WeWi Telecommunications has built what it claims is the world’s first “fully solar-powered laptop”, which it says never needs to be juiced up at the mains.
The SOL, a solar-powered Ubuntu machine on the Canadian telco’s blog here, is billed as “the all-terrain, off-road, sport-utility laptop.”
SOL is for when you need to be “digitally empowered on the top of a mountain or in the middle of the desert” according to the David-Attenborough-inspired promo video.
The SOL is ruggedised laptop running Intel and the Ubuntu Linux distro. The device comes with different I/O slots, presumably so you customise to the max. You get eight to 10 hours battery life on solar power - or at least you can once the machine's three solar panels are deployed. It takes them "just" two hours to charge. You can read the full specs here.
The machine comes pre-loaded with productivity and creativity tools. WeWi’s site doesn’t say what these are, but it’s likely LibreOffice that comes with Ubuntu. Price is expected at $300.
Despite what WeWi says, there have been solar-powered PCs before – there was the NC215 from Samsung albeit a netbook. But that was running Windows 7 Starter, and took two hours charging to producw one hour's runtime. This is certainly the first Ubuntu - if not first Linux - laptop powered by solar juice. Beg to differ? The comments are below. ®