Sharp NetWalker Netbook/Smartphone Crossover
Loving the connectivity of the iPhone, but tired of banging your sausages against tiny, touchscreen keys? Don't think the answer is dragging a bulky netbook around? Perhaps you've been looking for a device right in between. At least Sharp hopes that you are, as it introduces its NetWalker netbook.
The slimmed-down netbook finds a quiet place between the super-slim but difficult to use smartphone and the user-friendly but too-large-to-pocket netbook. The NetWalker features a full, physical keyboard and five-inch touchscreen, providing the best of both worlds for users. It's smaller than the average netbook and is designed to give the user increased portability while maintaining the browsing advantages of the netbook.
The NetWalker features an 800MHz ARM Cortex A8, 4GB of on-board storage, microSD slot, USB port and optical pointer. It runs Ubuntu and also includes an electronic dictionary and e-reader. The battery provides 10 hours of computing.
Sharp introduced the NetWalker at CEATEC and will be releasing it in Japan later this month. It retails for a rather-expensive 44, 800 yen (app. $500) and will compete against similar devices like the UMID mbook M1.
It will be interesting to see if crossover devices like this catch on. On the surface, it sounds like a good idea (for a lower price tag, at least), but unless it actually works well, combining two devices into one can be the recipe for disaster.