The D4 Ver. L, or Sharp WS016SH(B)P, differs from the original D4 in three of the very best ways: software/performance, battery life, and price. It still runs Vista on its 1.33Ghz Atom Z520 CPU and 1GB of RAM, but it no longer comes with the resource-hungry Microsoft Office. This isn’t a monumental improvement, as the software could easily be removed from the original unit and some importers didn’t include it to begin with, but it’s important because of the other two changes.
The new version now includes the extended battery (CE-BL58), shown attached to the unit in both photos above, as a standard accessory. The 2880mAh li-ion battery was given away free during a special launch promotion this summer, which is how I got mine, but normally retails for about $150.
Not including Office seems to have either negated or at least partially offset the cost of the high-capacity battery because the D4 Ver. L is now cheaper than ever. You’d think that the cost would increase at least a little, as the extended battery offers about three times the runtime as the standard one, but not only has the price not been raised, it’s actually been lowered!
In addition to the dramatic difference shown in the screen capture above, Chinese site PCHome.net reports today that the Ver. L sells for 6000 yuan (~$875). Considering that I paid $1500 for my Office-less D4 two months ago and got the extended battery for free, I’d say the early adopter fee was downright astronomical.[Press release (thanks, ClamCab!)]