The Russian branch of Samsung has officially announced the solar-powered Samsung NC215S netbook. Two hours of sunlight exposure of the unit's solar panel is said to give up to one hour of working time, with the total battery life estimated to be 14.5 hrs. There's a couple of Intel Atom CPUs to choose from, a hybrid sleep mode, and the 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 pixel display is designed for use in direct sunlight. The official announcement concerns an August release in Russia only, but the NC215S is rumored to appear in the US even sooner.

The key feature of Samsung NC215S is the solar panel located on the lid, which charges a six-cell battery equipped with PowerPlus technology to provide extended running times. Considering that NC215S is supposed to work in bright sunlight, the display offers a brightness of 300 cd/m2 and an anti-reflective coating that Samsung claims provides colorful and clear images in any situation - even in direct light.

The netbook also features a "hybrid sleep mode" called Samsung Fast Start that Samsung says combines the fast start out of sleep with the stability of hibernation to allow users to get down to business a few seconds after opening the lid or pressing the power button.

The hardware includes either dual-core Intel Atom N570 or single-core Intel Atom N455 CPU working together with an integrated Intel GMA 3150 GPU. There's 1 GB of DDR3 memory as standard and choice of either a 250GB or 320GB HDD. The USB port is capable of Sleep-and-Charge function allowing for USB charging of external devices when the computer is off - no support for USB 3.0, however.

The Russian release is set for early August, 2011, while the website reports that Samsung will introduce the netbook in the US too, on July 3, 2011. The estimated retail price in Russia is 13 999 Rubles (US$500) and US$399 in the US.

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