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Meet Sol – The Solar-Powered Ubuntu Laptop

1297434303365_ORIGINALYou know the drill: you’re having a relaxing time browsing cat photos and hamster .gifs on the internet when “ping!” – your laptop battery starts to demand suckling time on the nearest AC power point.

But imagine that all you had to do was reach around the back of your device, unfold some solar panels, and carry on as you were.

‘Sol’ – a new solar-laptop designed for use in military, education and developing nations where access to reliable sources of electricity can be temperamental at best, and non-existent at worst – aims to do just that.

Sol Specifications

‘…a 10 hour battery on a laptop that charges from the sun in around 2 hours. It sounds almost too incredible. 

Sol is the brainchild of Canada-based WeWi Telecommunications Inc. They’re not a household name, but they do allege to have experience in providing hardware and software solutions to the military and law enforcement.

The Battleships-esque design of the Sol won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but since harnessing the energy of the sun is higher on its list of priorities than coming first in next year’s beauty pageant, this is to be expected.

Its makers say that it can run directly off solar energy (when the solar panels are unfolded), or charge the built-in battery in under 2 hours. The inner battery, they say, lasts about between 8-10 hours.

Yeah, I know, a 10 hour battery on a low-powered laptop that charges from the sun in around 2 hours. It sounds incredible. Almost too incredible?

Sadly this is where the information train stops. All of the above, plus the fact that the Sol will run Ubuntu as its OS, is pretty much all we know of the Sol.

Since this post was published the official website has been updated with specifications. See here for more.

‘The official Sol website veers from providing specifics…’ 

Were I in some sort of position to hand out prizes for ‘novel & innovative stuff running Ubuntu‘, then Sol would be getting 1st prize. But it certainly wouldn’t be winning anything in the ‘good job at selling itself’ category.

The official Sol website veers from providing specifics, instead positioning the portable on a platform of hyperbolic idealism framed by fancy CG renders. Even the video promo spends more than 2 minutes showing giraffes, jeeps and elephants before it finally gets to the money shot.

The lack of specifics on the Sol is frustrating because – no doubt like you – I have a mouthful of questions on how it works, what it uses, how it’s able to run off solar-power alone, and whether it’s built in an environmentally respectful way.

Hopefully it won’t be long until answers are forthcoming.

Gallery

Availability

Sol is expected to launch first in Ghana, Africa. Quite whether the estimated price-tag of $300 will be in reach of those it aims to help remains to be seen.

For more information on Sol you can visit the official website.

Official Sol Website

Thanks to Moritz