The Pit

Sun Power | mPowerpad 2

BY Joel Tam

In a recent drive up to Malaysia, we brought along a rather interesting gadget to aid our multiple-phone charging woes. A solar-powered charger that worked remarkably well!

Some modern cars may be equipped with more than one 12V powerpoint. But most cars on our roads still only have one. So what happens when more than one person that needs to charge their phones? 

While it is perfect for using in a car, the mPowerpad 2 is more than that, it is a portable solar-powered charger that you can bring along with you anywhere you go. Hiking, camping and outdoor activities where there are virtually no access to electrical power, are some perfect examples of how this device can come in very useful.

In our test though, we left it on the dashboard to charge. With just over an hour of direct sun, we could easily fully charge our iPhone 5. That's almost as fast as plugging it into the wall! It's versatile at the same time and can be charged via the sun, wall or USB connector.

With our demo unit, the charging performance was truly remarkable when used in the hot sun. But the time it took to charge the phone did slow down at night, even though the mPowerpad 2 was at full capacity. Still it managed to fully charge the phone under four hours.

To make things even handier, the mPowerpad 2 comes with a detachable pocket battery pack that lets you carry it around in your pocket. You can even separately charge two phones by utilising both the main charger and the battery pack. It's water resistant too!

If that's not enough, the mPowerpad 2 is more than a charger! It even has a built-in radio, LED reading light, high-frequency insect repellant, and a LED torchlight as well! Sure, the build quality is a little flimsy in some areas, and the main charger is rather huge (it looks like a stone age iPad), but the performance of the mPowerpad 2 far outweighs its aesthetic deficiencies.