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Solar-Powered Laptop Never Needs to Be Plugged In

Solar-Powered Laptop Never Needs to Be Plugged In

Image source: solaptop.com

Many of us have no need for a computer in the wilderness, but there are quite a few professions and projects that can benefit greatly from having access to a laptop while in the field. And let’s face it, if we had a computer that was built to take out of the office and off of the couch, most of us would probably end up finding a need for it and bringing one along on our outdoor excursions.

Right now, if you want to do some off-grid computing, you can either use a standard laptop (but just until the battery is dead), you can bring a standalone solar electricity system big enough to recharge that laptop battery, you can bring a generator and fuel along with you and run it when you need power, or you can plug into your RV or automobile and use their battery and charging systems.

But even once you’ve figured out a way to keep your mobile computer powered, you’ve still got to consider that most standard laptops aren’t really made to be used in an outdoor environment and be exposed to dust and dirt and bumps and moisture, and that they might have a much shorter lifespan out in nature.

However, if you’re serious about carrying a laptop out into the field, why not invest in a laptop that is designed specifically for that use, with rugged components and its own power source built right into it?

The SOL, described as “the world’s first truly solar-powered laptop”, might be the answer to better outdoor and off-grid computing, as it integrates an expandable solar cell array into the case, a long-lasting (8-10 hours) battery, an energy-efficient hardware configuration, and a high performance opensource operating system.

With a 13.3″ screen, and weighing in at about 5 pounds, SOL has everything we’ve come to expect in our devices, including a camera, speakers, microphone, USB ports, headphone jack, a card reader, a 3G/4G modem, WiFi and Bluetooth. The SOL’s operating system is Ubuntu, a powerful opensource platform, and it comes pre-loaded with a suite of productivity and creative apps to get you started.

Solar-Powered Laptop Never Needs to Be Plugged In

Image source: solaptop.com

While this may be useful tool for fieldwork (or watching Netflix while camping), one big goal of the SOL is to help accelerate education in the developing world, especially in harsh environments and places with no access to electricity.

“SOL is built to last and to allow you to play with the elements. We’ve taken great care to introduce performance enhancing capabilities into SOL, so it’s not only pretty, but probably the most powerful machine for its price. In harnessing the power of the sun into a Long-lasting battery SOL is not only a green machine but also a powerful device built for people who have no access to electricity. The optimized core and the computer’s architecture were designed to work with a battery so that you can work all night and achieve more than ever on a single charge.”

No firm release date is available for the SOL, but the price for the units is expected to be about $350 for the base model, and about $400 for the Marine model (said to be waterproof/submersible). Sign up at the bottom of their website to stay in the loop about when and where the SOL will be available.

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