Sony Hand-Crank Charger Lets You Manually Power Up Gadgets

Sony recently unveiled a portable, hand-crank-powered charger that can recharge your gadgets when no power outlets are available. Unfortunately, it may never be sold outside the Land of the Rising Sun.

Sony Japan just took the wraps off a new “CP-A2LAKS” portable charging gadget that lets you to recharge your mobile devices without an electrical power source, by cranking a wheel. The charger is made of three components: a “USB output section” that contains a 4,000 mAh battery; a "hand-cranked generator input" section; and an AC charging unit.

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The latter two components are interchangeable, and the primary “USB output section” has two USB ports that can be used to power up a variety of mobile devices and smartphones. The AC charging part lets you plug the unit into a power source to charge its battery in the traditional way.

Unfortunately, the CP-A2LAKS "hand-cranked portable charger" probably won’t be able to power up your iPad, since it has a maximum output of only 1.5A. Sony says it should take about 5 hours to fully charge the internal battery using the AC charging unit.

Rotating the hand-crank mechanism for about three minutes at 120 revolutions per minute yields enough power to make a one-minute smartphone call. And five minutes of cranking gets you about a minute of Web browsing, according to Sony. The hand-cranked input section is relatively lightweight at just 126 grams (4.4 ounces).

The hand-crank can be used as emergency power backup in locales such as earthquake-prone Japan, and it's also ideal for extended hikes or other outdoor activities.

The CP-A2LAKS hand-cranked portable charger will set you back about $100 (¥8,000), and it's expected to be released on June 20. However, it's unclear whether or not the product will be sold outside of Japan.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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