The Toshiba Biblio Leaf Solar eReader – Aug 2, 2012
What is it
After LG launched its first solar-powered E-book reader over a year ago, we were pretty confident that other companies will soon follow the trend. Justifying our hopes, Toshiba and KDDI have unveiled a uniquely designed 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 device features an electronic paper display – similar to Kindle, with a resolution 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 is quite different and better than LG’s solar eReader that included a flip-top solar panel.
Why it matters
Though eReaders don’t require a lot of energy, using them can still add something to your electricity bills. Since eReaders are easy to carry around, including solar panels can make things better for those with green ethics. The company claims that the solar panel will be capable to charging the battery enough for users to read up to 25 books or 7500 pages on a single charge.
While LG’s solar-powered eReader prototype featured a large solar panel that helped the device recharge its battery in just 4 hours of sunshine, the Biblio Leaf’s smaller solar panel might take a lot longer to 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 front side, 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 could also take a lot of time to recharge the onboard battery, during which the devices should be in direct sunlight.
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 more time 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 waiting for.
Since the device allows you to read books without worrying much about its battery, it could be a hit in the coming days. However, since the device will soon be competing with other solar-powered eReaders like the LG solar reader, the company will have to make sure that the onboard solar panels don’t take ages of direct sunlight to recharge the batteries.