Most of the so-called “smartbooks” we’ve seen over the last few months have attempted to blur the lines between a netbook/notebook and a smartphone by using an ARM-based processor and an always-on operating system such as Google Android that allows you to receive incoming messages even when the laptop’s lid is closed. But most of these devices, like the Compaq Airlife 100 and Lenovo Skylight look more like an average netbook than a smartphone, thanks to the 10 inch display and nearly full sized keyboard.
The Sharp IS01, on the other hand, looks more like a phone than a laptop, thanks to its diminutive size. The IS01 features a 5 inch, 960 x 480 pixel touchscreen display and a QWERTY keyboard that will probably be more comfortable to type on with your thumbs than with all 10 fingers. But it uses the same 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor found in the HP and Lenovo smartbooks.
Japanese wireless carrier KDDI will offer the IS01 with EVDO, 802.11b/g, and Bluetooth 2.1 capabilities as well as a 1-Seg TV tuner and two cameras, one for taking pictures and another for making video calls.The device runs Google Android 1.6 and is due out in Japan in May.