What Is A Solar-Powered Laptop

Are you so eager to know what a Solar-Powered Laptop is? Then, why not join the moving trail of those using laptop powered by solar panels that is ultra-portable.

An epileptic power supply has contributed to the struggle to find where to plug your laptop, as all laptops require power to operate.

You are not alone as the world is changing, and a lot has changed over the decades. In regards to that, a laptop can be charged using sunshine.

Charging a modern laptop in countries that lack electric facilities is a big problem requiring a solution.

Nevertheless, a solar-powered laptop, a cheap laptop that generates power from the sun, comes to solve that problem. So imagine that scenario where you have to bother no more about control.

Subsequently, solar cells have been incorporated into several electronic devices to power up the gadgets with small and flexible solar components.

However, there will be a need to look into the historical aspect of computers. This is because computers didn’t just appear; they have originality, which begets other modern laptops.

Hence, the era of solar-powered laptops.

Solar-Powered Laptop Explained

Solar-Powered Laptop Explained

History records that the first portable laptop to come into existence was the IBM 5100—released in the 1970s. However, that is not the end; many system analysts continued to search and develop a newer version of information technology.

As the internet and electronic devices grow in popularity, such as smartphones and tablets, consumers are also active.

This means that every individual is browsing through the internet using multiple electronic devices. But, first, most modern machines use a battery that needs to recharge more often.

Notwithstanding, a new generational laptop has come to stay, educate and widen the idea of many hardware and software users. That is to say, solar-powered gadgets are becoming common in today’s world.

Until now, industries have continued to upgrade over the years. This is because they have been trying so hard to build an all-around acceptable laptop with an integrated solar panel.

The competition has continued, which has brought about the era of a solar-powered laptop. This solar-powered laptop is equipped with loads of creative and productive tools.

Furthermore, as there is a solar-powered laptop, it also is a solar-powered charger for various electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and small laptops.

Finally, if you need to use a laptop that can comfortably work from home or outside the city with a steady, uninterrupted power supply, a solar-powered laptop is here for you.

What Then Is A Solar-Powered Laptop?

A solar-powered laptop is a notebook or notebook designed for people who have no access to electricity. Instead, it uses built-in photovoltaic solar panels to operate and to charge the battery also.

The first released solar-powered laptop in Canada is the SOL laptop produced in 2013 by Wewi company. The rugged-looking solar-powered laptop design for commercial purposes is economical.

Meanwhile, Samsung released the first commercial solar-powered laptop called NC215S, in 2010. The laptop has a 14-hour battery life, and its charging rate is two hours in the sun with a running time of one hour.

However, the first developed SOL laptop with a solar-powered panel has a lower run time on battery. Its 8-10 hour battery capacity also has a solar panel that lets it charge for approximately two hours in the sun.

The SOL laptop looks rugged, durable, and yet very affordable. The reinforced materials and the military-industrial design made the laptop look complex.

However, the complex nature of the laptop keeps it in good shape to beat every force nature throws at it.
Lastly, the manufacturer says it can withstand any physical abuse while traveling or in constant use because it is built to last.

SOL;The First Solar-Powered Laptop

SOL-Solar Powered Laptop

The first manufactured solar-powered laptop is the SOL laptop produced in Canada by WeWi company in 2013. Join me as I take you through the physical features of this SOL laptop.

WeWi telecommunication is the first company to launch a solar-powered laptop to make the consumers’ journey very adventurous. This means WeWi had travelers and field scientists in mind when designing this solar laptop.

The Design Of SOL Solar-Powered Laptop

The SOL is designed using solar panel material embedded in the laptop lid. The panel can be unfolded.

The solar panel generates power from the sun when the sun is shining. In addition, SOL is made with a complex material that can comfortably perform in a harsh environment.

Its target audience is those in the military and for adventurous outreach. It can take a beating and still keep the work going.

WeWi company in Canada says that the SOL solar-powered laptop has limited availability. It’s only limited to countries having electrical problems.

Furthermore, the SOL laptop comes in different colors to make your choice, and it is designed to be more durable than your average gadget. It, in turn, solves a lot of infrastructural problems.

The colors are unique; other than the black bottom and rubber accents, there is also a bright yellow plastic casing surrounding the laptop’s base.

The keyboard deck’s yellow color is a well-spaced keyboard that gives an excellent key travel experience. In addition, the keyboard provides a 2-inch gap around the base.

We do not forget the beautifully inscribed SOL logo written in grayish color on the bottom bezel of the laptop. The top and bottom bezel is thick, while the left and right side of the bezels is thinner.

Also, there is an inscribed “W” logo indicating the company’s name at the center of the built-in solar panel.

Moving on, the built-in solar panels unfold from the back of the laptop. The solar device can charge for about 2 hours in the sun, and when fully charged, the battery is expected to last up to 8-10 hours.

