Customer Reviews


36 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (11)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hello sunshine
The Solargorilla is well-designed and robust, and not so huge as to stop it being portable. It has a 5V USB output for phones/PDAs and a standard output for laptops. Although shipping with a bewildering array of adaptor tips, it was inevitably missing the one I needed for my Samsung R510 laptop. I had a quick email response from the company, and they posted the correct...
Published on 27 Sep 2009 by A. Lovell

versus
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars useless
I would give this no stars if I could but amazon won't let me. It is useless. I live in Northern Portugal and as you might expect we get a lot of sun here. The solar panel is hopeless though. It doesn't charge or power laptops, it wouldn't charge my ipod and it barely charged my Nokia phone by 1 bar after a whole day in the sun. Furthermore, I bought it through a...
Published on 30 April 2012 by luke


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hello sunshine, 27 Sep 2009
By 
A. Lovell (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger (Electronics)
The Solargorilla is well-designed and robust, and not so huge as to stop it being portable. It has a 5V USB output for phones/PDAs and a standard output for laptops. Although shipping with a bewildering array of adaptor tips, it was inevitably missing the one I needed for my Samsung R510 laptop. I had a quick email response from the company, and they posted the correct one (R73D) to me, gratis. The output power is not enough to run a laptop but it will extend the battery life if charging while in use - my laptop estimates from 4 to 6 hours though I have not confirmed this. However in the bright autumn sun it charged my phone in about an hour and I am writing this review outside with it plugged into the laptop. So it has some oomph.

The main downside is that it works most effectively with both panels pointing directly at the sun so it has to be on its side fully opened, making it difficult to prop up. The intended alignment with one panel flat on the ground and the other aimed at the sun, like an open laptop, does not work so well. Don't even think about payback times for the small amount of electricity you will be generating, either. However, it will be very effective as an emergency charger or if you camp, sail, or otherwise spend a lot of time off-grid (typing in the garden sort of counts, too). I haven't yet tested it in overcast conditions because we haven't had any! I will have to look out for a way to charge camera batteries as well - unless the charger has a dc input this is not easy. Remember also that it has no battery of its own.

In summary: a neat, compact and effective solar charger, most suited to outdoorsy types and maybe early adopter "greens".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Performs very well, 24 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger (Electronics)
I've used the Solar Gorilla for four months and thought it was time to share my experience.

The Solar Gorilla was bought to charge several of my portable batteries. These batteries are then used to charge a multitude of low voltage devices (5V-12V) which, at the moment, seemed to be permanently plugged into the mains. This procedure may seem rather cumbersome, but many of these low voltage devices appear to be rather sensitive to the fluctuating output of a solar panel. Batteries, on the other hand, are not so fussy and can provide a stable charge to the low voltage devices without any problems. Clearly the cost effectiveness of this procedure does not enter into the equation. I just like the idea of running all those bits and pieces off "sunshine".

The first problem that had to be overcome was the issue of the different charge requirements for all the different batteries (5V-18V). Most of the portable size solar panels only have one output voltage. The Solar Gorilla, although quiet expensive, does seem to cover my requirements. It provides 5V and a 20V variable output.

To get the best out of the panel I strapped it to an old camera tripod and adjusted it to be at 90 degrees to the sun. I was pleasantly surprised to find that all the batteries were happy with the output. The 20V output seems to adjust itself to the best requirement of a battery. On a clear day the panel provided 300-500mA, depending on the voltage. On an average dull day it still provide a useful 100mA.

To continuously get the maximum out of the panel the tripod had to be readjusted every hour to face the sun. Clearly that is not a practical solution. To resolve the issue I built a clockwork solar tracker on which I could mount the Solar Gorilla. This is a device that would faithfully track the sun across the sky without consuming any of the carefully harvested energy. Now I just place the tracker outside in the morning and bring it back in evening. It's a much better solution. With this arrangement any one battery can be fully charged in two to three days, depending on the weather. Talking about the weather, the panel did get wet a few times and has not shown any detrimental effects. Probably because the output ports, which are not waterproof, are facing downwards.

Since I've had the Solar Gorilla none of my low voltage gadgets have been plugged into the mains and I find that very satisfying.

If I'm so pleased with the Solar Gorilla you may ask why I only gave it four stars. It has one cosmetic flaw. After two months of continued use I notice the part of the casing that is always pointing towards the sun started to become sticky accumulating a lot of dust. The sticky stuff wouldn't wipe off with either a wet or dry cloth. I emailed Powertraveller describing the problem. When I didn't get a reply after a week I tried to remove the sticky stuff with various chemicals and eventually found that methylated spirit did the trick. It removed the sticky stuff and revealed the shiny base layer underneath. It appears that the top layer (the cosmetic layer that gives it the matt look) is breaking down when continuously exposed to full face sunlight. Once all the sticky stuff around the front of the panel is removed the case looks well worn but it has not been affected in any other way. For something that is suppose to be exposed to the sun this should not happen. A few days later a received a reply from Powertraveller offering an exchange. I declined the offer as I was of the opinion that the problem was an inherent design fault and the exchange unit would probably exhibit the same fault within a few months. As it is only a cosmetic issue and the panel that I have is working well I decided to keep it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 27 Mar 2009
By 
T. A. Sprent (Oxford UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger (Electronics)
It surprises me that people aren't raving about this. It's small, thin, light well designed, with extensions for just about everything you could need it for. But most importantly, it seems to really work.

Straight from the box today, I charged my laptop. This was towards sunset, when the sun was low, through glass, and without any consideration about optimal positioning. The results were fantastic. So I can't wait to see its potential over the next few weeks, in a good position, in strong sunlight.

I guess I'm not saving the planet, but considering how many mp3 players/laptops/cameras, etc... that need charging, I think it could make a real difference with this panel.

