Many of us got used to working on mobile devices for extended periods in our daily lives. Keeping smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets charged sufficiently charged to do proper work with them is imperative. Today I want to show you the Solar Paper solution by YOLK, who claim to be the “world’s thinnest and lightest solar charger.”
I’m sure you know the feeling when your phone or laptop goes low on its battery, but you still need to get something done. We developed a need for keeping our batteries charged all the time. We don’t even try to make it through the day with a single charge. The Nokia-era with a cell phone charge lasting for a week is definitely over.
Free solar energy to rescue your battery
Before I went to China in 2016, I went to purchase a couple of budget power banks, and I was only focusing on capacity really, at that time. I ended up buying some massive duty power banks that come with a solar panel to collect energy on the go right from the shining sun. The idea was intriguing, but I found that these solar panels were not that efficient. I think if I’d get lost in the woods, I’d take a few days with good weather to charge my phone enough to make a distress call and some days more to play Hearthstone for a couple of minutes. But is there any useful portable solar power charger on the market? Now is a good time to prepare your backpack for summer vacations and going out in general.
YOLK wants to provide solar power chargers that are not so bulky but still highly efficient in the way how they gather solar energy and their latest product is the Solar Paper. One of the marketing statistics from their website that impressed me was that they are able to charge an iPhone 7 in merely 2.5 hours time. This is close to what a wall-charger would need too. This means to me that the energy supply provided to that particular device is higher than the power that it consumes.
That’d be amazing… from only sunlight! This kind of efficiency makes it also interesting for business road-warriors (you know who you are). Of course, this might be a little slower if you’re not having the sunniest day of the year, but even if you take off the marketing numbers and consider more realistic environments, that’s still really good in my opinion. The other great thing here is that you can use renewable energy sources to charge your gadgets. Even when you’re home and it’s a sunny day, you can still probably get a good charge when you place the unit near a window. Green power = less pollution = less costs = awesome.
More Solar Paper features
I also like the design of the Solar Paper. It’s modular so you can connect several panel units to each other via magnet. You just need one main-panel with a controller and the other units can be sub-panels, which are slightly cheaper. They can be folded, and YOLK claims that there won’t be any wear-and-tear effect, which means that the product life won’t be reduced by folding, connecting, and touching each other when folded.
You can also build a panel array like this and hook it up to your backpack when traveling. So you can go camping or hiking and never worry about the battery when you take snapshots of the scenery or funny moments with your friends and family. And what if it starts raining? Well, they also thought of that and made it water-resistant. This makes a lot of sense as this is a product that most people would use outdoors.
The Solar Paper charger also comes with an LCD display and an amp meter to provide you information about the electrical charging current of the unit. It’s not the most advanced and beautiful display out there, but I think that’s really acceptable. It’s only a nice-to-have feature and why would they increase the production price, and in addition to that the retail price for us consumers, just for a fancy way of showing the current? Most competitors don’t even have anything like that.
As a side note, I want to mention that, apparently, the Solar Paper has no integrated battery. It’s a charger and requires a separate power bank if you want to store energy. It works just like your wall-charger at home. If you just want to charge your smartphone, tablet, camera or other gadgets, however, that is no problem via USB cable connection.
What else can I say now? The YOLK Solar Paper isn’t the cheapest sun energy collector to charge your gadgets out there, but it’s sophisticated, thin, light, efficient and really useful from what I can tell. If you want to have a look at options, pricing and other exciting products by YOLK, you should check out their website and shop too. They even have a cute “green couple” bundle with a nice price. I thought that’s a cool idea for all those couples who like to go out camping or hiking. Because it’s often not easy to fully understand such a product only based on a text review like this one, I have also embedded their product video from YouTube for you below.
What do you think about the Solar Paper? Do you think it’s worth the money if you want a reliable product for going camping or hiking? Would you instead bring a handful of budget power banks that you pre-charged at home? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. If you’re interested in the fastest ways to charge your devices you should also read this recent article by Diana Adams. Have fun!
YouTube: Solar Paper by YOLK
Story pitched by news scout Pupu Liang.
Thanks for that!
Photo credit: All images and videos are done by YOLK.
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I’m Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say ‘hi’ sometime. 😉