updated 04:25 pm EDT, Thu August 27, 2009
Sharp intros NetWalker
Sharp Japan today launched a new entry into ultra mobile PCs with the PC-Z1, otherwise known as the NetWalker. Unlike most UMPCs that are based on either Windows or custom Linux versions, the PC-Z1 uses Ubuntu Linux 9.04 as its platform. Processing is handled by Freescale's i.MX515 800MHz CPU, there is 512MB of RAM and just 4GB of internal memory, though a microSDHC memory card slot lets users expand it by another 16GB. Users interact through a 5-inch, 1024x600 resolution touchscreen and the device is also light at under 1lb. The very small form factor makes the device ultra-portable, while a built-in Wi-Fi connection lets them access the Internet from these remote locations.
The NetWalker can boot into a quick launch screen in about 3 seconds, allowing users to quickly check e-mails and perform other low-key tasks. There are 68 keys on the UMPC's tightly packed keyboard, and Sharp claims a 10-hour battery life.
Sharp reportedly has plans to create content specifically for the PC-Z1, including language and other dictionaries, novels and comic books. With the NetWalker, Sharp is hoping to create a new market, straddling the fence between notebooks and smartphones.
The NetWalker will ship in Japan on September 25th, with prices not yet announced. A US release of the UMPC isn't expected until sometime in September 2010. It will be available in white, black and red. [via Impress]