Image via Technabob
Solar powered e-readers. It was just a matter of time, right? LG put out a solar powered e-reader prototype over a year ago, though the solar cell was embedded in a case, rather than the device itself. When looking at Toshiba's latest e-reader, we're starting to think that LG might have been on the smarter track. Toshiba's Biblio Leaf has a solar cell embedded in the bottom of the device, somewhat like a solar powered calculator, so that it can be soaking up energy while not plugged in. Most e-readers don't use all that much energy so supplementing it with a small solar cell makes sense. However, there's also the design of the device to consider. And this one just looks clunky.
Having the solar cell in the case, rather than on the device itself also allows you to keep the device out of direct sunlight (always better to keep electronics out of hot sunlight) while still benefiting from a solar charge. E-readers aren't exactly easy to read in sunlight, so why you'd have this sitting in the sun at all is a mystery.
Dvice reports, "The device features a 6-inch e-Ink display, WiFi and 3G connectivity, a stylus for taking notes, 2 gigabytes of memory (expandable via microSD Card) and can hold up to 3,000 books. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Biblio Leaf is its front-mounted solar panels that can charge the device when you're traveling without access to a power plug. In terms of price, it looks like KDDI will offer the device as part of a two-year 3G wireless $20 per-month contract scheduled for availability in Japan next week."
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