Input And Output Performances Of The SOL Laptop

The SOL solar-powered laptop is a 13.3-inch laptop, an LCD 1,366 x 768 screen resolution. It is a dual-core Intel Atom D2500 processor with a turbo frequency of 2.0GHz.

The standard memory size of the Sol laptop is 2GB Kingston DDR3 SDRAM with an upgradeable memory size of 4GB. Moreso, the computer’s storage device comes with a 2.5″ SATA HDD 320GB from Seagate.

Not only that, its graphics card performance is a built-in Intel GMA3600, and the HD video captures about 1080p display units.

So that you know, it has a 30fps performing rate. This means that the frame rate is highly commendable because any laptop that streams video within a time frame of 30fps has good quality performance.

It also has a 3-mega pixel built-in camera, featuring an Audio Realtek ALC661 HD, with 2 speakers and an internal mic, performing 1/8 inch input.

The External output

Moving on to the port side is a 3 USB 2.0 ports, headphone jack, HDMI, LAN, and a multi-card reader (SD/MS/MMC). An additional output feature is the integrated digital core BT4.0 Bluetooth version.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it has a MIMO 802.11b/g/n (2.4/5GHz) WiFi connection. Also is a world/multimode 3G and 4G LTE configuration, adding to it is an Ubuntu operating system.

Having said that, the 13.3″ SOL solar-powered laptop with the 1,366 x 768 screen resolution looks crispy. Meaning it doesn’t look bright enough under intense sunlight.

The touchpad design is not as responsive as expected, but not so bad considering the price tag.

Finally, the SOL laptop can still meet its target audience, mainly military and business travel agencies. Meanwhile, teachers and students can read information while traveling without electricity to power the system.

In conclusion, the main selling point of the SOL laptop is the solar panel and you can swap from Ubuntu to the OS window operating system.

Samsung NC215S-A01US; Another Solar-Powered Laptop From Samsung

Samsung NC215S-A01US
Amazon Image

Samsung in 2010 released their first solar-powered laptop called the NC215S-A01US model. It is the first laptop that has a built-in solar panel charging directly from the sun.

Looking at the laptop, the solar panel that is connected to the lid seems sturdy, and the solar panel embedded on the cover is easy to place down for it to charge.

However, the Samsung NSC215S laptop features smaller solar panels on its lid, unlike the SOL laptop that comes with full-sized panels unfolding from its catchy array.

The Samsung laptop depicts a shiny black color made with aluminum materials. The computer does not have one color, it comes in different colors.

Looking at the top center of the bezel is a 0.3 MP web camera. At the bottom bezel, there is a Samsung logo in gray color.

Behind the laptop is an LED-backlit display that brightens the system more than your average computer – says Samsung. As a result, it performs much better outdoors.

On the headphone band, the solar cell has a 55cm surface area and a charging capacity measuring 0.55W. The solar cell is made from polycrystalline silicon.

Polycrystalline silicon is a material made from crystal to meet up the commercial need of solar PV.

The Specification Of The Samsung NC215S-A01US

The Samsung NC215S-A01 has an Intel Atom processor with a base frequency of 1.66GHz. Also, it has 512kb cache memory and has no number of cores.

The solar-powered laptop also comes with a 250GB SATA 5400RPM storage device. Having in mind the memory configuration size of 1GB DDR3 at 1066MHz with an expandable maximum memory size of 2GB.

However, because of the solar panel embedded in the lid, its dimension is 10.20 x 7.07 x 0.93 inches and weighs 1.3kg.

Furthermore, the graphics card configuration is an Intel GMA3150, featuring an Anti-glare 10.1″ WSVGA LED display.

Other features configured on this Samsung NC215S-A01 model are; the 3 W Stereo speaker, 3.0 + high-speed Bluetooth, WiFi 802.11bg/n 1×1, and solar power calculator.

In addition, there is a USB 2.0 generation 3 port with VGA, Mic-in car reader and most importantly, an RJ45 that enables you to connect the ethernet wire. Moreso is the headphone and microphone output.

Profitably, the Samsung NC215S model comes with an 8000mAh 6-cell lithium-ion battery. However, the manufacturer said the battery can last up to 14.5 hours.

Samsung NC215S-A01US; Advantages.

There are many things to benefit from using a solar-powered laptop like this Samsung NC215S.

Impressively, you stand a chance of enjoying the battery life which lasts up to 14.5 hours. You determine how long the battery can last by opening some tabs, playing videos, while putting the Bluetooth and WiFi off.

Secondly, solar power charges while working. The solar panel offers continuous 1-hour battery life per 2 hours of exposure to the sun.

Thirdly, it gives room to transfer data quickly and has internet connectivity. This is possible through various configurations like the LAN, WiFi, Bluetooth, and an SD slot that supports SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC cards.

The USB charging port on the left side of the laptop can as well charge your smartphones and other devices.

