Laptops

SOL: The $350 Ubuntu laptop that runs on solar power

SOL: The $350 Ubuntu laptop th...
The SOL is a Ubuntu laptop equipped with a detachable solar panel, which the developers claim will provide 10 hours of battery life after just two hours in the sun
The SOL is a Ubuntu laptop equipped with a detachable solar panel, which the developers claim will provide 10 hours of battery life after just two hours in the sun
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The designers hope the SOL can serve as a reliable computer for students in developing nations and globe-trotting adventurers alike, which is why the whole device has been designed for durability and built from reinforced materials
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The designers hope the SOL can serve as a reliable computer for students in developing nations and globe-trotting adventurers alike, which is why the whole device has been designed for durability and built from reinforced materials
Inside the case, the SOL houses an Intel Atom D2500 1.86 GHz Duo Core processor with an Intel 945GSE chipset
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Inside the case, the SOL houses an Intel Atom D2500 1.86 GHz Duo Core processor with an Intel 945GSE chipset
Customers will also have a choice between a variety of color schemes for the case, including black, gray, red, and bright green.
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Customers will also have a choice between a variety of color schemes for the case, including black, gray, red, and bright green.
According to the developers, each SOL computer could prevent approximately one ton of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere during its lifetime simply by not charging it exclusively through a power grid
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According to the developers, each SOL computer could prevent approximately one ton of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere during its lifetime simply by not charging it exclusively through a power grid
The designers hope the SOL can serve as a reliable computer for students in developing nations and globe-trotting adventurers alike, which is why the whole device has been designed for durability and built from reinforced materials
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The designers hope the SOL can serve as a reliable computer for students in developing nations and globe-trotting adventurers alike, which is why the whole device has been designed for durability and built from reinforced materials
The SOL uses a built-in Intel GMA3600 graphics card with a 13.3 in (33.8 cm) LCD screen to display crisp HD resolutions
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The SOL uses a built-in Intel GMA3600 graphics card with a 13.3 in (33.8 cm) LCD screen to display crisp HD resolutions
The laptop has a 3MP webcam fitted to the front along with two speakers and an internal mic for online video chats, plus inputs for USB 2.0, headphones, and HDMI, among others
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The laptop has a 3MP webcam fitted to the front along with two speakers and an internal mic for online video chats, plus inputs for USB 2.0, headphones, and HDMI, among others
The SOL is a Ubuntu laptop equipped with a detachable solar panel, which the developers claim will provide 10 hours of battery life after just two hours in the sun
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The SOL is a Ubuntu laptop equipped with a detachable solar panel, which the developers claim will provide 10 hours of battery life after just two hours in the sun
The SOL is a Ubuntu laptop equipped with a detachable solar panel, which the developers claim will provide 10 hours of battery life after just two hours in the sun
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The SOL is a Ubuntu laptop equipped with a detachable solar panel, which the developers claim will provide 10 hours of battery life after just two hours in the sun
WeWi has not revealed a release date for its solar-powered laptop just yet, but the company has noted there are two distinct models in the works: the SOL and the SOL Marine, the latter of which will be waterproof
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WeWi has not revealed a release date for its solar-powered laptop just yet, but the company has noted there are two distinct models in the works: the SOL and the SOL Marine, the latter of which will be waterproof
The company is determined however to make the computer as accessible as possible to the people that could use it the most, which is why it plans to distribute both versions worldwide at a budget price of US$350 and $400 respectively
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The company is determined however to make the computer as accessible as possible to the people that could use it the most, which is why it plans to distribute both versions worldwide at a budget price of US$350 and $400 respectively

In the Western world, we tend to take for granted some pretty basic amenities, like reliable electricity. For people living in those corners of the globe where electricity can be scarce, WeWi Telecommunications, Inc. has developed the SOL, a rugged laptop that doesn't rely on a power socket to stay charged. The Ubuntu Linux-powered computer is instead equipped with a detachable solar panel, which the developers claim will provide up to 10 hours of battery life after just two hours in the sun.

We've seen solar-powered laptops before, but never one that promised to be this energy efficient. WeWi claims the SOL never actually needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet to charge, but it still has the option in case you need to keep working late into the night. The solar panel can even detach and connect to an extension cord, so you can use the computer indoors and still keep it charged with direct sunlight.

