Move over, Kindle, iPad, and Nook. A new e-reader is inching in on your market. Toshiba's black and white Biblio Leaf is the first solar-powered e-reader. The catch: for the moment, at least, it's only available in Japan.
The Biblio Leaf has decent stats, according to TFTS--it comes with a six inch e-Ink display, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, a stylus, 2 gigabytes of storage, and support for an SD card that holds up to 3,000 books. But the one detail that really makes the e-reader stand out is the small solar cell attached to its base. Toshiba hasn't revealed how long the cell takes to charge, but we imagine it isn't particularly quick.
Toshiba's e-reader is free upfront and costs $20 per month with a 3G service contract from TDDI (if you live in Japan, of course).
The company's move into solar-powered e-readers comes just a year after Toshiba established its photovoltaic systems business, which is working on solar power generating systems for utilities and businesses. Eventually, Toshiba hopes to move into the solar-powered EV charging market as well.