Print 28 comment(s) - last by overlandpark4m.. on Aug 12 at 2:41 PM

Sol promises 8 to 10 hours of battery use per charge with only a two-hour charge time

If you're highly mobile user, you've undoubtedly had problems with your laptop running out of power at inopportune moments. The only thing be done is to connect your laptop to plug in an extra factory battery, use an external battery, or find an AC outlet and plug-in.
If you're using the Sol solar-powered Ubuntu Linux laptop, all you would need to do is open up your laptop’s solar panel. The Sol laptop is designed for use by the military and in education for developing nations where access to electricity is limited. As a result, the notebook computer is designed to be rugged to survive use in harsh environments.

The laptop is built by WeWi Telecommunications, which is already a provider hardware and software solutions to military and law enforcement agencies. According to the manufacturer, the notebook can run directly off solar energy with the solar panels unfolded or charge the internal battery in under two hours. Once the internal battery is charged, the computer is good for 8 to 10 hours of use.

The company is mum on exactly what hardware is used inside the machine, but you can bet it's the most power miserly equipment they can get their hands on. 

Sources: OMG Ubuntu,

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Screen consideration
By chµck on 8/6/2013 11:27:32 AM , Rating: 4
If it's meant for outdoor usage in bright sunlight, that screen better work miracles.

RE: Screen consideration
By swizeus on 8/6/2013 1:05:17 PM , Rating: 2
that's what i thought. If the screen works, it would be very awesome

RE: Screen consideration
By WhatKaniSay on 8/6/2013 2:46:16 PM , Rating: 2
The story might go like this....

Hey Junior, take your laptop to outside and place it on top of the hut so that the battery will be recharged and ready for school tomorrow.
.....jr runs out and place his gizmo on the balcony for the expected bake (aka recharge).

Junior, it looks like it might rain today. Don't forget to bring in your laptop before the rain start.
……ok mommy. Jr goes on playing till the rain clears up. Oooops! I forgot to get the laptop before the rain.

RE: Screen consideration
By flyingpants1 on 8/6/2013 9:34:50 PM , Rating: 3
Aaaand it's waterproof too.

RE: Screen consideration
By Apone on 8/6/2013 4:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
If it's meant for outdoor usage in bright sunlight....

Exactly, just like solar-powered night vision goggles....

By majorpain on 8/6/2013 12:14:18 PM , Rating: 1
Seen a lot worst netbooks in the market with battery for 1:30 hour.

Specs as seen in omgubuntu:

The sun-powered wonder will come in 2 configurations: one ‘submersible’ under water and the other not.

Both will sport the following specifications:

13.3? LCD Screen (1366×768)
Intel Atom D2500 1.86 GHz Dual Core
Intel 945GSE + ICH7M
Seagate 2.5” SATA HDD 320GB
2GB DDR3 SDRAM (4GB available)
Built-In Intel GMA3600 Graphics
8 – 10 hour battery
Ubuntu 12.10
3MP Webcam
Usual bunch of USB 2.0, Audio, HDMI, Ethernet & SD Card ports

For connectivity:

3G/4G World/multimode LTE
Built-in WiFi, GPS & Bluetooth


RE: Specs
By Pessimism on 8/6/2013 12:33:35 PM , Rating: 2
If those specs are right this thing is a joke... why on earth they would pick the power sucking 945 on a solar powered laptop over even the NM10 is beyond me...

RE: Specs
By Flunk on 8/6/2013 1:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
It's really the only chipset they can use with that model of Atom. Maybe they're using a die-shrunken version? Who knows.

RE: Specs
By DanNeely on 8/6/2013 2:14:05 PM , Rating: 2
The d2500 is the 2011 model; the die shrinks were in future years and given new model numbers. IF they really are using the D2500 it's an idiotic decision unless they were able to get a bunch really cheap on clearance somewhere.

RE: Specs
By Samus on 8/6/2013 11:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
Should have used AMD A1 or older E350. Power savings/cost would be substantial over an Atom with 945 chipset, with slightly better performance (especially video playback.)

I don't understand the choice in hardware at all. 16GB SSD with a memory card slot would make more sense than a hard disk, especially for lean distro of linux.

Great concept though. Very curious about the screen as is everyone else.

RE: Specs
By ilt24 on 8/6/2013 7:38:45 PM , Rating: 3
Something is wrong with the specs, the D2500 is a 10W desktop chip that has the Northbridge (memory controller/gpu) on die, so it can’t be paired with the 945 chipset. The N2800/N2600 and NM10 chipset would make more sense. If they are using a 945 chipset then the processor would have to be something like the 5 year old N270.

Solar-Powering a Heat-sensitive device
By WhatKaniSay on 8/6/2013 11:27:15 AM , Rating: 2
....I'll wait to see this play out.

RE: Solar-Powering a Heat-sensitive device
By chµck on 8/6/2013 11:29:27 AM , Rating: 2
If it's truly mil-spec, it can withstand temps up to 105C.

RE: Solar-Powering a Heat-sensitive device
By daboom06 on 8/6/2013 12:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
it's not going to be mil-spec if it costs $300. maybe they'll have a suitably overpriced version that's been through the horribly overpriced 'testing' and 'accreditation' pathway... after they installed some moderately more expensive components that can handle poor handling and weird temperatures.

By chµck on 8/6/2013 1:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
If not true mil-spec, average components are still rated for 85C.

By Jeffk464 on 8/6/2013 1:23:12 PM , Rating: 1
Very niche use, for me I would rather just have a ULV Haswell laptop with 8 hour battery life.

