The Toshiba Biblio Leaf Solar eReader

biblio leaf solar ereader_4

What is it

After LG launched its first solar-powered E-book reader over a yearago, we were pretty confident that other companies will soon follow thetrend. Justifying our hopes, Toshiba and KDDI have unveiled a uniquelydesigned e-book reader called the Biblio Leaf. Featuring a 6-inch e-ink display, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, the Biblio Leaf includes 2GB of memory which can be expanded via a microSD card.The device features front-mounted solar panels that juice up the onboard battery using renewable energy.

How much will it cost me

The device will be made available in Japan from December 25 as part of a two-year 3G wireless $20 monthly contract.

The Look

The device features an electronic paper display – similar to Kindle, with aresolution of 800 X 600 pixels. Measuring about 8.5?l x 5?w, the BiblioLeaf has a 6” tall electronic paper display. The device includes a touch stylus and features buttons to change pages and manipulate the display. The solar panel has also been included in the body itself, which isquite different and better than LG’s solar eReader that included a fliptop solar panel.

Why it matters

at a glance reader

Though eReaders don’t require a lot of energy, using them can stilladd something to your electricity bills. Since eReaders are easy tocarry around, including solar panels can make things better for thosewith green ethics. The company claims that the solar panel will becapable to charging the battery enough for users to read up to 25 booksor 7500 pages on a single charge.

The Lowdown

While LG’s solar powered eReader prototype featured a large solarpanel that helped the device recharge its battery in just 4 hours ofsunshine, the Biblio Leaf’s smaller solar panel might take a lot longerto recharge. Moreover, the device will end up costing more than theAmazon Kindle, which too has similar specifications. Further, the device will presently be made available only in Japan.

Things to watch out for

Since the Biblio Leaf includes a small solar panel on the frontside, you’ll have to make sure that your hands are not covering it while you’re reading your favorite book on it. The tiny solar panel couldalso take a lot of time to recharge the onboard battery, during whichthe device should be in direct sunlight.

The Alternatives


The solar-powered eReader market is still in its infancy, with only LG developing a prototype solar reader that is scheduled to hit the markets in 2012. However, since the Biblio Leaf too is presently available only in Japan, it could take some moretime to reach US markets as well. For all those who need a solar-powered eReader other than the Biblio Leaf, LG’s device could be worth waitingfor.

The Bottomline

Since the device allows you to read books without worrying muchabout its battery, it could be a hit in the coming days. However, sincethe device will soon be competing with other solar-powered eReaders like the LG solar reader, the company will have to make sure that theonboard solar panels don’t take ages of direct sunlight to recharge thebatteries.



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