Arctic Cooling C1 Mobile Solar Charger

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
August 20, 2010
Manufacturer
Arctic Cooling
Product Page
C1 Mobile
Views
42699
Arctic Cooling C1 Mobile Solar Charger
The Arctic Cooling C1 Mobile combines a solar panel into a portable power source and the combination works well with an excellent price.

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Page 1
Introduction

Don't be fooled by the "green" revolutionaries. Even though many of them are crazy, there are some excellent things coming out for the real person. Solar panels are coming down in price and up in quality. They offer a way of harnessing the sun's energy when it is visible. This is "free" energy that plants use right now. Arctic Cooling has taken the solar panel and fused it into a portable power source. The Arctic Cooling C1 Mobile can be charged by USB or solar and provides its power through a standard USB port.

About Arctic Cooling

Quote

ARCTIC COOLING is a privately owned company founded in 2001 with headquarters in Switzerland, offices in Hong Kong and the USA and production facilities in Asia. The ARCTIC COOLING team consists of international highly educated people with business, technical and communicational skills. The attitude to work is based on Swiss principles of innovative spirit and high standards of workmanship for which it is recognized internationally. This striving for excellence is integrated in all processes as a matter of course. ARCTIC COOLING´s core competencies are multifarious including systematic noise reduction,copper and aluminum heatsink development, customization of thermal solutions, as well as designing quiet fans. More recently quiet and cool PC Cases and Power Supplies have been developed.

http://www.arctic-cooling.com/catalog/static_info.php?tid=ABOUT_US


Packaging

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Arctic Cooling has a very distinct look with their packages. If you have read our previous Arctic Cooling product reviews, you'd know that they keep the silver and white packaging for all their lines. Branding is very important. Take note of the 4440mWh battery on the packaging. Normally, battery capacity is measured in mAh (milliamp-Hours) and not mWh (milliwatt-Hours). More on that later.

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The back of the product contains more information and specifications. The package states that the C1 Mobile provides the USB charging port supplies 5.5V which is much higher than the 5V USB standard voltage.
Page 2
Specifications

  • Built-in 4400 mWh lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • Ideal for high-powered devices everywhere
  • Fast and save charging by the USB cable provided
  • Adapter for Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola included
  • USB port 1 Port
  • Input solar panel 5.5 V / 80 mA
  • Input USB 5 V / 300 mA
  • Li-ion rechargeable battery 4440 mWh
  • Output DC 5.5 V 500 mA
  • Dimensions 110 (L) x 43 (B) x 12 (H) mm
  • Weight 52 g
  • Warranty 2 Years
  • Manufacturer code DCACO-AC003-CSA01
  • EAN-Code 087276700327-9


Marketing Summary

Quote

Mobile USB Charger with Solar Panel

This lightweight, mobile charger gives you power wherever you go. Its built-in 4440 mWh lithium-ion battery is ideal for charging power-intensive devices such as mobile phones, MP3 and PDA. The ARCTIC C1 Mobile also provides necessary voltage to the data pin which allows charging of iPhone and iPod touch.
With hybrid functionality, the ARCTIC C1 Mobile can be charged from the sun / light or from a USB port.

Featuring a 4400 mWh lithium-ion battery, this portable charger is ideal for powering up energy-intensive devices, such as mobile phones, MP3 players and PDAs. What’s more. The ARCTIC C1 Mobile provides the necessary voltage to the data pins which allows charging of iPhone and iPod touch, which gives one more practical option for charging your valuable multimedia devices.

The ARCTIC C1 Mobile can be charged by the built-in solar panel. Take the ARCTIC C1 Mobile with you whilst working, hiking, sunbathing, camping to transform natural resources to the energy for a wide range of devices.

http://www.arctic-cooling.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=82_89&mID=550


Package Contents

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In addition to the C1 Mobile, Arctic Cooling includes a USB cable with changeable tips and some literature. You get tips for mini-USB and some other mobile phones, but no micro-USB. Most smartphones use micro-USB and you'll need to supply your own cable to be used with the C1 Mobile. Micro-USB should be included instead of the other random phone charging tips.
Page 3
C1 Mobile

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If there is enough ambient light, the C1 Mobile will be topping off its internal lithium-ion battery. The LED on the bottom right shows that our fluorescent lights for picture taking was enough to trickle charge the C1 Mobile. The C1 is basically built around a solar panel and the boarders have the silver accents that Arctic Cooling likes. There are three LED indicators on the bottom. The one that is on indicates that the C1 is charging by solar (or any light).

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The back of the C1 Mobile lists the basics of the device and the specifications. In addition, it gives you some warnings. "Do not open the device." The device is properly sealed and if you do open it, good like putting it back together. The output voltage on the back still say 5.5V in the specifications, but it is labeled 5V on the bottom.

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The C1 Mobile has a hooked top to allow it to rest at an angle. This should help it keep a better view of the sun on a table or other surface. The C1 is fairly thin at about 3/8 of an inch. It is also very light in weight.

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The C1 Mobile has two ports. It contains a standard mini-USB port (on the left) for charging the internal battery using standard USB power. The right side has a standard USB port for charging other devices. The C1 Mobile can be used as a pass-through. This means that the C1 Mobile can be charged and charge a device at the same time. This is good for solar power charging.

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Compared to a standard CD, the C1 Mobile is a bit smaller than the diameter. It is light in weight and would be easy to leave in a car in the dashboard in full view of the sun.
Page 4
Use

Let's start with the conversion to mAh for the battery. With a specification of 4440mWh, the output says it provides 5.5V. Watts = Volts * Amps. 4440mWh / 5.5V = around 810mAh. This isn't a very large battery, but it isn't meant to be used away from the wall socket forever. The C1 Mobile didn't have enough power to charge the test Blackberry Storm once. Even though it couldn't charge it fully, it provided ample power for use throughout the day and into the night. 810mAh may not be the biggest portable power pack, but it does provide enough power in a pinch. Solar charging is a great feature. Leave this on the dash of your car and only use it when your phone is dead. Even if you forget to recharge the C1 Mobile, the solar panel should take care of that in a day or two.

This is a great power pack to have in the car since you can leave it in there all the time. Charging by solar takes some time, though. Expect at least 12 hours of full sun to charge the C1 Mobile. This means, you can double the time needed to charge the unit in normal conditions. That being said, the unit gets enough light indirectly from the sun outside as well. Any little bit of sunlight will top off the C1 Mobile so it is a good thing to have in emergencies. We heard a slight hiss if we put an ear up to the unit (directly) while it was charging over solar. As the solar intensity increased, the hiss became very high pitched. At normal distances (a foot), you won't hear anything.

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The C1 Mobile belongs out in sun with its plant buddies. If you can name the plant pictured, please post a comment.



Our video review presents how the C1 Mobile works and shows off some more functionality of the device. Please watch it and give us some feedback.

Conclusion

The Arctic Cooling C1 Mobile has a MSRP of $25. Retail (when available) should be slightly cheaper than that. At this price, the C1 Mobile is an excellent buy. Compared to competing kits, the C1 Mobile is, at least, half the price. Arctic Cooling has been branching out into new segments and we're happy they entered the portable power pack market. The C1 Mobile is an excellent product and ASE Labs has no problem in recommending the unit. At a price of $25, you can't go wrong with the solar panel hybrid battery pack. Leave it on your car dashboard and forget about it till you need it. It is as simple as that. Now, if Arctic Cooling can supply micro-USB cables, we'd be even more impressed with the unit. For now, you'll have to supply your own.

ASE Labs would like to thank Arctic Cooling for making this review possible.

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