A Taiwanese company has developed a solar-power notebook computer to save computer users the trouble of charging batteries by plugging them in, the company said yesterday.
Micro-Star International Co said it spent a year to develop the first-generation solar notebook computer, Solar NB, and is now developing the second-generation Solar NB.
"Solar NB is a notebook computer with a solar panel on its top. The first-generation Solar NB can operate on solar light power for half an hour but it takes the solar panel half an hour to collect that much power," Micro-Star International's marketing manager Chen Chien-hung (
"For the second-generation Solar NB, we will use satellite solar power which is more effective but also more expensive," Chen said.
The 12-inch first-generation Solar NB costs NT$55,000 (US$1,700). The second-generation Solar NB will cost NT$80,000 and is expected to be able to operate on light power for at least four hours.
Chen said that although Solar NB can be used outdoors, the main purpose of developing Solar NB is not for outdoor use, but for indoor use, and the solar panel does not collect solar power, but light power.
"We want to allow people to use notebook computers when they travel in an aircraft or train, either by relying entirely on light power or using both light power and the battery when the light in the plane or train is dim," he said.
Micro-Star International unveiled a pair of Solar NBs at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas, but will not market it until the product is more mature.