Aside from benefiting the owner by supplying a readily-available energy source, the SOL's solar panels should also help the environment by reducing air pollution. According to the developers, each SOL computer could prevent approximately a ton of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere during its lifetime simply by not charging it exclusively through a power socket.

WeWi has not revealed a release date for its solar-powered laptop just yet, but the company has noted there are two distinct models in the works: the SOL and the SOL Marine, the latter of which will be waterproof
WeWi has not revealed a release date for its solar-powered laptop just yet, but the company has noted there are two distinct models in the works: the SOL and the SOL Marine, the latter of which will be waterproof

The designers hope the SOL can serve as a reliable computer for students in developing nations and globe-trotting adventurers alike, which is why the entire device has been designed for durability and built from reinforced materials. Inside the case, the SOL houses an Intel Atom D2500 1.86 GHz Duo Core processor with an Intel 945GSE chipset. Users will have access to 320 GB of HDD storage as well as 2–4 GB of DDRIII SDRAM, depending on what the buyer chooses. The whole computer has been optimized with Ubuntu in mind and comes pre-loaded with a suite of productivity tools, but WeWi has stated that another OS can be installed if needed.

The SOL uses a built-in Intel GMA3600 graphics card with a 13.3 in LCD HD screen, which the designers are confident won't drain the battery too quickly. The laptop has a 3 MP webcam fitted to the front along with two speakers and an internal mic for online video chats, plus inputs for USB 2.0, headphones, and HDMI, among others. It also includes a few options for connecting to the internet, such as Wi-Fi and 3G/4G/LTE, plus connections for GPS and Bluetooth. Customers will even have a choice to add a satellite communications module for especially remote areas.

The laptop has a 3MP webcam fitted to the front along with two speakers and an internal mic for online video chats, plus inputs for USB 2.0, headphones, and HDMI, among others
The laptop has a 3MP webcam fitted to the front along with two speakers and an internal mic for online video chats, plus inputs for USB 2.0, headphones, and HDMI, among others

WeWi has not revealed a release date for its solar-powered laptop just yet, but the company has noted there are two distinct models in the works: the SOL and the SOL Marine, the latter of which will be waterproof. The company is determined to make the computer as accessible as possible, which is why it plans to distribute both versions worldwide at a budget price of US$350 and $400 respectively. Customers will also have a choice between a variety of color schemes for the case, including black, gray, red, and bright green.

Source: SOL

13 comments
John Parkes
I'm all in on this one...i'm not a gamer so high end specs aren't really my thing...but i live in the land of power outages...and actually like Ubuntu. A water proof version for only 50 dollars more? yep, i'm in there too.
BigGoofyGuy
I like the option of using another operating system. I think it is cool - in a geeky sort of way - and very green. The price gives it a competitive edge too. I think it could be also be used by campers since the places one goes to does not always have power. It could be good for situations where all power is out; ie Hurrican Sandy on the east coast or Katrina in Louisiana.
MG127
a standalone panel for other laptops/tablets would be nice too
Matthew Chard
I wonder how heavy the laptop is, and how rugged the solar panel is too? Could the solar panel be hooked on to a rucksack, and thus will the panel be waterproof too? Perhaps like the Nomad (Goal Zero) solar panel... Good idea...
TedF
This is just a pipe - dream. I wish it luck! (especially at that price..)
Mantion
I would be interested in the SOL marine. But I could care less about the silly solar panels. I assume they are just doing this to get attention. I think anyone with average intelligence will know that powering a computer with the sun is just silly. Based on the picture you might get 5-10 watts of power from that massive heavy, fragile, and expensive PV array. It would be nice if they made a good crank or perhaps a petal generator. What ever happened to the various micro fuel cells we kept hearing about???
Slowburn
I like the SOL Marine.
Swami Saraswati
This is really cool for a forest dweller like me. I can't wait to get my hands on it. I believe it is developed through crowd funding too. Crowd funding, and crowd sourcing: True to the spirit of "Ubuntu "
martinkopplow
Nice approach, and maybe useful at times. I know some people working in developing countries, and they could sure benefit from using one of these. On the other hand, it takes less than half an hour to install Ubuntu on your average laptop (I already did that), and It would be quite simple to add a folding solar module as an option. The price they ask for the whole package is quite competitive, though. And then it's a ready to run system. Good luck!
Rann Xeroxx
Think it might be a better concept to have a standalone cheap solar array that can charge any laptop, say, an ultralight like the Samsung ChromeBook. But Linux would be a better OS for that ultralight.