SOL Solar Powered Laptop: The First Solar-Powered Laptop

In search of a laptop that beats down the electricity barrier? Search no further for an SOL laptop powered by a solar panel is here for you.

This review will take turns describing the design, dimension, and weight of this SOL Solar-Powered laptop.

Subsequently, I will not fail to let you know that there will be discussions on the processor (CPU), Memory (RAM), and Storage of the SOL laptop. Furthermore, I will discuss the Graphics Card (GPU) and battery life performance of the SOL laptop.

That being said, in this review, I will be comparing this laptop with its predecessor or competitors. But, that is not all; I will highlight the benchmark test of this laptop and give the rating according to its performance.

Meanwhile, the ratings will be done in every section of the review, and it will be on a scale of one to ten.

Should I move on? Let’s do it together.

Sol Solar-Powered Laptop: My Initial Thought

Sol Solar-Powered Laptop - My Initial Thought

When I first sight this laptop, I was like, wow, this is a machine. Could this be a laptop or a power van? But then, my instinct is wrong as this is a well-built Solar-Powered Ubuntu laptop invented by a Canadian man.

This is not just about the look; the laptop looks rugged and, at the same time, durable. I want to find out more about this laptop because the look is incredibly beautiful.

Moving forward, you often look for a way to have a laptop without complaining of the battery rundown. Well, in a city or country that lacks steady electricity, you need nothing but this durable Ubuntu SOL solar-powered laptop.

A laptop with an ancient look but very active in performance. Even with the look, the price tag is affordable at $300 at the time of this review.

Do you want to know how true this is – the only way to find out is to read further.

Join me.

Sol Solar-Powered Laptop: Design, Dimension, And Weight Review

Sol Solar-Powered Laptop- Design, Dimension, And Weight Review

On the exterior look of this SOL solar-powered laptop it is rugged, feasible, and built to stand out in any environment. It will take beating and scratch from any angle and still keep on working.

SOL is the first solar-powered laptop invented by WeWi in Canada, and it is strongly built for campers or those in the military. However, the manufacturer said it is limited to some countries.

Therefore, the SOL power is gotten directly from the sun, which makes it more impressive and interesting.

Design

On the physical features of this SOL solar-powered laptop, the laptop’s chassis is elegant and unique. In addition, the laptop comes in different glossy colors with its special casing.

The colors are rare such as Rhino, Simba, Black Mamba, Macaw, and Viper. All of them have different features depending on the color you choose.

What about the shape – very attractive, with the top and bottom lid depicting a cube curve.

The extreme beauty of these colors got my attention, and I began to think of how to flaunt the laptop during camping. Though it looks like a military laptop, the sketch is reinforced materials.

Furthermore, one of the unique features of this laptop is the embedded solar panel at the back chassis. The solar panel is made with premium and sleek material.

Talking about the solar panel on the back cover, it uses large solar cells that generate a large amount of power. Once you unfold the solar panel, it opens up to generate energy that can power the system.

More so, the solar panel appears brownish with a touch of black color shape in a triangular form. However, at the center of the solar panel is a big “W” logo portraying the company’s name “WeWi.”

Even though the panel is screwed exactly on the center of the chassis giving about an inch away from the lid, it still flaps together with the bottom base panel. Most impressively, you can detach the solar panel while you are working indoors by connecting it with a wire outside while the solar panel still charges.

I have been talking about the solar panel, and I guess it is because the look is too rigid and needs more explanation.

Let’s move away from the solar panel and discuss the front display features.

Display

At the opening of the laptop, you will discover that the front display looks overwhelming with its wallpaper background. Moreover, the display size is 13.3 inches measuring 1,366 x 768 of an LCD, WXGA screen resolution.

Precisely, the wallpaper looks very attractive, and the bezels surrounding the front display are divided into two color parts.

As I said earlier, the laptops feature different colors; the color I’m reviewing is “SIMBA,” It has two color parts when you open and boots the laptop. However, the up and down part of the screen display dims whine color while the center draws a shinny greyish color.

Furthermore, at the top center of the bezel is a 3MP web camera for your videos or any form of visuals. Then looking at the direct opposite of the webcam is the brand name “SOL.”

Apart from the 3 MP webcam fitted on the front display, there is also an audio input. It features Realtek ALC661 HD audio, dual speakers, and a built-in internal mic + 1/8 inch for your online video or skype.

Moving to the bottom base is the keyboard which is the heart of every system. The keyboard features a minimal keystroke that allows your typing to be smooth and error-free.

Again, the keyboard is very close to the hinge that connects both the top and bottom casing. Sadly, it can be very difficult to type on because you will have to stretch your arms when typing.

That is to say, the gap between the keyboard and the touchpad is about 2mm. Below the keyboard is the touchpad, which is very flexible to touch.

It features an invisible right and left click, and it is silky. Also, you will see a curve shape dimming a two-point light just close to the touchpad.

Ports

On the right side of the bottom base is the input devices for 3 USB 2.0, headphone jack, HDMI, LAN (10/100), and card reader such as SD/MS/MMC.

Other wireless features include; the integrated digital core Bluetooth 4.0. Not forgetting the internet connectivity like WiFi MMO 802.11b/gn (2.4/5GHz), 3G/4G world/multimode LTE configuration, GPS like gpsOne Gen8A – a cellular modem for your internet surfing.

More so, satellite communication modules enable you to connect to the internet when you are in a rural area. What more can you ask for in this $300 SOL solar-powered laptop.

WeWi didn’t just take time to build the casing; instead, they did wonderfully in the input and output exhibition.

In addition, on the software side, this SOL exhibition is preloaded with an Ubuntu operating system, and you can install any other OS if you need to. Isn’t that amazing and overwhelming?

Dimension And Weight

Regrettably, SOL didn’t specify the dimension of this laptop, so it has only a weight of 2.10 kg. The laptop weighs 1.91 kg, while the solar pack weighs 0.96 kg.

However, it is worth considering for those going on military camping if you want to work on a PowerPoint presentation.

In conclusion, the SOL solar-powered laptop has a very interesting look and a disappointing display unit. Even though it has multiple ports side and wireless connectivity that can take you down to adventurous camping.

In that case, I will be scoring the design, display, dimension, and weight of this review seven out of ten.

SOL Solar-Powered Laptop: Processor (CPU) Performance Review

SOL Solar-Powered Laptop; Processor (CPU) Performance Review

This SOL solar-powered laptop has two configured processors; the first processor features Intel Atom D2500 alongside its base frequency of 1.86 GHz. This is a duo-core processor with an Intel 945gse motherboard and an ICH7M chipset.

In addition, the processor has 1 MB L2 cache memory coupled with a 1.86 GHz clock speed.

On the other hand, the second configuration features an Intel Celeron N2806 with a clock speed of 1.6 GHz. It also has a dual-core processor with a maximum burst frequency of 2.0 GHz and has a 2 MB cache memory.

This depends on the one your model comes with.

However, with this Intel Atom D2500 processor, this SOL laptop should be able to perform every task given to it. A processor determines how fast and efficient a computer can perform and its credibility in handling multiple tasks.

But can it perform very fast when surfing the web, opening too many tabs, and watching videos? Well, I can only find out about the performance using a benchmark test.

To further prove the performance of this laptop with the 2 cores and 2 threads, I will be using a Cinebench R15 benchmark test to pass my judgment on the processor of this SOL solar-powered laptop.

Specifically, the Cinbench R15 benchmark is a real-world performance tool for determining a running speed of a CPU or processor.

The SOL scores 275 points on the benchmark on the run test performance. However, comparing the score with its competitor Samsung NC215S-A01US which scores 581 points, the score is disappointing.

Ideally, the Samsung NC215S-A01US is the closest competitor, and this SOL solar-powered laptop scores below it, which is not encouraging.

However, with the benchmark test result, it deserves nothing more than six out of ten ratings in this processor review section.

SOL Solar-Powered Laptop: Memory (RAM) Performance Review

SOL Solar-Powered Laptop - Memory (RAM) Performance Review

One thing is to talk about the computer processor, and another thing is to know the memory size of the laptop. Can it carry a heavy load thrown at it?

