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Power Hardware

LG Presents Solar Powered E-Book 139

MikeChino writes "At first glance, e-readers offer a great set of benefits over paper-bound books – they’re light, versatile, and a great alternative to lugging around a tote full of dead tree tomes on your next trip. However these new reading mediums have one glaring fault — can you imagine the frustration of running out of juice mid-sentence and halfway through Infinite Jest? LG's new solar e-book aims to address this issue by harnessing the sun's rays to power its display. The device features a 10 centimeter wide thin-film photovoltaic panel that can power the reader for a full day's worth of reading after 4-5 hours spent sitting in the sun."
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LG Presents Solar Powered E-Book

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 12, 2009 @01:41AM (#29715901)

    Every electronic device you've ever seen has a disclaimer that says "Do not leave in direct sunlight." This is a horrible idea, the batteries won't last two months.

  • by Centurix ( 249778 ) <> on Monday October 12, 2009 @01:42AM (#29715909) Homepage

    This requires actually being out in the sun. Unless there's a complex reflective tube apparatus streaming live sunlight into the basement it'll never sell here...

  • by NitroWolf ( 72977 ) on Monday October 12, 2009 @01:59AM (#29715969)

    Yay... more e-Book vaporware. How many new, awesome, revolutionary E-Book readers are we going to hear about? Christ, it's getting old... the E-Book hype is getting out of hand. Every company out there seems to have an E-Book "in the works," but so far to date only a handful have actually shipped usable products. LG is only the latest to jump on the E-Book bandwagon, and I'm sure they won't be the last. The whole E-Book field is littered with junk announcements like this. Get back to me when someone actually SHIPS a product, not announces a prototype. Whopee do. In the case of E-Book Readers, if you can't buy it, who really cares? It's just another e-ink or LCD or OLED screen.

  • Meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:03AM (#29715995)

    The solar panel adds more bulk than a bigger battery would. It takes up a huge amount of real estate that could be occupied by another display. And, it really only helps you if you are planning on spending time reading outside - an impracticality in most parts of the United States, most of the time. Most of the year, outside is too hot, too cold, or infested with swarms of disease carrying mosquitoes. I go outside plenty of times when the weather is nice - but I'm active then. Sitting still and reading just makes you an easy target for the mosquitoes.

    If you're going backpacking or to the third world, it's more convenient to just bring a dedicated solar panel with battery pack and adapters for your gadgets.

    The only market for this device is eco-freaks with too much money and not enough sense. Which is usually self limiting - the people who earn the most money usually have enough intelligence and common sense to spot the flaws I just mentioned. The only reason that they might buy a device like this is to give the appearance of being 'green' to their friends.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:13AM (#29716041)

    I usually read ebooks with WORM displays (write-once-read-many): they're designed like Kinko cameras: they're cheap, disposable, and have a MTBF of several decades. They're called "books". What's more, I suspect the number of dead trees used to make such a book is less than the amount of trees necessary to manufacture and power an ebook of any kind over its usable lifespan.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:22AM (#29716087)
    Pocket calculators used to plug into the wall too. Then they had batteries and now solar. Having e-books go this way makes sense now power requirements are dropping.
    As for the "solar won't work at night" people - batteries exist and just need to be charged. The ironic thing for the "solar won't work at night" people is that the real killer application for photovoltaics at the moment is solar powered LED lights replacing kerosene lanterns in the third world.
  • Sales (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:47AM (#29716155)
    Wow talk about /vertisement. This sounds like it was written by a marketing person. Scary :/
  • Reading in the sun (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NewsWatcher ( 450241 ) on Monday October 12, 2009 @02:56AM (#29716189)

    Kindles always spout how great it is you can read in the sun, because their eInk allows better viewing in direct light, but without that technology, this new device will be far less useful.
    I thought this would have been fairly obvious, but from TFA: We hope that LG has included a passively-lit e-paper display option in the device.

  • by willoughby ( 1367773 ) on Monday October 12, 2009 @03:16AM (#29716271)
    Give me a $99 ebook reader, not a solar powered one. I'll buy batteries for the bloody thing.
  • by moniker127 ( 1290002 ) on Monday October 12, 2009 @03:22AM (#29716289)
    Every other electronic device besides calculators.. that is.

    Remember those things? Calculators? I think they're kind of like abacuses- people used them before they had phones/laptops.
  • by JStegmaier ( 1051176 ) on Monday October 12, 2009 @03:52AM (#29716407)
    Somehow, I get the feeling you don't understand economies of scale.
  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Monday October 12, 2009 @06:59AM (#29717025)

    I didn't realise the definition of "vaporware" had deteriorated to the stage where actual released products could fit.

  • by moonbender ( 547943 ) <moonbender@ g m> on Monday October 12, 2009 @07:23AM (#29717095)

    I don't think it's a gimmick. If you add wireless data to the package, you've got a device that you don't need to connect to a plug. Ever. I think that's pretty fucking cool. The fact that e-ink readers don't need all that much power is why this could work; leaving it on the window sill for a couple of hours per week might be enough.

    And I don't know in what kind of caves you people live, but virtually all my electronics get plenty of direct sunlight, minus the UV the windows filter.

  • Re:Great (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 12, 2009 @11:40AM (#29719501)

    Feh. And you call yourself a nerd.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling