Eton showed its SCORPION for the first time today at CES. It's terming the unit a “solar-powered, all-terrain, multi-functional unit”, but that really doesn't quite capture how impressive this ruggedised device actually is, particularly given its recommended price of USD50. For starters, power can come three ways: via solar panel, dynamo hand-crank, or DC adapter, allowing use anywhere. Its ruggedised appearance, aluminum carabiner clip and LED flashlight leave no doubt it is aimed directly at the adventurer, particularly so with its offering immediate detailed weather conditions via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather bands. But wait, there's more ...

In addition to the necessities for wilderness adventure, there's also a digital radio tuner, and an audio line input, allowing you to play external music devices.

For all that, it's not as tough as it looks, carrying only a splashproof rating from Eton. Although it's clearly a fairly hardy device with much higher levels of durability than your average wind-up torch, if there was something else we'd be looking for, it'd be genuine waterproof and float when you drop it in the drink capabilities. At USD50, it's a winner, but I'd be more than happy to pay twice as much for the indestructable nature that full waterproofing offers.

The Etón SCORPION will be available in the first quarter of 2010, and we suspect it'll have extreme appeal to weekend warriors, particularly at just USD50.

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