Initially limited to folks in Africa and Russia, Samsung's solar-powered netbook seems to be gearing up for a stateside debut. The NP-NC-215-A01US has surfaced on Amazon with a preorder price of $399 and appears to be largely identical to Russian model we covered last month. Although its spec sheet reads like any other Intel-based netbook's you've seen in recent years, the NC215 spices things up by augmenting its power source with a solar panel.
The system can run for about one hour for every two-hour recharge period in direct sunlight. Although you won't be able to harness the sun for perpetual usage, when combined with the NC215's six-cell battery, the solar cells push battery life up to 14.5 hours depending on how bright your screen is during outdoor sessions. The 10.1-inch 1024x600 display is LED-backlit and has a 300-nit brightness, which is about 50% brighter than most netbooks says Samsung.
As we said, besides the solar panel, the NC215 doesn't bring anything new to the table. The system is equipped with a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N570 dual-core Pineview processor, a GMA 3150 integrated graphics core, 1GB of RAM, and a 250GB 5400RPM hard drive. Other markets also received models with a single-core Atom and a 350GB HDD. Connectivity includes VGA-out, three USB 2.0 ports (at least one with sleep-and-charge), and a 4-in-1 card reader.