How odd
By CaedenV on 8/6/2013 1:40:38 PM , Rating: 3
The company that I work for occasionally works with groups that take laptops and computers to countries in Africa to set up little computer labs for schools. They always have 2 major issues to contend with:
1) corrupt military or paramilitary groups tend to take technology when trying to import it into the country and don't care if it is going to a school or a church.
2) The power grid is often so poor that it is difficult for a school to run a bunch of computers, so they often have to use laptops as desktops simply to keep the wattage down, and even then it can be quite a problem.

These computers at $300 a pop would be wonderful for this type of setting. Importing the machines may still be an issue, but the removal of having to wire a computer lab can go a long way to bringing tech to those who otherwise would not be able to. It just removes a lot of the expense and hassle that keeps tech away from those who could use it.

It is hard to imagine, but very soon we are going to have parts of this world where the infrastructure will not be in place to have things like refrigeration, washing machines, AC, or even lighting; and yet these same communities will have access to internet and have very capable solar powered laptops and smartphones. What an odd dichotomy! But I hope these laptops can stay cheap, or even go cheaper in time.

RE: How odd
By Lonyo on 8/6/2013 6:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
Many people don't realise there is a world outside the one they live in, where people don't have food, electricity or clean drinking water.

Now, you could say that it's weird they would need a laptop if they don't have those things, but it reminds me of a company that set up to text commodity prices to African farmers.
The farmers were beholden to western companies telling them how much their crops were worth, because they didn't have any information on prices, until they were able to be informed.
So while it may seem crazy to givea $300 laptop to people with no water or electricity, knowledge, as they say, is power, and the ability to use something like Wikipedia or any other website can do a lot, just like water or electricity.

TL;DR Not everyone lives in the lap of luxury in the west, for some people a $300 solar powered laptop would be ridiculously useful for education and other purposes.

RE: How odd
By CaedenV on 8/7/2013 12:14:27 AM , Rating: 2
not saying that it is weird that they would need it. It is just odd as an american where you think of something like a washing machine as a 'basic technology' and things like computers and cell phones are considered more 'advanced technology'. So it is odd to think that people cannot have much more basic and simple technology because it is too expensive to operate... yet something like a laptop or phone is less expensive operate and so it makes it around the world first.

Makes total sense... jut a different paradigm

I don't see this working
By eagle470 on 8/6/13, Rating: 0
RE: I don't see this working
By CaedenV on 8/6/2013 1:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
In a 3rd world country where this make sense to use, it is just a difficult to find support for MS or apple computers. Linux may not be for me, but the last few versions of Fedora and Ubuntu that I have played with are actuially quite usable, and do not require a high IQ to use. Now if you are doing programming, or other high-end complicated work then there is a case to be made in sticking with MS or Apple for the sake of support... but you just don't do that on a little $300 duel core Atom system.

You don't need a whole lot of support to browse the web and type in open office.

RE: I don't see this working
By JediJeb on 8/6/2013 5:24:54 PM , Rating: 3
Also in other parts of the world, Linux is more known than it is in the US. If there was a ton of markup on Linux products like there is on MS and Apple, then there might be cute Linux commercials on TV everywhere to convince us to use it. How easy the masses get swayed by cute slogans and rhymes.

How many people think Intel is the only chip maker in the world because of the commercials?

Too thick
By Gurthang on 8/6/2013 1:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you want the panels attached to the laptop screen like they show in the pictures. I could forgive them if it was just latched on so while carrying it they will stay together. It just makes far more sense to have a think and light foldable panels on a long cord so at least you could sit in the shade while the panels were in full sun. On top of that the panel module as shown is way too thick unless there is a battery in there along with the panels. There is no signs of any concentrators in the pics and while you want to protect good crystaline panels there is no need for anything that bulky.

RE: Too thick
By JediJeb on 8/6/2013 5:35:04 PM , Rating: 2
Even with its current form factor this computer is way better than what we used 10-15 years ago and not much more bulky. I actually got a lot of work done back then using what was barely a pentium tech laptop running at a few hundred mhz. For what this is designed for it will work great, and I would have given anything back then for something like this which would have probably cost 10x as much then too.

yep mil specs
By KOOLTIME on 8/6/2013 12:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
the purpose for the military spec, is due to only the strong would even attempt to carry that thing around.

Definitely not the average weight laptop with the added solar panel in back.

The question is where is a desk outside to use such a beast of burden.

Hopefully we get better / lighter solar panel density technology sooner then later.

Then the world can move chage forward alot quicker then current solar tech.

Even home solar is rediculous in its current state outside the few rich or obscure that can manage it.

Problem with solar panels is to costly. The other point a lot of people don't understand about solar panels is, they are like any other tech out their. With that in mind remember tech breaks and the cost to repair solar install is undo-able for the average home owner. The warranty is less time then the the cost to install and even attempt at saving money over current electric power systems.

Average install cost for a home roof type solar system is around 50k. The time to even save money to get a return on that invenstment is currently outside over 25 years 20+ for sure on some very smaller installs. Solar panels current warranty recent check is 10 years, so replacement of those 2x in the say 20 years to see a ROI, the replacement cost kills any savings at all for the use of solar in the 1st place. over the long term that everyone preaches will same them. This main fact is hidden by companies preaching them.

By sulu1977 on 8/6/2013 9:26:11 PM , Rating: 2
A solar powered laptop is simply fabulous. What's foolish is assuming that your standard source of electric power will always be available.

By overlandpark4me on 8/12/2013 2:41:06 PM , Rating: 2
with a decent tether, so I could put it on my dash and still keep the laptop in the shade.

Dat gloss...
By quiksilvr on 8/6/13, Rating: 0
"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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