Solar Powered Netbook Coming From Samsung

Summer is in full swing and, wouldn’t you know it, here comes the July 4th holiday. This weekend, all across the U.S., patriotism, BBQs, beer and, of course, fireworks can be expected. What else can be expected this weekend? An eco-friendly, solar-powered netbook from Samsung.

We learned of the new netbook’s pending arrival in the U.S., Russia and Africa from the folks at liliputing. It turns out that the NC215s, hailed as the world’s first solar-powered netbook, is, in fact, reportedly due to hit U.S. shelves on July 3rd for around $400.

According to the manufacturer, the solar panel, which is mounted on the reverse side of the NC215s’  flip-up display, is able to provide about an hour of computing time for every two hours it spends in direct sunlight. The netbook is said to sport a battery that can provide up to 14.5 hours of operating time, though graphics intensive use is likely to knock that number down several notches. The computer features an Intel Atom N570 1.66 GHz dual-core  processor with integrated graphics that draws a maximum of 8.5 watts (actually on the high side for an Atom processor). Adding to the computer’s eco-friendliness factor is its recyclable parts.

The  netbook includes a list of other interesting and practical features. A  “Sleep-and-Charge” USB port that can charge mobile devices even while the netbook is in sleep mode or turned completely off can also provide juice once battery power is depleted using its built in solar panel. The computer’s 10.1″ display has a matte finish to reduce glare and Samsung reports that it is 50% brighter than competing netbooks, leading us to believe it may actually be usable while sitting out in the sun. No word, however, on how Samsung mitigates the heat issue that often crops up when such devices spend considerable time under blistering solar rays. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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