First things first: the iPad and iPad 2 batteries are pretty damn good, and I absolutely am not complaining about how long they last. However, right now we’re right in the middle of Festival Season, which for many means sitting in a tent with no changes of clothes, no sensible food, and no power. In these situations your ten-hour iPad battery will last a fair bit of time, but at some point over your musical weekend your tablet will run dry.
That’s where this little beauty comes in; the Spark Case is a bag/charging combo that harnesses the power of the sun to boost your iPad’s dwindling power. If you’re in Glastonbury this will obviously be no help, as the area seems doomed to sogginess every year, but at the hundreds of thousands of other concerts worldwide this will give a welcome power surge to your dying machine.
What’s even better is that this case is pretty darn rugged – Voltaic’s website actually uses the words ‘built to withstand abuse’ – and the casing is strong and padded, as well as UV resistant, protecting your iPad from most knocks and bumps. The solar panels provide 8 watts of power, meaning if you use the case to charge for an hour, you will get one hour of video playback in return. There is a small, rechargeable battery pack included in the bag, so if you want to use your iPad you can keep charging while you do so, and this includes several adapters, meaning you can charge more than just a tablet if you wish.
If might not be the most attractive case we’ve ever seen, but when you get this much functionality it’s easy to see why the demand for this product has caused orders to be delayed as Voltaic rush to create more stock. We’ll admit, at $299 (around £190) it’s certainly on the wrong side of ‘pricey’, but if you’re out in the great outdoors a lot and need regular top-ups of power, there are few better alternatives.
For more information, or to order the Spark case, check out the Voltaic website