Solar Lighted Cover for Kindle
(Info from the product’s website)
The first solar book cover for the Amazon Kindle e-reader takes an environmentally friendly approach to enhancing form and utility. The SolarKindle Lighted Cover is designed to look smart and feel great in your hands without being bulky or heavy. The form-fitted cover keeps your Kindle safe from damage while discretely adding functionality with a built-in solar panel that charges the reserve battery for the LED reading light while also providing extra power to the Kindle. And best of all, the reading light draws power from the reserve battery, not the Kindle, so you won’t have to worry about draining your Kindle’s battery.
The cover’s built-in LED reading light is available anytime you need it, and provides unparalleled coverage and illumination over the entire surface of the Kindle, reaching 800 lux at the center of the screen. The reading light turns on automatically when released from its housing, and automatically turns off when pressed back into place, or when the Kindle goes into sleep mode. Most importantly, the LED reading light only draws power from the reserve battery, never from the Kindle itself.
Your Kindle is easily secured to the cover simply by slipping it into the form-fitting interior case and pressing it into place – that’s it! No other straps, latches, or catches are used to hold your Kindle firmly in the cover.
Removing the Kindle from the case is just as easy – simply insert a small, thin, non-metallic object into one of the slots on the side of the case and gently release the Kindle.
Expose the solar panel to sunlight, or shade and your Kindle lighted cover will be constantly charging. When charging, the LED indicator light blinks green. Charging times will vary depending on the intensity of available sunlight, but a one hour charge in direct sunlight (100% sunlight strength) can provide almost three days worth of reading time on your Kindle. For optimum performance, use the solar panel to continuously charge your Kindle – don’t wait for the battery to run out of power before recharging.
You can even charge your Kindle using the cover’s built-in reserve battery. Press the power button once and the LED indicator first shows the reserve battery’s remaining power level for about five seconds. After that it’ll blink red while the Kindle is being charged. To turn off charging, press the power button again and the LED indicator shows the reserve battery’s remaining power level before turning off.
To charge your Kindle in the cover using a power adapter or USB port, use the USB cable that came with your Kindle and plug it into to the cover’s micro-USB port. Then, connect the cable to the Kindle’s AC adaptor or a powered USB port. After charging the Kindle, the LED indicator will blink green indicating the reserve battery is being charged.
The SolarKindle Lighted Cover is the perfect companion for your Kindle e-reader. It protects your Kindle from damage while it’s stylish good looks, comfortable feel and eco-friendliness draw envy from everyone around you. With the built-in LED reading light, there’ll never be a moment when you can’t read your Kindle because it’s too dark, and the built-in reserve lithium battery provides 1,500 mA of power for the LED reading light, or charging the Kindle. With the high performance solar panel, you can say goodbye to running out of power!
A fully charged reserve battery requires only eight hours of direct sunlight (100% sunlight strength)and provides up to 80% of backup power to the Kindle. That’s almost three days of use time for each hour of charging!
(Someone else’s review of the product)
With the first solar-powered Kindle cover debuting at CES, the “e” in e-reader could also stand for “eco-friendly.”
The SolarKindle cover allows you to read all the Al Gore and Bill McKibben titles you can download in the greenest manner imaginable–no trees ground into pulp for the pages, no coal burned in power plants to charge up your Kindle’s battery. In fact, the solar cover comes with a guarantee of three months of unplugged Kindle use under “normal sunlight environment”–I’m guessing that environment doesn’t include Seattle in winter.
But, if you’ve fully charged your cover before venturing to the great Northwest, you will be able to use the built-in 800 lux LED reading lamp for up to 50 hours without having to tap your Kindle’s main battery.
The SolarKindle will be on display tomorrow at CES. It will become available for purchase a week later on January 15.
There is one rather large catch to the whole deal–the solar cover costs the same as the lowest-price Kindle itself, starting at $79.99. That price does buy you a fair amount of flexibility, though. For those of you that spend months in darkness, as I did when I lived in Alaska,
there’s the option to charge up the cover’s reserve battery via a USB port. Energy from the battery is used to power the built-in light or transferred to the Kindle to extend the e-reader’s battery life.
Conversely, the solar panel on the front of the leather cover can purportedly collect enough energy from just one hour in sunlight to power three days of reading time. That means that if the reserve battery had unlimited capacity, you’d have more than 5,000 days worth of reading time if you left it out in arctic Alaska’s unending summer sun. That’s enough time to read the entire canon of environmental literature…or Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84” at least once.
(Another someone else’s review of the product)
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 reser
ve 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.[Photo Via: bellenews]