Kohjinsha unveils PA series with 4.8-inch convertible screen

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Just a month after introducing the rebranded UMID mbook M1 as the PM series, Kohjinsha is showing off another Atom-powered clamshell with a 4.8-inch WSVGA touchscreen at CEATEC 2009 in Japan.

The new PA series, as it's called, one-ups the PM with a 1.3GHz processor, 32GB SSD, optical mouse, and a swiveling display, making it the smallest convertible MID/UMPC running Windows XP around. On the flip side, the 14.1-ounce device is outfitted with only 512MB of RAM and has its bezel loaded with buttons/controls, giving it a decidedly busy and unattractive look.

Other specs include 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, 1.3-megapixel webcam, One-Seg TV tuner, microSD card slot, USB port, headphone jack, and what looks like a mini or micro USB port as well.

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The power and wireless buttons above the keyboard, not to mention the hinge, screen angle, keyboard, LEDs, and general size, suggest that UMID (or at least their manufacturer) is somehow involved in this. A rejected M2 casing, perhaps?

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Kohjinsha hasn't added the compact PA series to its website yet (it will probably end up being put here), so pricing and availability haven't been announced. Wow-Pow estimates a 59,000 to 69,000 yen range (~$662 to ~$774), though, which seems reasonable given that the lesser spec'd PM series sells for 59,800 yen.

I know that looks aren't everything, but I have to say that this is one of the uglier MIDs I've ever seen. Kohjinsha has put out much better-looking devices in the past, particularly those without such an enormous bezels, so I'm pretty disappointed to see this. The convertible aspect has its merits and I'm sure the mess on the bezel comes in handy for navigation in tablet mode for people who don't want to touch the screen, but this sure doesn't look like a late-2009 device to me.

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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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