Samsung readies solar-powered netbook for August

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First launched in Africa, Samsung's solar-powered NC215S is making the trek to Russia with a debut slated for early August. Although most of its design is borrowed from the same formula we've seen repeated countless times since 2007, the NC215S distinguishes itself by strapping solar cells to the top lid. If we're reading Samsung's translated press release correctly, the system can run for about one hour for every two-hour recharge period in direct sunlight.

That's probably not enough juice to keep you afloat during any serious computing stint, so the netbook is also equipped with a standard six-cell battery that offers up to 14.5 hours of life. We imagine that's a best-case scenario and your results will vary with the screen brightness cranked up during outdoor sessions. The 10.1-inch 1024x600 display is LED-backlit and has a 300-nit brightness, about 50% brighter than most netbooks says Samsung.

As we said, the NC215S isn't packing anything extraordinary under its hood. The 2.86lb machine packs a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N455 (single-core) or N570 (dual-core) Pineview processor, a GMA 3150 integrated graphics core, one gig of RAM, and a 250GB or 350GB 5400RPM hard drive. Connectivity includes a VGA output, three USB 2.0 ports (at least one with sleep-and-charge), and a 4-in-1 card reader. Pricing is set at 13,999 rubles (roughly $498).

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