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Sharp, Willcom intro Atom-based UMPC

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Sharp and Willcom on Monday put out some of the first concrete details for an ultra-mobile PC based on Intel’s Atom architecture. Known alternately as the Willcom D4 or the WS016SH at Sharp.

The device is built to be small and light enough at just over one pound in weight but fast enough to run Windows Vista with a 1.33GHz Atom and 1GB of memory; a unique tilt-slider design allows it to fit both a QWERTY keyboard and a direction pad alongside a 5-inch touchscreen sharp enough at 1024×600 to display a desktop operating system. Besides its computing ability, the D4 also sports a 2-megapixel camera and can make calls courtesy of a phone radio and SIM card slot. A 40GB hard disk provides main storage, but is backed by a microSD card slot. Although primarily dependent on Wi-Fi for its networking, Willcom’s UMPC ships with a cradle that provides four-port USB as well as Ethernet and VGA out for a larger external display.

Sharp and Willcom will team up to sell the device for roughly $1,272 after including a two-year cellular service plan. Shipments start for Japan in mid-June. Neither Sharp nor Willcom has discussed the possibility of bringing the Atom-based computer to the US.

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