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Summary:

Japan will see one of the first computers powered by the Centrino Atom come June: Sharp’s D4 ultramobile PC. It’s definitely portable, might be pocketable at 84 x 192 x 26 millimeters and should weigh about one pound. The device will be sold through Willcom, a […]

Img01Japan will see one of the first computers powered by the Centrino Atom come June: Sharp’s D4 ultramobile PC. It’s definitely portable, might be pocketable at 84 x 192 x 26 millimeters and should weigh about one pound. The device will be sold through Willcom, a mobile carrier, for $395 but customers will have a two-year commitment around $21 a month which includes unlimited data.Somewhat surprising to me is that the D4 will run Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium; I’d be curious to see how the device handles Vista with the 1.33 GHz Atom and 1 GB of RAM. The D4 also has a 40 GB hard drive, a slide-out keypad with 64 keys and a 5-inch display that tilts slightly. Not a bad price for such a device, but it’s likely that Willcom is subsidizing it to a degree. The entire design looks similar to the approach of the HTC Shift, only smaller.(via InfoWorld)

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  1. I patiently await the requisite griping about how handtops are dead, followed by the claims of hypocrisy by those who support the Atom as a general purpose CPU for a desktop-oriented OS, followed by the only thing that matters: Benchmarks, namely in performance and battery life.

    (If it can beat a C7-M, then the only thing left to wait for is a stateside release of this or a similar competing unit.)

  2. If this thing can outperform a Sony UX series PalmTop, be upgraded to 2 GB, and have decent battery life; then I may just have to order it! I would like to know the screen resolution though, if its 800×480 PASS …

  3. Kevin C. Tofel Monday, April 14, 2008

    Screen resolution is 1024 x 600, which is about the most I’d like to see on a five-inch display. Don’t know about memory upgrades, but I tend to doubt it’s possible OR it’s very expensive. Akihabara News says performance is on par with a Sony UX-72.

  4. This is the first UMPC with a clamshell form factor that appears to provide a touch type input as the dimesions are 3.3 x 7.4 x 1″?

    I think the form factor alone make it worth the price even if it is not subsidized by a wireless carries which would make it sell for $1000 -$1500?. The question is can people in the US or Europe buy one? and when?

  5. The device looks slick but the user interface may be lacking. From the pictures it doesn’t seem to have a touchscreen, touch-stick, or track-ball (“pearl”). Using arrow keys to move a cursor while trying to concentrate on the tiny fonts would be rage-inducing for me.

  6. Kevin C. Tofel Monday, April 14, 2008

    It does have a touchscreen as well as a left and right mouse button. I haven’t seen a touchpad, but I suspect there is one.

  7. From the looks of it, the right side IS a touchpad, but I’ll leave the proper translation of the Japanese to someone who *knows* what they’re reading. It looks like it’s meant to be used like a Sony UX in slate mode, but moving past the touchpad area would cause it to scroll instead. However it works, I’d want to see a test drive.

  8. Well, while this is not a new Zaurus that us Zauruserati were hoping for, it looks very nice and intriguing…

    Have already received a response back from my Japan-market device supplier, Conics.net and they should be selling it when it’s available…

    Conics said to be aware that phone functions will not work outside of Japan as this has a special sim card, not regular sim card…..

    Other functions should be fine outside of Japan….

    As for me, I’m thinkin’ Linux on this lil’ bad boy good be a performer, especially compared to Vista…..

    ;-)

  9. Bob Kawaratani Monday, April 14, 2008

    I will try to respond to questions from the group. However, please go the link below and click skip. On the next screen, you have a choice of boxes on the left to click on. Look and the movie and then click on the box labeled design. The specs section is in Japanese.

    http://www.willcom-inc.com/d4/index.html

    The screen is 1024 X 600 pixels and should be gorgeous as its from the supplier of the best LCD panels in the world.

    It will come bundled with Office 2007 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook).

    The phone is a PHS (personal handy system) and can manage up to 256 Kbps for data transfer in Japan. One of the accessories is a “cradle” that has ethernet, 4 USB ports, VGA and audio output.

    The big piece of bad news that I’ll have to confirm is that the spec sheet states that the 1 GB memory is fixed but it states that its DDR2-533 PC2-4200 compatible. Doesn’t this mean that the SO-DIMM should be exchangeable for a 2GB? Anywayway, 1 GB is a bad design design as is the 40 GB HDD.

  10. Not perfect but better by a big margin than the rest of the UMPC computers. This will work as a stand along computer for many users even with the limits of ram, etc.

    I am curious as it uses a special SIM card right? but it also says that it is GSM compatible. I wonder if the unit can be unlocked and a replacement SIM card say a US AT & T SIM card be used instead?

    Even without the phone features it has the form and features that are worth me purchasing it. I could not say that about any other UMPC.

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