SolarPC Computers and Accessories

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Here’s an interesting stat: According to SolarPC, if their computers were the standard in the U.S., each year we would save more than 138 million barrels of imported oil, prevent 25 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and landfills would see a reduction of more than 100 tons of waste.

SolarPC is a company offering a variety of small, quiet, aluminum cased notebook computers with wide selection of standard and custom configurations. Though they are admittedly not the most powerful systems on the market—the processing power of the 533- and 600-megahertz systems is slightly less than a comparable Pentium and considerably less in FPU processing power (the 1Ghz machines, however, are comparable to a Pentium in virtually all aspects except price and power use)—they offer many other compelling benefits. For example, the 533Mhz and 600Mhz based systems typically draw only about 10 watts of power and can be completely fanless, with near silent operation and no moving parts, when used in combination with a compact flash-drive and appropriate configuration. And of course, as their name suggests, they’re operating off solar power...

Additionally, SolarPC has an interesting business model. Recognizing that many large organizations need to be able to obtain consistent PC products for projects that may take years to complete and that people around the world need to have low-cost access to long-lasting PC's, the company has developed an Open Hardware concept that allows large organizations to obtain a perpetual license for SolarPC designs to build or source machines for their internal use. In addition organizations in countries outside of the U.S. have the option to manufacture SolarPC's locally if the cost to build them is less than the import cost plus customs duties. Now that’s a company with soul.

Perhaps most impressively, the company also offers a no-cost license to manufacture SolarPC designs for educational and charitable groups participating in the Global Education Link project, an initiative to provide a million solar computers to schools in third world countries in order to improve education, encourage self-sufficiency, and promote world harmony. Thanks for the tip, Brian Bennett! ::Solar PC [by MO]