Solar-Powered Computer from Samsung Coming This Year

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solar powered computer samsung

Samsung has developed a new computer that is solar-powered! It is the Samsung NC215S netbook and it will be the first computer of its kind. The power will come from a solar panel embedded in the lid (see images above and below and click to make larger).

Samsung’s Russian branch officially announced it. It will only be available in Russia in August but is expected to be available in the US before that, July 3.

The computer needs 2 hours of sunlight exposure to get 1 hour of working battery life and the battery fully charged will reportedly last about 14 or so hours. The 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 pixel display is appropriately designed for use in direct sunlight (of course, an important feature for a computer that lives on sunlight). Gizmag reports:

The key feature of Samsung NC215S is the solar panel located on the lid, which charges a six-cell battery equipped with PowerPlus technology to provide extended running times. Considering that NC215S is supposed to work in bright sunlight, the display offers a brightness of 300 cd/m2 and an anti-reflective coating that Samsung claims provides colorful and clear images in any situation – even in direct light.

Initial prices, according to, are $399 in the US and 13 999 Rubles ($500) in Russia. In the US, the computer details are as follows:

  • 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel matte display
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N570 dual core processor

Pretty sweet looking netbook. Makes me wonder how long it until solar-powered computers are the norm, or at least widely available. Would certainly cut your electricity bill down pretty considerably (certainly mine, given how much time I spend on this high-tech typewriter).

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Zachary Shahan

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16 thoughts on “Solar-Powered Computer from Samsung Coming This Year

  • awesome. now all i need is that lid on my macbook pro 🙂

    • haha 😀

      good luck with that 😀

  • Let’s see- two hours of sunlight for one hour of use.

    So you leave your laptop out on a park bench in the sun for four hours so you can watch a movie on sun power.

    Can’t see why that wouldn’t work….

    • Yeah, when i first saw that i thought the same (well, not the bit about the
      bench :D). but seems i assume it doesn’t need a ton of sun to charge &
      charges fine while in use (otherwise, Samsung is throwing their money away,
      which i don’t think it would do). Not for a hard-core user like me who stays
      up too late on the comp, tho 😀

      • The more I think about this the less I like the idea…

        1) Solar panels need to be in the sun and pointed at the sun. Under what conditions would one find themselves able (and willing) to stick their laptop in direct sun?

        There’s theft. The inability to use while charging (unless you get down on your knees and peer up into the downward slanted screen). Finding sun for lots of city dwellers. And heat is not good for electronics.

        2) A solar panel needs to spend most of its time out of the sun. For the above reasons. Out in the sun, hooked up to the grid or charging batteries it could be producing useful power. Lots of wasted capacity (unless you have a safe, dry place to put your laptop in the sun all day and then use it only when the sun is down).

        3) Laptops have rather short lives compared to solar panels. Perhaps five years. The oldest array of installed solar panels are now over 35 years old and still going strong. The laptop is likely to get thrown away after five or so years and if the solar panel is not recycled and put to use then 80% to 90% of its useful lifetime is wasted.

        If you’re going to be out doing something like fieldwork for an extended time better to get a larger solar panel, one that you can tie down/lock down and run a wire to your (secured) laptop or battery pack. Then you can compute away in the shade and not worry about loosing your gear to curious monkeys.

        I didn’t see anything about hard drive size, but assuming 160 gigs one can get a netbook for under $300. (Check NewEgg)

        Netbooks are real energy savers. I’m using an ASUS 10″ netbook as my regular computer. I plug in a 20″ monitor, USB keyboard and USB trackball. Gives me all the speed and power I need for what I do. And then when I go traveling I just unplug it and stick it in my bag.

        • Hmm, a lot of good points, you were thinking about it! 😀

          I assume some of the technical things are accounted for, and it is made for
          comfortable use (but could be wrong… will wait to hear the reviews).

          The short life span and high % of people not recycling is pretty big — good
          point. Even with the best policies on that front, I imagine a lot of solar
          panels will go to waste. (Better to have solar power on your house or biz &
          use it to power efficient electronics.)

          Thanks for the extra thought, as always! I’m still very curious to see one
          of these & read the reviews, but it may not be such a practical idea. As I
          said, & you hinted I think, better to have solar panels on your roof and
          efficient electronics. 😀

  • Yes, solar energy. At the other post in this site, I read about the mechanical pressure-powered electricity possibility. Let the maths done by the experts but I’d suggest that the industry is not ready yet for near future. We can name a lot of brands and they are still on the “rare-Earth” perspective. Too much loss for the industry. The resistance will not come from the consumers but from the industry.

  • Yes, solar energy. At the other post in this site, I read about the mechanical pressure-powered electricity possibility. Let the maths done by the experts but I’d suggest that the industry is not ready yet for near future. We can name a lot of brands and they are still on the “rare-Earth” perspective. Too much loss for the industry. The resistance will not come from the consumers but from the industry.

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  • Pingback: Samsung Using its Power to Advance Sustainable Development

  • Hello there. I am currently doing a dissertation on the topic of sustainable development and using samsung as a case study for it. Therefore I would really like to know what your thoughts are on their new products such as the laptop and microwave that the company claims are energy efficient. Do you really think they measure up to what Samsung claims them to be?

    I would really appreciate all answers.


    • Looking around the web I don’t see much sign of success with the solar laptops.

      I did see one piece about how they want to sell some in Bangladesh. That, to me, sounds like they’ve got product to dump.

      The idea continues to make little sense to me. If you’re going to spend money for a solar panel then put it to use all the time, not just when you take your laptop outside and sit with it (closed) while you wait for the battery to charge.

      At the very minimum sell a solar panel and several feet of wire so that you can put the panel outside while you work inside where you can see the screen.

    • If you’re interested in sustainable development then look at the micro-solar model which is installing millions of solar systems for people who have no access to grid power.

      For less than they now pay for kerosene and candles they can purchase a basic solar system that gives them convenient, clean light and cell phone charging. Less CO2, less carbon black melting the world’s ice, fewer health problems from breathing kero fumes.

      Once they’ve paid off the basic lighting system then they can use some of the saved money to expand their solar system and add a “$35 tablet”.

      This is a route that can bring sustainable power and information technology to hundreds of millions who are very far from being able to afford a solar laptop.

    • I’m not sure about the specific products you are referring to, but from what I’ve seen, Samsung is often ranked at or near the top of reputable efficiency rankings. So, overall, I think the company is doing better than most with its technology.

  • star. ship vaiers solar power. esedds big bang with unlimited universes. out put sol long time before humans power. the halo universe

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