Solar-powered laptops are understandably more difficult to build in an efficient and cost-effective manner, but it seems a Canadian company called WeWi Telecommunications, Inc. has found a solution.
WeWi has unveiled an Ubuntu laptop that can be powered solely by solar energy and boasts an impressive 10 hour battery life. And the whole package costs only $350. A $400 waterproof version is also available.
Dubbed SOL, the Ubuntu powered laptop sports a rugged look that makes you think it would survive a 10-foot drop. It probably wouldn’t but its look matches its purpose: that of being used in developing nations with a lot of sun and limited access to electricity or by adventurers who are traveling around the globe.
Available in different colors including black, red, gray, bright green, the solar-powered laptop is provided with a detachable solar panel that developers say can provide enough batter juice to keep the device running for 10 hours after being kept as little as 2 hours in the sun.
Manufacturers also say the SOL does not really need to be plugged into a power outlet to charge, but it does offer the option. What’s even more interesting is that the solar panel is detachable and can be connected to the laptop via an extension cord. So while the solar panel is charging in the sun outside, you can easily use the laptop indoors.
In terms of hardware and other specs, the Ubuntu-running laptop is equipped with an Intel Atom D2500 Duo Core processor of 1.86 GHz, an Intel 945GSE chipset, 320 GB HDD, 2 to 4 GB of DDRIII SDRAM, GMA3600 graphics card, Wi-Fi, 4G/LTE, GPS and Bluetooth connections.
The laptop’s 13.3 inch LCD screen was designed so as not to drain the battery too fast. The gadget is also provided with a 3MP webcam, two speakers and an internal microphone, USB 2.0, HDMI and headphone inputs. SOL was specifically designed to run Ubuntu, but developers say another operating system can be installed without any problems.
An official release date has not yet been announced, but according to various reports, the Ubuntu laptop will first retail in Ghana. Developers are working on two models: SOL and SOL Marine, which will be waterproof. The laptops are expected to sell for $350 and $400, respectively.
[Image via solaptop]