What’s the one thing that holds back the spread of technology across Africa? What prevents smartphones, laptops and tablets multiplying like angry locusts and devouring the continent in a thick swirling cloud of plastic and silicon. Is it money? Is it bandwidth? Or is it – as some attest to – the abysmal state of the power grid?

If it is truly the latter, then worry no more. Canadian outfit WeWi Telecoms Inc has come up with a laptop that it claims never needs to be plugged in. It looks a bit like an Alienware games machine, is ruggedised against the elements, costs just $350 and has a fully waterproof option for just $50 dollars more.

And it’s completely solar powered. WeWi claims that just two hours of sunlight will keep the machine running for a full 10 hours. That seems massively optimistic in our opinion, but the rest of the specs seem decent enough for the price. A dual core Atom processor running at 1.86GHz. 320GB of drive space, 13inch 1080p display and an LTE modem thrown in as well as all the usual WiFi stuff? Sounds like value for money to me.

Even better is that the Sol, as it’s called, runs Ubuntu and will be launching initially in Ghana, where its low power solar tech will be useful and good looks most definitely appreciated. Gallery and video below.

(Hat tip: OMG Ubuntu)

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Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.