Samsung Electronics just unveiled the NC215S netbook, a solar version of already popular NC215 netbook. The only difference being is that the screen lid features high-efficiency solar panel that actively charges the six-cell battery and USB devices. The notebook offers 14.5 hours of autonomy, expandable up to 18 hours if the device stays in the sunlight for eight hours straight.

Samsung NC215S - A Solar-Powered Netbook can expand the battery life up to four hours per day

Samsung NC215S – A Solar-Powered Netbook can expand the battery life up to four hours per day

According to the manufacturer, two hours of sunlight exposure result in one hour of extra life and solar cells will continue charging the battery or USB devices even when the notebook is shut down. This netbook features Intel Atom processor in dual (N570) or single-core (N455) variant, only 1GB of DDR3 memory and 250 or 320GB hard drive.

We really like the fact that the screen brings in high brightness (300cd/m2) and an anti-reflecting matte coating which should enable you to see the screen even in direct sunlight. This technology comes with at a price, and the NC215S will set you back for $399 in the US, with the release date being July 3, 2011 – one day before the Independence Day. NC215S will also be available on other markets such as Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe – starting in August.

If the sales of this netbook do well, it won’t be surprising to see Samsung expanding the solar-panel feature onto larger notebooks, as it caters not just to "green-minded" customers, but to road warriors that select notebooks based on their battery life.