Thursday, Dec 18, 2014

Lumos unPlug solar backpack review: Better carry a charger than a bag that charges devices

Rating: 2 out of 5
Lumos unPlug solar backpack costs Rs 4,999 Lumos unPlug solar backpack costs Rs 4,999
Written by Sahil Malhotra | New Delhi | Posted: March 1, 2014 8:28 am | Updated: March 1, 2014 8:42 am

Charging-on-the-go is becoming innovative by the day.While more and more people are carrying power banks to back up their power hungry smartphones and tablets, there are people who are trying to take this solution to new places. The Lumos unPlug Solar Backpack is a step in this direction. Yes, you read it right, it is a solar backpack, a bag which charges devices when exposed to direct sunlight.

First impressions: The bag is black in colour — may be because of the colour’s high reception for sunlight —  and heavier than the usual. Plus, it takes a while to figure out where this thing opens from. I observed the design very minutely and when I ventured to open it, the process seemed unending. There was a zip, just like the usual ones, surrounding this backpack. So like a rookie user, I unzipped to gain access towards the business end of the device. To my surprise, the zip was like those fake doors that lead to concrete walls. This zip too did not lead anywhere.

I rotated the bag and turned it upside down to solve the mystery. Just when my patience began to run out, I saw a little opening towards the lower half with two old-school buckle locks. Unbuckle the locks, lifted the lid, and there it was – the small rectangular power bank. A solar power bank.

bag1

What we know?
After the first check, I know this is a bag with more than a couple of storage slits and a rain cover.

What we learnt?
Not all bags open with the zip, even if they have one.

Business end never ends

With a lot of backpacks, by top brands, selling like hot cakes in the market, the only way for this little gadget to gain popularity was by a catchy design and a simpler interface. Both, however, are not be be found in the current design. Inside, there are multiple slots for a 15″ laptop, a tablet, a couple of chargers, and even a handful of books. But, the way they are placed, stacked one over the other, is a bit confusing. It will take at least a couple of weeks to get used to this set up, and smoothly inserting the gadget in their slots.
Now, let us come to the solar charger part of the bag. One USB slot, a small pin — for both in and out — and a dozen jacks, compatible with even out-of-the-market handsets/devices. There is definitely a lack of vision here. Technology, they say, is to make the job simpler. With such a complex interface, it only adds to confusion and consumes a lot of time. For instance, switching to the alternate mode of charging the internal battery using a power point is a pain. The tiny pin, continued…

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