Last year's release of the Sharp NetWalker PC-Z1 was initially met with an enthusiastic response, but those emotions later turned a bit tepid after the Japanese-only MID made it into users' hands via importers. A slower than expected processor and Ubuntu 9.04 combination, coupled with the tiny keyboard, helped to limit the PC-Z1.
So if you were Sharp, what would you do for an encore? How about slicing off that keyboard and reinventing the device as a tablet so it can join in the latest craze, for starters? Sharp's NetWalker PC-T1 (~$510), set to drop next month in Japan, remains basically the same as its predecessor, right down to the Freescale i.MX515 CPU and 1024×600 5-inch touchscreen, with battery life rated at about six hours.
Running Ubuntu 9.04 and available in either silver or black, the device also includes 512MB RAM, 8GB flash storage, 802.11b/g, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. Unfortunately, the Bluetooth support does not extend to headset profiles, only HID profiles for keyboards and mice. Rounding out the specs are a USB port, Mini-USB port/charger, and a microSD slot, while included software includes a dictionary and access to Sharp's own eBookstore.[CrunchGear]