Therefore, this SOL laptop has a 2 GB Kingston DDR3 SDRAM memory type. Impressively, you can upgrade this memory up to a maximum size of 4 GB RAM, and it is optional.

However, this memory is a single slot memory, housing a Kingston DDR3 SDRAM that can perform vividly even when you open many tabs. So, for instance, if you open like 10 – 15 tabs while watching Youtube videos and the performance flows smoothly without interruption, you have a good memory slot.

Can this SOL memory size really do that, or is it just an overstatement? Unfortunately, I can only find out about that information with the benchmark test tool.

If the transfer rate measurement is in seconds with an average of 6400 MB per second, how many seconds can 2 – 4 GB memory transfer speeds per second?

Therefore, to confirm this assertion, I will perform a benchmark test using PCMark 8. For clarity, a PCMark 8 is a benchmark test that enables you to check the productivity of your PC memory.

Unfortunately, Kingston DDR3 SDRAM happens to be the oldest and lowest memory type that you can see in any laptop. The higher the speed is, the better it performs.

Therefore, I couldn’t perform any benchmark test on this SOL memory performance. Nevertheless, since the memory is upgradeable to 4 GB, you don’t need to bother about the transfer speed.

I believe the extra 4 GB to run many multimedia files. The rating will be based on the memory size, which is upgradeable to 4 GB. Hence, it will be enough for performing tasks or multitasking.

Hence it scores six out of ten in this memory review.

SOL Solar-Powered Laptop: Storage Option And Performance Review

SOL Solar-Powered Laptop - Storage Option And Performance Review

This SOL comes with a 320 GB SATA HDD 2.5 inch storage from Seagate for storing files. SATA HDD is actually a good hard drive that can record files as much as possible, but not as good as an SSD hard drive.

Again, 320 GB storage should be enough to hold up to 30,000 photos or music files, but I doubt if you can install videos too. So for me, if you want to store important data, then a 320 GB SATA HDD should be enough for you.

Proudly, the laptop features card readers such as SD/MS/MMC. Meaning that it contains external slots that can help the read and write of your laptops perform fast when the 320 GB storage option slows down.

SD card read and write runs between the frame rate of 20 MB per second, while the multimedia micro card (MMC) runs within the frame rate of 50 MBps.

I want to provide you with specific evidence of the transfer rate on this storage option. As a laptop with 320 GB SATA, it was able to transfer 2.5 GB of media files within a transfer rate of about 600 MBps.

Fair performance, though, but when you compare SOL to its close competitor Samsung NC215S A10US which bids 215 MBps. SOL bypassing with 400 MBps is an impressive performance.

For that reason, SOL solar-powered laptop offers an average storage performance, with and it scores eight out of ten on this storage review section.

SOL Solar-Powered Laptop: Graphics Card (GPU) Performance Review

SOL Solar-Powered Laptop, Graphics Card (GPU) Performance Review

The SOL houses a built-in Intel GMA3600 graphics card. This means that it shares memory with the processor.

This GPU offers a speed frequency of 400 GHz, and it lacks zero boost frequency. Unlike every other GPU that usually comes with a dedicated graphics card, this GPU doesn’t have VRAM.

However, with a display resolution of 1,366 x 768, you can view videos on 1080 pixels HD. Sadly, games are better performed on Full High Definition (FHD) than on High Definition (HD) screens.

Nevertheless, this GPU can perform a simple game like candy crush or perform a game on a normal Microsoft store such as Asphalt 8.

Clearly speaking, this GPU can perform at 30fps on a normal gaming performance rate setting. Wondering what fps means? – fps stands for frame per second.

However, any game or video that can stream within the rate of 30fps is a good one and commendable.

To further prove the point of performance of this GPU, a benchmark test is done using a 3DMark test. A 3DMark test is a benchmark tool that supports graphic tests running on any PC.

Therefore, the outcome of the result shows that SOL solar-powered laptop scores 3514 points. Comparatively, Intel GMA 500 scores 4264 points on the same test, which is over 100 points better than the SOL.

The competitor scores better than the SOL graphic cards. Having said that, in this review section, SOL graphics card performance doesn’t deserve more than seven out of ten.

