago), we can't exactly see this feature commanding a premium. Meanwhile, MSI plans to demo a solar-cell MP3 player.
While that sounds like it could be promising, the solar cell won't be the sole source of juice for the prototype
player; rather, it'll help charge a conventional lithium battery. And given the amount of time audio players spend in
pockets, backpacks and purses, we somehow don't anticipate this giving the player much of a boost.