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Solar laptop bag packs beefier 'generator'

Voltaic Systems shows off a laptop bag with integrated 14-watt panel and battery for charging laptops.

Voltaic Systems on Tuesday is set to announce a bag with a 14-watt solar panel for charging laptops at the Consumer Electronics Show, a company representative said.

Voltaic Systems
Currently, the company makes laptop bags that have a 4-watt panel so this "generator" model will be a significant step up in power. The company's bags also include a lithium-ion battery to store surplus charge and a set of adapters for different devices.

It's expected to be released this spring and will cost $599.

A wide variety of solar chargers are available to power up cell phones, iPods, or other gadgets.

As it turns out, I spent many hours during my Christmas vacation researching solar-powered laptops. ( will be running a column and photo gallery later this week.)

According to retailers, a 14-watt panel will be good for charging up the laptop when not in use. But running it directly from the sun would require larger, and more expensive, panels.

Still, it looks like Voltaic Systems has done a good job of putting together the charger and bag in a neat package. And it ties into the green theme at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.