Imagine going out to the backyard and using your wireless router to type your next article or do your taxes or just plain one of those mind-meltingly stupid FaceBook games. Okay you with me? The wireless router provides for ease of movement and that battery means no power cables. Ah, but no laptop battery lasts as long as it is advertised, does it? How would you like to be able to use your laptop anywhere you go without ever having to worry about power cords or battery failure again? What’s more, how would you like to be environmentally friendly? What’s even better: how would like you to stick it to the Man who own the power?
Xantrex provides what it calls a portable solar panel that allows you to power up your laptop or a television or a DVD player anywhere without the necessity to plug in. Pretty much any kind of electrical device could potentially be enjoyed by portable solar power suppliers. This means being able to watch The League of Gentleman on Netflix while you go camping. Well, potentially, anyway. It definitely means being able to play one of those incredibly time-wasting FaceBook games while swinging back and forth on your hammock in the backyard. I suppose if you had the right Wi-Fi equipment, you could even find yourself a desert island and make like Gilligan and the rest by enjoying all that Netflix and FaceBook and the Internet has to offer without ever missing the fact that you don’t have the Professor to invent an electrical power generator out of coconuts, bananas and Ginger’s bra. (Which, truth be told, wasn’t actually necessary for that generator to work, but, hey…).
The actual potential for leaving everything behind and finding yourself a private island like Gilligan or Marlon Brando is technically speaking rather slight. Xantrex itself admits that running your devices on its portable solar power units is not going to be an all-day affair any time soon. In fact, most portable solar power units are going able to be able to extend running time about 25 to 35 percent. Also, you may be required to redefine what you consider portability. Some of these portable solar panels are larger than the television or laptop computer you will be using it to power.
Even with the drawbacks, using these solar panel devices right now make life a bit more enjoyable if you actually live in a part of the country where being outside for more than half the year doesn’t mean going back into the house fifteen minutes later sweatier than Karl Rover after watching a collection of George W. Bush’s State of the Union addresses. The future is the real exciting part. If these portable solar power devices can make a laptop battery last a few hours more than they do today, imagine the potential for what can be accomplished in a decade. You may be able to stick it to the man who runs the power company for days at a time.
Heck, even leaving it all behind for a deserted island may be a reasonable expectation in your lifetime. Imagine: watching Papa Lazarou getting himself a new wife now while swinging back and forth your hammock inside a grass hut.