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Solar Powered Kindle Cover to Debut at CES 2012

click for a high-res image

The solar panel maker Solarmio is branching out into the ereader niche.  Yesterday I learned that they’re adding a Kindle case to their extensive line of solar panels.

As you can see from the image at right, the SolarKindle, as they’re calling it, takes the 4th gen Kindle and provides a solar powered reading light.

The K4 already has a lighted cover, but that one is designed to draw power from the K4. This cover has its own 1.5A battery, and it can even charge the Kindle.You’ll need 8 hours of direct sunlight to fully charge the backup battery, and SolarFocus is boasting that it can provide up to 3 months runtime for the K4.

The cover weighs around 8 ounces, and it’s available now. Retail is $80, and you can find it on Amazon, or in retail store including REI and LL Bean. SoloarFocus also has authorized resellers lined up for France, Canada and Holland.

I’m hoping to catch a glimpse of this at CES, but my schedule is getting a little crowded (yay!).

In any case, this  is an $80 Kindle case. As shiny as it, I’m not sure that this is really worth the money. This case costs as much as the Kindle inside it, and it’s never going to pay itself off. The K4 simply doesn’t use that much power. At best this case is mainly valuable for the geek cred.

But if they gave me one to review, I would not turn it down.



P.S. SolarFocus also has a $60 case for the K4, only this one lacks the solar panel (but it does have the battery).

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yuzutea January 8, 2012 um 3:52 am

It’s pretty cool, but as you say, it’s not very useful considering the already lengthy battery life of the Kindle. I can only see this being useful if you were going to be away from an outlet for weeks.

Mik Finkel January 8, 2012 um 9:20 am

you would be paying strictly for convenience. if it was not to heavy it might be worth it.

Kindle Touch to Get Solar Powered Case in March – The Digital Reader January 8, 2012 um 9:46 pm

[…] the last time I wrote about these cases I said that I didn’t see the point. $80 wasn’t worth the expense for a solar panel to […] January 18, 2012 um 7:01 pm

The solar panels powering this solar cover are made by United Solar Ovonics {a.k.a. Uni-Solar}, a subsidiary of the Michigan company Energy Conversion Devices [ticker symbol ENER].

Great product. Never plug your Kindle in ever again. The sun’s energy is free! And clean!

Hands On w Solar Focus Kindle Case – The Digital Reader February 27, 2012 um 12:24 pm

[…] Comments · hardware reviewsclick for a high-res imageOne of the more interesting products to debut at CES was a new solar powered Kindle case. Just the description alone is enough to make my heart skip a […]

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