Before that, you need to activate the USB charging port via the Samsung control center application. Then, tab the general section under the system controller and switch ON the USB to start charging.

Another positive note is the land-style keyboard that allows you to type fast and comfortably without error striking. Somehow, the anti-glare super-bright screen feature makes viewing in sunlight brighter.

Lastly, you will use the webcam on the laptop to watch videos and make Skype videos, even messaging.

The laptop comes with a Samsung Recovery Solution 5 that allows you back up the system and restore some lost software. Most of this software returns back as originally equipped before it stops working.

Samsung NC215S-A01US; Disadvantages.

One of the disadvantages of the NC215 model is that there are no optical drives. The essence of an external drive such as a CD/DVD is to support the configured hard drive, thereby making installing an external hard drive impossible.

Charging is not easy as it charges through sunlight. However, the setting may sometimes be challenging if there is no steady sunlight from mid-day.

Another negative aspect of the Samsung NC215 model is the lack of an internal 3G HSDPA SIM slot. Using a SIM slot for this kind of solar-powered laptop would have been fantastic.

This is because downloading speed would have been faster. Nevertheless, considering the price tag, it is not too bad as it would have increased the price of the laptop in the market.

But even at that, increasing the price tag also means increasing the built-in qualities that can relatively operate on every task given to it.

Furthermore, the NC215S is poor and slow in multitasking. Owing to that, some laptops are just for web browsing, document viewing, and editing and don’t require much heavy work.

In this case, the system has only 1GB of RAM and it is not enough for steady heavy multitasking. Even though you can upgrade it to 2GB of RAM, it is still not enough for someone who has multiple tasks.

Although, if the RAM is bigger than 2GB, it may have increased the price of the device.

Therefore, if you want proper tasking to be fast, you need to deactivate unnecessary window features through the control panel. Go to the advanced system settings, click on performance, also click on visual effects and adjust it for best performance.

Is There Solar Laptop Charger For A Solar-Powered Laptop?

Solar Laptop Charger

Of course, there are no electronics without a charger. Most times, what attracts people to purchase a gadget has backup power using chargers.

Solar chargers, stand as a great option for powering solar laptops, even charging batteries and gadgets like phones, GPS, and music players.

The biggest challenge of solar-powered chargers is when there is a limitation to powering devices such as laptops, due to high energy consumption.

However, most laptops consume a lot of energy and need a high wattage panel up to 15-20 to be able to power the system. This is because solar chargers are inefficient to power many devices.

Generally, for larger gadgets like solar-powered laptops, a portable solar-powered charger is expensive and can be time-consuming. Also, it is more inefficient than the ordinary electronic charger.

If you have the desire to purchase a solar laptop, there are new and efficient chargers already in the market. Thus, it requires more payment as regards purchasing new technology.

Benefits Of Using Solar-Powered Laptop With Solar Charger.

  1. It is incredibly portable and rugged. This implies that you can carry the laptop anywhere-anytime, even though it looks heavy.
  2. Source of power is from the sun and it is a renewable source of power. This means worrying about electricity bills is no longer necessary.
  3. They have a waterproof. This makes it easy for carrying it anywhere, anytime because it has proof that avoids stain.
  4. Solar powered charger doesn’t need a lot of space or port for it to be able to charge. All you need to do is find available space where there is sunlight and charge it.
  5. They are environmentally friendly because it has no carbon dioxide emissions.
  6. It provides it user source of power that last for a long period of time. This is useful during extended outdoor trips, outdoor events, and camping as well.
  7. Solar chargers are more efficient than traditional laptop chargers.
  8. They are easy to maintain unlike traditional chargers that consume a lot of electricity and still needs maintenance.
  9. It is lightweight because it is very portable and easy to carry along.

Disadvantages Of Using Solar-Powered Laptop With Solar Laptop Charger.

Here I will highlight most of the disadvantages of solar-powered laptops with solar-powered chargers.

  1. Solar laptop chargers take a whole lot of time to charge. You only get to charge it during the daytime, so this reduces the time frame to charge the laptop.
  2. It can be a pain in the neck if the battery runs down and couldn’t power at night. This means you need to be in a place where there is steady sunlight, if not the charger becomes useless to you.
  3. You cannot rely on this laptop charger even though they store power, but still don’t last for long. Especially if the weather is cloudy and still can’t carry it along everywhere.

Conclusion; What Is A Solar-Powered Laptop

Conclusion; What Is A Solar-Powered Laptop

A solar-powered laptop is not a gaming laptop, but a comfortable notebook to use because of its built-in four solar panels, which is worth considering.

With the way the internet is growing, gadget designers may begin to produce more solar-powered laptops that will be available in every country not limiting users.

In the meantime, if you are looking for a laptop for your adventures, a solar-powered laptop may be what you need. It makes work easier and you can take it along anywhere, anytime as long as the sun continues to shine.

I hope you found this PowerVersity pick helpful?

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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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