netwalker diginfo

The Sharp NetWalker PC-Z1 has a 5 inch touchscreen display, a tiny keyboard, and runs Ubuntu Linux. It’s really more of a MID (Mobile Internet Device) or Smartbook (if I can use that word) than a typical netbook. But it does have a full QWERTY keyboard, even if it’s too small to touch type on. And it does run a full desktop operatng system complete with an office suite, web browser, and other utilities.

Netbooked has posted a roundup of videos showing the NetWalker in action. It looks a heck of a lot more powerful than a typical smartphone, but more difficult to use than a typical netbook thanks to the cramped keyboard. But when was the last time you saw a netbook with a 10 inch screen that you could fit in your pocket?

The Ubuntu Linux interface seems to feature a custom program launcher. It doesn’t look like the Ubuntu Netbook Remix interface, but it’s been a while since I checked in on Ubuntu MID Edition, so it’s possible that the NetWalker interface could be based on that.

You can check out a couple of the videos after the break, or visit Netbooked to see more.

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12 replies on “Sharp NetWalker PC-Z1 in action – Videos”

  1. I still want one. Ever since I had the mighty Psion 5 have I wanted something like it with a modern OS (and in colour!).

    Hopefully they can convert the OS to English….

  2. The price is why all those mobile internet devices or UMPCs or whatever from a few years ago died on the vine — well, that plus the battery life tended to suck.

    They may sell a ton of these in Japan, but it will never be more than a niche product here.

    Cheap chinese knockoff makers: go to work!

  3. Looks like there is plenty of room to use a 7″ LCD in place of the 5″ model, keeping the same 1024 x 600 screen resolution. The impact on the battery life should be minimal (same number of pixels, same brightness). The price would be higher, though, and it’s plenty high already.

  4. Full Ubuntu and full netbook resolution in a clamshell-in-your-pocket is very intriguing to me, but a price of $479 for an ARM-based smartbook isn’t (from the “Sharp…shrink a netbook” link above). The price may drop if they export it to the US, but I’ll probably wait for a knockoff.

    According to the bottom video (which gives great specs in the audio), key pitch is 14mm (74%), just 1.77mm less than that of the Eee 700 and 900. Yet the person in the video is mostly thumb- or single-finger-typing. I think at least some slow and careful 10-finger typing would be possible with this unit.

    (The top video was good too, after I clicked off the red HD button :o)

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