Sqigle's Earl tablet brings Android to the wilderness with e-paper, solar power

Although there's no dearth of rugged tablets, most are still built on the assumption that civilization is close at hand. Sqigle, however, suggests that its upcoming Earl tablet could work even if there's no civilization left. The new, crowdfunded Android 4.1 slate centers on a light-up, 6-inch e-paper screen that both extends the battery life to 20 hours and makes the 5 hours of solar-powered recharging sound reasonable -- theoretically, Earl never needs to see a wall outlet. It's also built to do as much as possible without leaning on either WiFi or a PC. Along with both analog and digital radio, the design should incorporate ANT+ sensor support and preloaded topographical maps. The project isn't ideally timed for outdoorsy types when it's expected to reach backers in the late summer, but the $249 advance price is low enough that it might justify a camping trip in the fall.