SOL Solar-Powered Laptop: Battery Life And Performance Review

SOL Solar-Powered Laptop, Battery Life And Performance Review

One unique thing about this SOL is the solar panel that powers the laptop with the help of the sun. You can unfold the rugged-looking built-in solar panel for the sun to penetrate in and charge your laptop.

Impressively, the laptop can charge even when working as long you expose it to the direct sun. No wonder the manufacturer says the laptops charges within 2 hours of exposure to the sun and powers the solar panel per hour.

At least the battery capacity is about 22 W of power, and it is capable of producing power for over 8 – 10 hours per day, says the manufacturer.

This is due to the 21% efficiency monocrystalline solar panel built with it. But, apparently, they fail to mention the type of battery the SOL solar-powered laptop uses.

However, I can’t be sure of what the manufacturer said without performing a real-life test performance. For confirmation, you have to open multiple tabs, at least up to 15 – 20 tabs, while you stream the Youtube videos.

You will need to put off the WiFi connectivity and allow the battery to run down on opening the videos and tabs. With that, you can determine how many hours the battery lasts if what the inventor said is true.

In my opinion, the battery life is decent, but you can’t compare it with the rival. With the same procedure, Samsung NC215S A10US battery power lasts up to 14 hours.

That is super efficient than the battery life of the SOL laptop. So on that note, the SOL solar-powered laptop deserves a whopping score of seven out of ten in this review section.

Frequently Ask Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1 Is SOL Solar-Powered Laptop A Gaming Laptop?

No. SOL is not an actual gaming laptop for gamers as the graphics card is just an Intel GMA 3600.

2. Does SOL Solar-Powered Laptop Has A HDMI Port?

Yes, it features an HDMI port. So you can easily transfer your videos or audio from one device to another without any setbacks.

3. How Long Does The Battery Last?

The manufacturer says it can last up to 8 – 10 hours per day. Within 2 hours of charging in the sun, it fully powers your laptop in an hour.

4. Does SOL Solar-Powered Laptop Comes With A Touchscreen Display?

Not yet. Maybe the new version of the solar-powered laptop will come with a touchscreen display feature.

5. Which Date Was SOL Solar-Powered Laptop Released?

WeWi telecommunication didn’t give a specific date that the SOL was produced. Either between 2013 and 2014.

SOL Solar-Powered Laptop: My Final Thought

SOL Solar-Powered Laptop, My Final Thought

For me, I will say that this SOL laptop produced by WeWi telecommunication industry performs adequately but not as other frequently used laptops like Acer and HP laptops.

More performance should have been included, in my opinion, because it was the first laptop powered by a solar panel. For example, the memory performance is unimpressive due to the outdated RAM slot.

DDR3 SDRAM is no longer the latest memory type for your data transfer speed. Imagine if this laptop has a DDR4 RAM and can be upgradeable to 8 GB RAM at least.

The speed at which it transfers data would have been top-notch. Notwithstanding, a laptop of $300 will only perform at its own pace.

Furthermore, the laptop is designed for adventurers and researchers who will be venturing into remote areas where electricity is unavailable. Meanwhile, the solar panel protects you from power outages when using an SOL solar-powered laptop.

References And Further Reading

Meet Sol, The $300 Solar-Powered Laptop | Gadget Review

SOL solar-powered laptop runs on ubuntu

Two weeks with Sol’s solar-powered laptop | Engadget

Sol, the $350 solar-powered rugged Ubuntu laptop that won’t be usable in the sun – ExtremeTech

Intel AtomĀ® Processor D2500

‘SOL’ – Ubuntu Based Solar Energy Powered Laptop by WeWi

Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 3600 – NotebookCheck.net Tech

Samsung NC215S-A01US; A Solar-Powered Laptop For Campers

What Is A Solar-Powered Laptop

Chinenye Mbam
Chinenye Mbam is a Content Writer for PowerVersity.com. She has a B.Sc in Mass Communication. Chinenye loves typing, movies, cooking, dancing, and she is open to learning new skills. Chinenye writes reviews, buying guides, and best pick articles for PowerVersity.com.

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