Aren’t e-readers great? They save on trees being cut down to make books, they enable you to carry a whole library with you, and they’re pretty cool to look at. There’s just one thing holding them back – the amount of power they use. One can hardly argue they’re more environmentally friendly than books when you have to charge it every couple of chapters. In order to change this, a number of e-reader producers are creating sun-powered models such as LG’s Solar Reader and Toshiba’s Biblio Leaf.
The Biblio Leaf is only the second solar powered e-reader to be made, after LG’s game changer. While neither model is on sale in stores, the success of the kindle suggests that they have a bright future ahead of them.
The Biblio Leaf features a battery that is recharged by a solar panel in addition to a six-inch e-ink display, 2 GB of memory (that can be enhanced with a microSD card), 3G & Wi-Fi connectivity, a touch pad, and buttons to turn pages. A full charge will provide enough power to read up to 7,500 pages.
While its solar panel is slightly smaller than LG’s (whose panels are also on the top and can be turned over), the Biblio Leaf isn’t without its own merits. It not only matches the Kindle’s size (8.5 x 5 inches) but its also has the same resolution ( 800 x 600 pixels). Its smaller solar panel does mean it takes longer than the LG’s four hours to charge.
Currently there are only plans to release the Biblio Leaf in Japan, but expect it to hit U.S. shores in the near future if the popularity of e-readers continues to grow.