French e-reader making startup Bookeen has just launched solar-powered covers to let users charge the company’s e-readers. The Leaf Solar Cover is a 59-euro cover for the 8-inch Cybook Ocean (as well as Carrefour’s rebranded 8-inch Nolimbook XL ereader). It features a solar panel developed by the Sunpartner Technologies, and incorporates its Wysips solar panel tech.
Bookeen says that the device needs an hour of sunlight to charge the 8-inch Cybook Ocean for just 30 minutes, which is hardly a convenient rate. The company has the nerve to suggest that 30 minutes is enough for a day’s reading. As if.) But while there have been a similar solar-powered covers for other e-readers, they don’t look half as nice. Bookeen’s leaf design really is lovely.
The Cybook Ocean eReader has an 8 inch, 1024 x 768 pixel display, 4GB of built-in storage, a touchscreen display, a microSDHC card slot, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, and support for EPUB and PDF files with Adobe DRM, as well as TXT, HTML, FB2, and DJVU documents.
The Solar Leaf Cover is also a pretty attractive cover, all thanks to a leaf-like pattern integrated into the solar panels. So it isn’t bad to look at, even when it’s not charging your device.
The Ocean itself has also only mixed reviews, with sites praising its slim design and large screen, but knocking it for sluggish performance. At any rate, we hope that the idea catches on — just imagine a Kindle Paperwhite with built-in solar panels. Bookeen’s version costs $67.31, while the Ocean itself goes for $213.40.