Skip to Content

A Solar Charger for Your Kindle

The pleasure of outdoor e-reading just got more pleasurable.
January 12, 2012

One of the joys of the Kindle, as I’ve discovered anew while traveling in summery Argentina, is that it enables you–indeed, encourages you–to read in the brightest of sunlight. Now, with a new cover called SolarKindle, that benefit becomes a gift that keeps on giving.

You’ve probably already guessed what SolarKindle does, but I’ll tell you anyway. It’s simple enough: an elegant case with a large solar panel in the front that gathers up energy even while in shade. There are two ways you can use that energy: at night, you can turn on the 800 lux LED reading lamp inside the case, if the bedside lamp bothers your bedmate. During the day (or really anytime), the energy can also serve as reserve battery power for the Kindle itself.

Gizmodo says the device can so extend your reading time that you might not need to hit up the power outlet for as many as three months. If you use the pop-up reading lamp, though, you’ll deplete that store a lot more quickly: within 50 hours or so.

The catch? It ain’t cheap. The cover, which comes out January 15, runs $80. As one commenter on Gizmodo’s post cheekily points out, since $80 is more than the cheapest Kindle, you might arguably just buy a second Kindle an alternate which one you charge. It’s a funny argument, but an incomplete one, of course–the built-in LED light and the pleasure of charging using renewable energy are part of that $80 price tag.

Most importantly, though, SolarKindle reinforces that pleasurable feeling that the e-reader, alone in sea of glowing screens, was meant to be taken outside, just like a good book.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

still from Embodied Intelligence video
still from Embodied Intelligence video

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.

conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned
conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned

A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click

Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.

protein structures
protein structures

DeepMind says it will release the structure of every protein known to science

The company has already used its protein-folding AI, AlphaFold, to generate structures for the human proteome, as well as yeast, fruit flies, mice, and more.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.