Sharp introduces NetWalker MID with Ubuntu

Sharp_netwalker

Though it may look a lot like the UMID mbook M1, the compact clamshell form factor is really the only thing Sharp's newly introduced NetWalker PC-Z1 has in common with the Atom-powered MID. Sure, both devices also have 512MB of RAM, a WSVGA touchscreen, and a microSD card slot, but their differences are much more significant.

For starters, the NetWalker is powered by an 800MHz Freescale i.MX515 processor (ARM Cortex A8 core), has 4GB of internal memory, and runs Ubuntu 9.04. In addition, the 14.4-ounce unit measures 6.35" x 4.28" x 0.78" and features a 10-hour battery life (JEITA estimate; expect about 7 hours of real-world usage), 5" LED-backlit screen, standard USB ports, optical mouse, and mouse buttons.

Sharp_netwalker_colors

So it's a mixed bag of better and worse specs than the UMID, depending on your preferences. How you feel about the device may also depend on your location, as the Freescale CPU housed in the NetWalker is apparently banned from the US until September 2010.

Sharp_netwalker_aki

I don't think a little technicality like that will prevent the NetWalker from being imported in small quantities [Update: Conics.net has plans to carry them], which is a good thing because I kind of want one. Even though there's too much wasted space surrounding the screen and I feel more comfortable with Windows than Linux, I'm still intrigued. What about you?

Available in black and white on September 25th and in red in late October for 44,800 yen (~$478).

[Product page via Akihabara News]
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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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