It’s probably not fair to compare the Sharp NetWalker PC-Z1 with a typical 10 inch netbook. First, the little device has a 5 inch display and tiny keyboard. And second, it uses an 800MHz ARM-based processor instead of the Atom CPU found in most netbooks. But it just looks so much like a tiny laptop that I can’t take my eyes off it. Yesterday Jenn from Pocketables posted some unboxing photos of the NetWalker, and today she’s posted some initial impressions (sort of a pre-review).
Overall, she seems very happy with the build quality. One interesting point is that she finds the touchscreen difficult to use because it’s just so darn sharp. But there’s a built in “optical mouse” that you can use to control a cursor from the keyboard. As for performance, while it takes just 7.5 seconds to launch Firefox, which isn’t that bad, it taks 37 seconds to load OpenOffice.org. Now, OOo is kind of a resource hog, so that’s not entirely surprising. But it’s certainly annoying on a mobile device, especially if you plan to use the NetWalker as a portable note taking device.
Jenn says that the web browsing experience is pretty good though, with pages loading at about the same speed as they would on an iPhone 3GS which has a similar processor. Make sure to check out Jenn’s post for more details.