A laptop without charge is about as useful as carrying a slab of concrete in your bag. A great workout, sure, but not really what you were hoping for. SOL has a solution.
SOL is a solar powered Ubuntu-powered, ruggedised laptop that costs from just US$350 (£230) but claims to offer a ten-hour battery life on two hours of sun.
Never plug it in
sol laptop back
sol laptop front
sol laptop detail
The point of this Intel-powered, 13.3in HD-screened rugged laptop is to offer powerful computing to the poorer nations where a charge is often hard to find. With that in mind it’ll be launching in Ghana, where there’s plenty of sun to keep it juiced up. We're not sure it'd fare quite so well in Blighty.
While the price tag may be a bit steep for locals it’ll offer aid workers a useful way to keep computing without the need to lug around a generator. And with 802.11n Wi-Fi, GPS, 4G LTE, Ethernet and a satellite modem module option, it has the capacity to stay connected just about anywhere.
The "engineered for extreme efficiency" tagline hints at low-power internals, including from 2GB RAM and an Intel Atom D2500 dual-core chip with HD3600 graphics. They power a 1366x768 720p screen, which includes a 3MP webcam. Storage comes from a 320GB hard disk.
To meet those power claims, the back of the laptop folds down to reveal a solar panel the size of the screen. A MacBook Air this ain't, but hey – chunkiness is a worthwhile price to pay for freedom from the power socket, and the MacBook Air doesn't come in a submersible 'Marine' variety either (the SOL does, in case you were wondering).
If you’re a sun-chaser who loves the freedom of the Ubuntu Linux OS, check out solaptop.com.