First and foremost, the SolarBook is a notebook that also serves as a handy mini-binder, thanks to the rings that let you add additional pages. However, it’s also thanks to the rings that you can attach or detach the solar panel, which is where the “Solar” in SolarBook comes from.
Coming in at a thin 0.7mm profile, the solar panel weighs 430g, close to the weight of an iPad Air 2. According to SolarBook, the panel has a photovolatic conversion rate — the rate at which sunlight is converted to electricity — of 23 percent, the highest out of any commercially-available product. Furthermore, the solar panel is a 5-watt panel capable of 960mAh output per hour. In other words, it can charge an iPhone 6 from 0 to 100 percent in roughly two hours, the same time it would take the included Apple wall charger to do so.
Since the solar panel is equipped with a regular USB port, iPhones aren’t the only devices it can charge, as you can charge your camera, headphones, and anything else that charges through USB.
If you’re interested in the SolarBook, its Kickstarter page is now live, with the product itself going for $29 for those with quick typing fingers. If you’re not as quick, $39 is what you’ll need to pledge to get a SolarBook, with colors ranging from red and green to violet, space gray, and light blue. If everything goes according to plan, the SolarBook should be in your hands this September, though keep in mind that it’s just as susceptible to delays and unexpected issues as any other Kickstarter campaign. As such, make sure you’re OK with that before pledging any money.