Samsung NC215S

Samsung has confirmed that it will offer a solar-powered netbook in the US as well as Africa and Russia. The Samsung NC215S will be avialable in the US the week of July 3rd with a suggested retail price of $399.

The US model features a 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel matte display, 1GB of RAM, and a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N570 dual core processor. The key feature that sets this netbook apart from the crowd though are the solar cells built into the lid.

Samsung says you should be able to get an hour of battery life for every two hours of charging time. Under ideal conditions Samsung says you should also be able to squeeze about 14 hours of battery life out of the netbook, but my guess is that day to day performance will be a little lower than that.

Update: The release date has been pushed back by about a month and a half.

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15 replies on “Exclusive: Samsung NC215S solar netbook coming to the US July 3rd for $399”

  1. I love this. Portability is the netbook’s greatest asset, and this allows you to take it anywhere without worrying if you’ll have an outlet available once you run out of batteries. Hiking, vacationing, rural living, lots of places where computing wasn’t always available. Run out of batteries in the middle of your safari? No problem, just set it in the sun for awhile.

    What would be even better is if they have a USB charging port that is active even when the computer is off. Then you can use your netbook’s solar panel can pull double duty to charge your camera, mp3 player, smartphone, etc., too.

    I’m holding out for Cedar Trail, so I won’t be buying this, but I hope Samsung re-iterates this laptop with an N2600 processor. I hope they make it somewhat rugged, like their NB30.
    Since this netbook is best for off-the-grid computing, it will likely be subjected to harsh conditions.

    To those of you whining that it’s not able to charge while in use? DUH. With current solar tech, the idea of a netbook that will run directly off solar power is silly. Solar power is way too weak and dirty to keep your computer running in less than ideal conditions – it’s only suitable for charging batteries and running calculators. Even if it were electrically feasable, who would want to sit in the hot sun while squinting at a dimmed screen? The point of this netbook is that you can let it charge during the day while you’re out fishing, then watch a movie or read an ebook when it gets darker and you’re roasting your fish on the campfire.

    1. Yes, the N2600 has a TDP as low as 3.5W versus the 8.5W for the N570.  While providing the same CPU performance and even better graphical performance.

      Add a Pixel Qi or similar screen and then this will become really useful for outdoor use.

    2. You can power other devices using the solar panel using the USB charge feature even when its completely off.

    3. When the ARM power laptops running Windows 8 is released, the power consumption required by the laptops would be drastically cut.

      This would enable the solar panels to contribute more in percentage to the overall power of the device vs the current Atom processor (battery hog) and its architecture.

      ARM processors are famous for its 1 watt power consumption. That is what made them ideal for the mobile computing world. They have almost a monopoly of the mobile devices world.

      1. Don’t count on this, as TDP for ARM goes up as they make them more powerful.  Since most are still manufacturing at 45-40nm, there is a limit to how efficient they can make the hardware.

        Remember also Windows 8 will require more performance than Android or iOS that may push power usage higher than some are expecting. 

        Basically the OS will have to take advantage of the hardware power efficiency enhancing features to see any real gains in run time.  Since much of ARM’s power efficiency advantage comes from taking advantage of things like idle times to lower or turn off hardware to save power.

        So much depends on whether MS can optimize Windows 8 to be less power consuming than Windows normally has been, with things like constantly running background processes, etc. 

        Even on x86 hardware a more energy efficient OS can make a significant difference in run time.  So temper expectations of run times with Windows 8 until they show how efficiently it can run on ARM first.

    4. ARM processor + Windows 8 + Solar panel + Samsung’s Liquidvista display = EPIC win.

      Your probably looking at over almost 24 hour battery life.

  2. Stupid.  To use the solar cell to charge means direct sunlight where a normal LCD display isn’t viewable.

    1. The display has 300 nits brightness.

      You can see clearly in direct sunlight. Plus it has anti reflective coating on it as well.

  3. well…how retarded. When the thing is in use…the top of the lid is in the shade.

    Have the devs ever used a laptop before? Wouldn’t solar around the keyboard deck….that would face up during use…make more sense? or Maybe a way for the solar panel to fold out of the lid to get into the sun during use…

    Im just saying…

    1. Your missing the point.

      It’s designed to CHARGE not POWER the laptop DURING use.

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