Samsung NC215 solar netbook now shipping for $392 and up

Samsung NC215

The Samsung NC215 netbook is the first 10 inch laptop to ship with a solar panel on the lid. In direct sunlight you can charge the netbook for two hours to get about one hour of run time.

Samsung first announced the NC215 netbook a few months ago at an event in Kenya. It’s a product that makes a lot of sense for developing nations where access to sunlight is a lot more reliable than access to an electric grid.

But the company is also offering the netbook in developed countries including the US. It recently went on sale in the US, and you can pick one up today from Buy.com for $392. A few other stores are also selling the mini-notebook, but Buy.com has the lowest price I’ve seen.

The Samsung NC215 features a 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N570 dual core processor, 1GB of DDR3 memory, and a 250GB, 5400 RPM hard drive. It runs Windows 7 Starter Edition.

The computer has a matte display, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, an SDHC card reader, VGA and Ethernet, and 3 USB ports including one that can be used to charge mobile devices even when the computer is off.

At nearly $400, the Samsung NC215 is rather expensive for an Intel Atom-powered netbook, but it seems like an ideal solution for those looking for a computer that can be used off the grid while camping, or visiting or living in an area without reliable electricity. It could also be exciting for anyone that just likes the idea of being able to squeeze a little extra battery life out of a laptop without carrying around a charger.