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Solar Gadgets for Summer

IOGear Solar Bluetooth Handsfree Car Kit

I love driving and talking on the phone but in my state it’s illegal to hold a phone while behind the wheel and I hate having wires all over the place. Enter IOGear’s innovative Solar Bluetooth Handsfree Car Kit, a sun-powered speakerphone.

The kit is a bargain at $38 and comes with a variety of cables and mounting brackets. If the sun fails you, it comes with cables for charging it with a computer or the car’s cigarette lighter, but no AC adapter.

To get the most out of the sunlight available, the speakerphone can be mounted on a sun visor or with the included suction cups directly on the car’s windshield. The beauty of the Solar Handsfree kit is that it charges while you’re driving around or parked as long as it’s outside and during the day.

It’s about the size of a smartphone and weighs just 2 ounces, so it’s easy to take from car to car. One side is covered with a 1.5- by 2.4-inch solar panel and the other has a buttons for setting it up as well as increasing or decreasing volume. There’s a thoughtful mute button on the side but it’s so small that I was never able to use it.

Inside it has a full Bluetooth 2.1 radio that can connect with most phones available today and hold the profiles of two handsets in its memory. This allows you to switch between two calls without losing either.

Brian Nadel
Brian Nadel is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in technology reporting and reviewing. He works out of the suburban New York City area and has covered topics from nuclear power plants and Wi-Fi routers to cars and tablets.