I purchased mine on a whim when a shop was having a sale. It just seemed to make sense; I like to do things outside where there is no power, and I am sometimes too forgetful to check the batteries in things before I do so. There it was, my solution, it is a radio/ flashlight/ cellphone charger..... all in one, no batteries required, perfect for someone like me.
To date I have used the Eton for fishing, camping, picnics, work and as a conversation piece at parties. We also used the radio feature during the many tornado watches and warnings that we had in the beginning of the summer. The reception is usually pretty good, the LED flashlight is bright enough for any situation and the volume knob goes way past eleven.
One feature that is a little of a disappointment is the cellphone/ ipod charger. It simply takes too long to charge the phone, I think that if you were in a dire situation where you needed to raise your battery level to a usable amount for an emergency call that this would come in handy. However with its slow charging time this is not a feature worth bragging about.
Overall, this is a great radio for both casual occasions and emergencies. The solar strip on the top of the unit is especially nice when you are setting up a tent, or just playing some Frisbee. Without solar backup, like in a tent at night, expect 1-2 minutes of cranking to get you about 20 minutes of steady radio reception at a moderate volume/ flashlight use. Not too bad to play cards by.
It is light, it is self-powered and works like a charm, my recommendation; buy one. Put it in your car, backpack, bedroom garage, anywhere really.