By Evan Ackerman
A Spanish company called iUnika has come out with a family of netbooks, most of which are entirely unremarkable except for one, which is powered (at least partially) by the sun. It weighs 1.5 pounds, runs Linux, costs about $220, and has a sizable solar cell on the lid that (I assume) charges an internal battery.
Unless there has been some huge breakthrough in cheap and efficient solar panels, my guess is that you’d have to leave this thing out in the sun for, oh, about a week before you’d be able to do much with it. Okay, maybe not a week, but seriously, solar charging is slooowwww and laptops (even netbooks) use a bunch of power, so the ratio of charging time to operating time is not going to be good. But it’s better than having to rely completely on available electricity, and if you’re in the market for a cheap, efficient, and versatile travel netbook that can offload pics and check email and stuff, this may not be a bad idea at all.