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I recently bought a Solitaire for my girlfriend as the light is usually out of order in the hallway where she lives.
Given the price it's a fairly good torch. It's certainly well made and being produced in the USA it is certainly a product I would trust in. The nice thing about this really is it's compact size, meaning it can just sit on a keyring ready for use whenever it's needed rather than languishing in a drawer under the sink waiting for the occasional power cut. A nice, useful alternative to a keyring fob.
However I do feel it under performs these days compared to similarly priced bicycle lights due to that it is a bulb rather than an LED. There is a new version out which is an LED which I would be keen to try as in theory the battery life will be longer.
I think the Solitaire makes for a good gift purchase thanks to the attractive presentation case and the fact that it is available in many different colours.
The maglite solitaire is a small torch, about the size of your ring finger that comes with a little lanyard. It has a normal bulb, not an LED (this is a bit annoying), and comes in a hard case, with a battery included. I got mine for around 8 pounds from amazon including delivery. The torch is pretty well put together, but note that for me the black paint that surrounded the torch got worn away to make the torch mroe silver in places, a look which did not suit the torch. The torch is turned on an off by twisting the front bit, and as you twist it, you can focus and widen the torch beam.
The biggest problem with this torch though is the fact that it is not an LED light. LED ights are more efficent on battery power, and are much brighter, and last much longer. I actually got fed up with my bulb and tried to upgrade it to an LED using a video on youtube, but sadly the LED i used must have been the wrong size or something as it ended up breaking the solitaire. Apart from the fact i broke it, it was a very robust torch.
Because the torch is so small and not led, it means that say if you turned it on walking home in the dark, you wouldn't even be able to see your own feet as the light is just that weak. Considering that i now have a mobile phone with an LED torch on it (samsung solid immerse, i have a review if anyone is interested), which is much brighter, and i even bough an even smaller keychain light that runs on watch batteries from ebay for about 1 pound that also has a laser and is more powerful... it kinda makes the solitairre look bad.
I think that although this torch is very well made, and is very nice, it doesn't really function as a torch, kinda making it a bit useless. Its ok for say trying to find something you dropped in the back of someones car in the dark, but apart from that it doesn't have that much of a use. After this i bough an LEd torch from china on ebay called police3w or something like that. It was much more powerful, and really nicely made, and was supposed to be waterproof. Sadly it fell apart after a long time due to it unscrewing itself in my pocket (wish i put some rubber ring on it or something) and im guessing the torch must have dropped out somewhere. But that unscrewing thing also happened with the solitaire, so its not an isolated problem. That torch was also cheaper, and to my eye better looking!
In summary then, the solitaire in my opinion is overpriced, and really needs to be an LED to make sense. For this reason i give it onyl 2/5 stars, as it does have being well made in its favour.
A strange but none the less handy gift I received from my fiancé was the maglite solitaire. I have to admit when opening the present and seeing a nice little black presentation box with just the words 'Maglite solitaire' I wasn't entirely sure what it was. When opening the box it became clearer it was a cute mini pink torch with the battery, opps! My fiancé wasn't a bit impressed with me explaining it's a maglite it's really cool you know. After a bit of a play with it I realised it was a pretty cool torch and would be a handy thing to have on me. And that is what it is a handy thing to have with me especially when I drop a pound down the driver's seat in the car and I'm trying to find it! Or trying to find the keyhole to our door on a night.
After a brief look on the internet I realised Maglite was a well known company that made torches of very high quality. This little torch was no exception. It might only be 8cms in length and weighs less than an ounce but the intensity of the beam on it is great. I have been very impressed by the amount of light this tiny torch gives off. It is very bright and I wouldn't recommend it for a young child as shiny it in someone's eyes (which most children love to do) would be very uncomfortable. Switching the maglite on is a simple twist of the head of the torch and continuing to twist will change the beam from a spot beam to a flood beam both of which are equally as good.
The maglite takes one AAA battery which is a very easy size to change which I love. To remove or put the battery in you unscrew the end of the torch and slot it in. It is as simple as that. I do love this torch as it looks great but is simple enough to use. Maglite really do think of every little detail even in something so small. In the back of the torch there is a spare blub, this I couldn't believe.
There are some facts about the maglite that I haven't tested which it is waterproof and shock resistant. It also is anodised to prevent corrosion a common problem with torches after a while. So I am sorry I am a little fraud with that but I'm honest about it and if the rest of the torch is anything to go by I trust Maglite in what they say.
My maglite solitaire came in a lovely little black presentation box. Inside was the gorgeous pink maglite, a key ring attachment and an AAA battery so you could start using it straight away. The key ring attachment is black and was easy enough to attach. I have mine on as it is easier to find in my bag. You could attach it to your keys but as my keys already have a lot of rubbish on them I didn't want to put this nice item on them to be bashed about.
The maglite solitaire comes in a few colours but I love the colour my fiancé brought me. It is nice and girlie and fits in with the rest of my contents of my handbag. You can currently (Feb 2011) get them on Amazon and they are roughly £6 which is a great price for a fantastic useful present. The maglite also comes with a ten year warranty which is fantastic.
High intensity light beam / Flood to spot beam focusing / Water and shock resistant / Anodised to prevent corrosion