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netbooks and ebox computers


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You'd be better off with a notebook/netbook or smartphone, tbh. They have nice, low-power screens built in.


I've go a solar cell that I use for charging my iPhone while camping. Works okay (that's in Germany/Holland, though, where the weather's not so sunny).


A smartphone typically draws about 1W, so it kicks the crap out of any computer (MacBook Air is about 7W, netbooks perhaps a shade less).


You'd need a pretty big solar cell to keep a computer charged.

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AM looking for low power dc computers






SOmething that can be connected to a solar panel, for on the hoof power.


Maybe travelling abroad next year to remote areas, so so am after some lite computing.  ANyone used things like this for travel?


Here you go :) http://crave.cnet.co.uk/laptops/olpc-xo-3-0-70-tablet-to-launch-at-ces-50006583/

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The problem with all these suggestions, as I noted above, is that they all need a monitor, and you're looking at another £200 and 11 watts for a 12v monitor.


What's more, these mini PCs and 12v monitors don't have built-in batteries, so you'll need to get one of those, too, or at the very least some kind of regulator that can guarantee a 12v output from variable input voltage (the voltage of a solar panel rises and falls depending on how sunny it is). You can't just plug the things into a normal portable panel because they just don't put out a stable power supply. Even if you could get that to work, the computer would go off if a cloud came out.


If you really intend to run a computer off a solar panel, you'd be absolutely daft not to get a tablet, a smartphone, or a netbook:


Option A:

Solar panel (£150)

Smartphone, tablet or netbook (£250+)

Cost: £400


Option B:

Solar panel (£300)

12v battery (£15 lead acid, £50 NiMH)

Mini computer (£200)

12v screen (£200)

Keyboard (£20)

Mouse (£10)

Cost: £800


I have this Brunton solar panel, and at £150, it's just about good enough to keep an iPhone up and running (in European summer).


For a netbook, with a panel this size, I reckon you'd get 1-2 hours usage from charging all day. For your mini computers, a third of that because they draw 3x the power of a netbook, so you'd at least need to double the size of the panel, and with it the price.


TL;DR: forget about these stupid mini desktop computers and start looking at actual mobile devices. You know, the ones that are actually designed for what you have in mind.

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why would i need full size screen, if i was trying to make this portable?


You wouldn't. But if you only want a 7"-10" screen, why on earth would you not use a netbook?


Is building your own power supply part of the challenge? And why would you want to lug all that around with you? (I assume you'll be on foot, otherwise you wouldn't need the solar panel.)


That Spectrum takes me back. Worst keyboard ever. (BTW, that Speccy draws the same power as, or perhaps more than, a MacBook Air.)

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cos am an idiot)


I just prefer to be differnt.  YEah the speccy keyboard wasnt great for extended typing.....Load "" was all u needed to type on it )


Then staple living worms to the back of a netbook.


Thinking about it, the Speccy's TV remote keyboard was better than the Palm Pre's …

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