Remember when Nokia poo-poohed the idea of solar charging as a viable way to keep a smartphone juiced? It seems that no-one told XPal Power, since its PowerSkin brand has just launched a new photovoltaic kit as part of its 2012 lineup here at CES:
  • SolarCharge is a silicone-wrapped brick with a solar panel on one end that'll charge most devices via a microUSB port. The 1000mAh battery tucked inside is rated to pony up around 350 minutes of talk time for your average smartphone. It'll set you back $70 when it arrives in February.
  • KeyCharge attaches to your keychain and can offer a quick boost 90 minutes of additional time on its 750mAh battery, again via its microUSB port. It'll cost a more modest $25 and will be available to order at the same time
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PowerSkin® Announces New SolarCharge and KeyCharge Portable Power Solutions at CES, Equipped with Industry-Leading, Patented Battery Technology

Las Vegas – January 10, 2012 – PowerSkin® debuts an array of new portable power solutions at CES for the mobile user on-the-go, rolling out battery-boosting skins which include SolarCharge, KeyCharge, Gaming Skins for iOS and Nintendo 3DS, as well as new smartphone skins.

"In 2011, PowerSkin® built up a collection of battery-boosting smartphone skins, launching more than 15 models across iOS, Android and RIM platforms," said David Becker, Executive Vice President of PowerSkin® / XPAL Power. "Moving into 2012, we're planning a slew of new power-on-the-go accessories ranging from Gaming Skins that boast haptic (vibration) technology, to solar and keychain chargers for a quick recharge on-the-go."

Prominently displayed at CES will be the new SolarCharge, which boasts 1000 mAh of power and extends talk time on all types of smartphones (as well as iPod touch) up to 350 minutes, in addition to KeyCharge, which packs 750 mAh, extending talk time up to 90 minutes on most smartphones. Both SolarCharge and KeyCharge will be available in a blue rubberized skin with LED lights indicating the amount of battery levels left.

The SolarCharge is a universal charger for all types of smartphones – iPhone, Android and BlackBerry – as well as all generations of iPod touch. It is composed of a one-piece plastic housing, which is then wrapped in a shock-absorbent, silicone skin to provide ultimate protection for the charger. Underneath the silicone skin is an advanced solar panel and chip which work together to capture rays of sunlight at an accelerated rate, producing up to 50% more power than competitive solar chargers on the market. It connects to smartphones/devices via an included, Micro-USB, however customers can also order a wide variety of tips suited for their specific device. This makes SolarCharge a universal power solution for all types of mobile users who may not have readily available charging options for their smartphones. To charge the SolarCharge, simply connect it to a computer's USB port or using the AC adapter that comes with the smartphone. Once the LED light illuminates green, the SolarCharge is ready to be used. Equipped with a carabiner clip, SolarCharge is ideal for outdoor usage, since it charges efficiently off of natural light, however it can also be re-charged indoors from a USB.

Also designed to fuel the on-the-go lifestyle is the KeyCharge, which attaches to key chains and provides a quick boost of power to smartphone users anywhere, anytime. To begin charging, users must connect their smartphone directly onto the KeyCharge's Micro USB; there are two different models, each with the Micro USB on different sides to accommodate a wide range of Android and BlackBerry smartphones (excluding the iPhone). The female Micro USB port on the KeyCharge allows it to be recharged using the smartphone's charging cord, however both the phone and the KeyCharge cannot be charged at the same time.

PowerSkin's® SolarCharge, $69.99, and KeyCharge, $24.99, will both be available beginning February on www.Power-Skin.com.