Sharp NetWalker family grows with new PC-Z1J dictionary-based version
Here in the US, many of the small computing devices that our readers use, whether it's a Sony Vaio P or UMID mbook M1, are easy to classify as niche products. They are sized to be portable and always available, yet they usually come with a higher price-to-size ratio and maybe a few compromises in functionality. The Sharp NetWalker PC-Z1 would most definitely fall into this same category, even more so than the others, because of the use of Ubuntu as the OS and the relatively meager specs compared to the devices that run faster Intel processors.
Japan is a whole other story, because there the technology curve is very different from ours, to the point where something like an electronic dictionary in the form of a small UMPC or MID is more than just a niche product. Where we might look to Merriam-Webster for a fine selection of words, those on the other side of the world may look to someone like Sharp.
So with that in mind, Sharp has announced the NetWalker PC-Z1J with dictionary support, which apparently will be available only in their home country sometime in the next few weeks.
Google Translate doesn't do us any favors here with its selective translation errors, but there is some information that can be gleaned from the news release, such as the fact that the hardware remains unchanged from the original PC-Z1 that Jenn gave her impressions of a few months back.
Running the whole show at 800 MHz is the ARM Cortex A8 that is also used in the iPhone 3GS and Palm Pre, to name a few. Onboard memory includes 512MB RAM and 4GB flash storage, along with the same 1024×600 touchscreen.
The dictionary is referred to as "Kouzien Sixth Edition" and "Dictionary of New Hidekazu," which is on a microSD card, and there will also be e-books to purchase from the "NetWalker library" in late December. Also according to the release, the dictionaries will be made available to existing PC-Z1 users, though exactly when is unknown.
While this may sound like a strange product for those of us here in the US, it makes total sense to those in Asia; Sharp isn't the only company that believes this either, as UMID released a similar type product based on the mbook M1 back in May of this year.
Myself, I'll stick to just looking up definitions online, or maybe I'll pick me up one of those classic Franklin pocket dictionary devices that resemble the electronic organizers that Sharp sold for so many years.[PC Watch – Japan]