You can get the Rukus Solar in three colors -- black, green or white. The device supports AVRCP for one-touch Bluetooth pairing and A2DP for high-quality stereo streaming.
Two more small but welcome design features -- there's a mesh pocket that will hold your iPhone or other device for charging, and a surprisingly comfortable handle built in that works well for transporting the 3 lb., 8 oz. (1.6 kg) speakers.
One of the first questions I had was how long it takes to fully charge the Rukus Solar in the sun. The company said six hours in direct sunlight, so I decided to test that. Going from empty to fully charged took me about five hours, but I live in a place with pretty intense sunlight. That charge lasted for about 7 hours and 45 minutes of usage.
Waiting for the battery to run out of juice, I was able to listen to a lot of tunes. The sound quality of the Rukus is great -- the volume is impressive, there's good separation of stereo channels thanks to the design, and the Rukus not only hits the highs beautifully but also kicks bass. If you feel like the bass is a bit overwhelming, there's a button on the control that you can use to tame it a bit.
If you want to use the Rukus Solar to charge another device, you need to take into account that the USB port only puts out 500 milliamps of current. Although the iPhone 4S apparently needs about 1 Amp for charging, the Rukus Solar dutifully charged the device when connected. Surprisingly, when I plugged in a third-generation iPad, it showed that it was being charged by the Rukus Solar. That surprised me since that model requires 2.1 Amps to charge. I did notice that charging the iPad sucked down the battery of the Rukus Solar a bit faster.
The Etón Rukus Solar Bluetooth Sound System has a lot going for it -- modernistic design, photovoltaic power, good sound, and the ability to charge other devices. Frankly, I think this is one of the best-sounding Bluetooth speakers I've used.
Doesn't require an external power source thanks to built-in photovoltaic panel
Can be used to charge other devices
Impressive volume and sound quality
Easy-to-read e-Ink display
Logical button layout
None to speak of. This is a high-quality product that I'd be happy to spend $150 of my own money on!
Who is it for?
Outdoorsy types who want to get away from power outlets and still enjoy their music. Couple this with Etón's Mobius solar powered charger for iPhone, and you have a way to spend weeks away from civilization and keep your goodies fully powered up.
We're doing a little giveaway. Not only will the winner get an Etón Rukus Solar Bluetooth Sound System valued at $150, but we're also throwing in an Etón Mobius Solar Charger for iPhone 4/4S valued at $80. To enter, fill out the form below completely and submit it. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before July 19, 2012 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected and will receive an Etón Rukus Solar Bluetooth Sound System and an Etón Mobius Solar Charger for iPhone 4/4S. Total value of the giveaway items is $230.
Click Here for complete Official Rules.