Because of its design, I think I should be able to rig some kind of semi-permanent set-up, but also take it away, to charge on the go. So the aim is to completely cut out mains electricity for these small appliances, which I think is feasible, with a little planning about how/when to charge (though this might mean buying the battery that goes with this panel, in order to store for night/cloudy periods.).

So we'll just have to wait and see how it performs in winter... But, for now, couldn't be happier with this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars useless, 30 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger (Electronics)
I would give this no stars if I could but amazon won't let me. It is useless. I live in Northern Portugal and as you might expect we get a lot of sun here. The solar panel is hopeless though. It doesn't charge or power laptops, it wouldn't charge my ipod and it barely charged my Nokia phone by 1 bar after a whole day in the sun. Furthermore, I bought it through a third party vender on Amazon and had a load of hassle about returning it. I think I get more power from the solar panel on my scientific calculator than this. Don't buy it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars soooo disappointing, 21 April 2013
By 
D. N. Frew (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger (Electronics)
In bright sunshine, 40C heat and only 8 degrees north of the equator (southern Thailand) I fully expected this to charge my phone and kindle fire HD easily. No!

My kindle was losing charge as I read (The kindle pointed out this was a low power source and I'd have to shut the kindle down to let it charge.)

The phone was even worse - I have a battery monitor app and at 10am when I connected it the phone was 30% charged. The app predicted 11 hours to full charge. By noon it predicted 10 hours to full charge.

There was not a cloud in the sky - I would have fried if I stayed out in that sun. So this is a waste of money and luggage space. A huge disappointment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shocking waste of money, 17 Aug 2012
This review is from: Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger (Electronics)
Bought this as I was going camping and needed to charge my Samsung phone. When it arrived it certainly looked the part but when called to deliver on the promise it screamed from the advertising and packaging, it was was AWFUL. Do NOT buy this, it has been an expensive waste of money. Even when in direct sunlight on a hot UK day it failed to charge my phone - adding less than 10% to the battery after 4-5 hours. Some of my camping friends had the FreeLoader solar charger and that charged their phones really well, so buy that. The FreeLoaders are one-tenth of the price and they worked! Buy those and with the money you have saved buy beer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars solar gorilla, 19 Oct 2009
By 
This review is from: Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger (Electronics)
This item is fantastic. im in the army so was after something that could withstand a few bumps, which this certainly did.
Charges everything i own, from laptops, phones, ipods and many more. The best thing i found about the gorrila is that it charges even when out of direct sunlight.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars solar Gorilla, 1 April 2011
This review is from: Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger (Electronics)
Great product, very well made, came very quickly and I needed another cable and staff at Gorilla were very nice helpful.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing indeed, 29 May 2011
This review is from: Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger (Electronics)
I purchased a Solar Gorilla through Amazon, noting the manufacturer's claim that `the technically advanced solid panels ensure superb power and reliable performance...... the ultimate renewable powerstation for your notebook...Unlimited power under the sun...'. I used it to try and charge my small Samsung NC10 netbook in what I imagined to be pretty well ideal conditions (dry season in Africa, with strong sunlight and clear blue skies nearly every day for a month), but am extremely disappointed by its performance, and would not recommend it to any prospective purchaser. Even in these tropical conditions, it took several hours' recharge to replenish the most basic computer usage (e.g. one hour's simple word processing).

There are several alternatives available which, in my experience, are both much cheaper and more dependable, ranging from chargers that fit into the cigarette lighter in the car (which cost almost nothing) to small and inexpensive petrol generators (not very 'green' but they do the job).

I was equally unhappy with the response from the Power Traveller Company to my complaint about the poor performance of the panel. Happily, Amazon agreed to refund my costs without hesitation, and I have now returned it, and been fully reimbursed (for the Amazon-related costs).

[I have also, incidentally, been in correspondence with the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, whose publicity is prominent on the sales material for the panel and hypes up its environmental credentials, with regard to its claim (on the back of the instructions leaflet) that Gorillas are found in Guinea (Conakry); they agree that they have confused Guinea with Equatorial Guinea, a country 1,000 miles to the east, and say they will advise Power Traveller to change the publicity.]
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its ok but ..........., 8 May 2012
This review is from: Powertraveller Solargorilla 5V and 20V Solar Portable Charger (Electronics)
Had one of these for around 2 weeks now. The device itself is well built and sturdy, and it comes with every type of tip imaginable so will cover (charge) just about anything.

There is however a big but ......... the solar unit on its own is next to useless at stand alone charging. I have a Samsung Galaxy 2 phone, I have had the 5V USB cable plugged directly into the solar panel, then into my phone, with the solar panel open and in full sunlight - result the phone battery showed no addition to its charge in over 1hr of connection to the solargorilla. This was in DIRECT sunlight not through a house/car window. I then tried my Iphone 3GS and the same thing happened. This is NW England (where the sun always shines !!!) in May.

This is on the face of it a great idea, but this unit seems only to be of any use if you either already own, or intend to buy, one of the other charging options offered by powertraveller (power/mini gorilla) as these power/charge my phone and other devices (motorola tablet) with no problem at all, and the solargorilla seems to be able to charge/top these up with little problem.

As a standalone charger, I would not recommend it, if you have another powertraveller or compatible charging option then it is great to keep these topped up.

I will not give up, and will keep trying the direct charge option straight from the solargorilla. Such a shame as I had high hopes for this product. ADD May 2012 - changed to 4 stars. We have just had a camping weekend, and despite my previous thoughts the solar gorilla did perform well in direct charge over a number of hours. Nintendo DSI was ok, and there was now charge put into my Samsung phone. Full sun required or you do get battery drain. I still stick with my original opinion of needing a seperate battery back up though.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews