Sol Computer is a small California-based company that offers computers with Pixel Qi sunlight readable displays. The company’s notebooks and tablets are aimed at customers willing to pay a premium price for a screen that’s visible outdoors, including pilots and other professionals that work outdoors.

This week Sol Computer started showing off its latest product — a netbook with a semi-rugged case.

Sol Computer Netbook

The new Sol netbook is based on the Intel Classmate PC design, which means it has a case that’s meant to stand up to tough abuse — at the hands of children. It’s made of thick plastic with rubberized elements and it can withstand a fall from a few feet to the floor.

According to The Digital Reader, Sol Computer will sell a model with a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, and 160GB of storage for about $950.

That’s about twice as much as a typical Classmate PC, but Sol Computer builds a small number of these computers to order by taking existing products and retrofitting them with Pixel Qi displays. That’s not a cheap process.

Sol will also begin selling a 7 inch Windows tablet soon. The company started showing off a prototype at CES in January, but the case design has been refined since then.

The new tablet will be available with a variety of options including 16GB to 64GB of storage, 1GB to 2GB of RAM, GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth. It will have a low power Intel Atom processor, and a 7 inch Pixel Qi screen.

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8 replies on “Sol Computer unveils ruggedized, pricey netbook with Pixel Qi screen”

  1. Are there any ultraportables with a Pixel Qi screen that don’t have an Atom or equivalent CPU?

    1.  I’d get one if there was one. Well, it has to have an 11.6″ screen and small bezels. Any larger then I’d probably won’t be using it outside.

  2. I guess OEMs don’t like Pixel Qi enough to offer it as a factory option.

    1. I wonder why that is. All the promo videos look nice, apparently it was good enough to go into OLPC laptops, but there really aren’t many other devices with it.

      I just want to be able to sit outside in the sun and use a laptop without having to turn the brightness all the way up and squint at the screen…

      1.  Actually the Qi screens are based on screen tech that was developed specifically for the OLPC project. So far i suspect that there is no big name factory backing them with quantity guarantees or something.

        1.  Actually, they got manufacture partners lined up but they don’t have the funds to create stock.  So they have to wait till someone makes a order before they even start making any screens and that can take up till a year from the time of order to fulfill.

          So they need a lot of orders or at least some really big ones before they’ll start building stock and be able to more easily provide the screens to whomever wants them.

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