Since taking a path less trodden with material choices, the Swedish cooling masters have impressed with their beautifully designed ear bud audio solutions. Two of these I wrote about earlier this year. Today we see yet another divergence away from the familiar for the Swedish company; this time into the world of the eco-friendly with the C1 Mobile from Arctic Cooling.
This totally portable USB based charging solution that enlists the aid of a small solar panel in order to glean the suns rays from the sky and ultimately into our portable devices for later consumption. Even though the C1 is quite simply a unique device in some ways, it still has to perform some basic functions well. Given the fantastic track record of previous products tested, Arctic Cooling has a standard of sorts to live up to.
Package and Contents
Now that we know what we are dealing with, let's take a closer look at the package and contents and see what's included. The packaging from Arctic Cooling has always had a typically icy appearance with lots of graduated silver bits and an overall quite stern look about it.
The packaging here boasts neither flamboyance nor the sort of "jump out and grab you" color scheme featured on many items these days.
The packaging on the C1 mobile is neither attractive nor badly executed its just there to serve a purpose; to hold the item securely in place that you're in the process of buying. This side clearly states what can be done with the C1 Mobile.
Also featured is a detailed summary of everything on the rear side. Inside can be found one solar panel and several different adaptors for the major phone brands as well as of course the USB cable.
A product manual is also included to aid with any problems encountered during setup.
Let's start by looking at some specifications.
Input - Solar Panel: 5.5V/80mA
Input USB: 5v/300mA
Li-ion Rechargeable Battery: 4440mWh
Output: DC 5.5 V = 500mA
There's nothing too exciting here really. Solar panels in general are a great idea and really should be used a whole lot more than they are. On the battery side of things the C1 Mobile uses a lithium Ion battery to store the sun's rays.
If you want to find out about how solar panel technology works there are many free sources of information out there. My knowledge does not stretch that far unfortunately, so I'm not the man to explain how they work. I just know that they do and well.
Connectivity is well handled with a large assortment of different plugs and adaptors to cater to the wide range of different devices capable of being charged by the C1 Mobile.
Setup and Installation
The C1 Mobile from Arctic Cooling is really quite a simple device in practice and requires very little in the way of setup or installation. Once the unit has been taken from its plastic bubble, the remaining small bag of various adaptors can be seen.
Depending on what you're going to be using the C1 Mobile for will facilitate which of the small plugs gets the nod. The front of the package claims support for many different forms of devices ranging from iPods, iPhones, notebooks, and a wide range of mobile devices and PDAs.
I did not encounter any difficulties when it came to connecting my MP3 player and my iPhone, so it would appear as if things are well thought out in this department. Probably the best setup advice that can be given about the C1 Mobile is to locate a sunny area and take it for all its worth. If you are living where there is no sun, then perhaps consider buying a warming drink instead.
Testing the C1 Mobile
Given the simple nature of the C1 Mobile it should be easy for users to start getting results quickly. Provided some sun can of course be found, then it a simple case of using the provided built in hook at the top of the unit to allow it time to take in the sun's rays.
Now, depending on what exactly is going to be charged will obviously make a significant difference when it comes to the period of time needed to do the charging.
Periods of up to twelve hours can be expected when using the C1 Mobile, but again those times are going to vary depending on certain factors.
I think where the C1 Mobile will really prove its worth is when it comes to a matter of sheer convenience. There are not always guarantees of being able to receive power 100% of the time; especially during certain times of the year when certain weather conditions are faced like right here in Melbourne, Australia.
During testing I found that connectivity between my MP3 player and iPhone for charging was perfect without encountering any difficulties at all. Overall, a really handy and easy to use little device that should give no one any headaches and may even save a few.
(Below can be seen the two USB ports built into the C1 Mobile)
Arctic Cooling has yet to disappoint us; already delivering some great ear bud solutions. Now they have continued their display of resourcefulness with the C1 Mobile. It's basic and its simple in nature, but it's often that this is the defining qualities of some of our handiest tools.
Connection is thorough as it should be with connection support for most of the latest devices. The C1 Mobile is an example of thinking outside of the box, and certainly one that I welcome in. There is always the potential for these types of products to become gateway devices of sorts which pave the path towards a new way of thinking about the things we use every day. Electricity should certainly be one of those things.
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