Here comes the sun (-powered laptop)

Most gadget 'innovations' are stupid. They're overly complex, or unnecessary, or just inartfully done. But every now and then there's an innovation which makes us slap our foreheads in amazement that no-one's thought of it before.

Into this category we put the Samsung NC215S solar-powered laptop. Yes, that's right. The roof of the NC215S (another catchy tech product name) is a regular netbook apart from one eye-catching feature: a solar panel taking up much of the lid. Admittedly, the panel isn't powerful enough to run the laptop indefinitely, solar-calculator-style. But it contributes to a battery life of an impressive 14.5 hours, three times as much as many netbooks.

The bad news is we're not sure when this will see the light of day in the UK. Having made its debut, logically enough, in Africa, it's now less-logically to be released in Russia later this summer. The US is also on the horizon, so hopefully it's only a matter of time before the NC215S gets a UK release date - though if the 'summer' continues at its current level of sunshine, there might not be much of a point.

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