Sharp/Willcom D4 UMPC is tiny, gorgeous, and runs Vista

WILLCOM_D4_WSO16H_003.jpg

Straddling the line between PDA and UMPC — and ending up looking something like an Atari Lynx — the just-announced Willcom D4, co-created with Sharp, is an Intel Atom-powered computer capable of running Windows Vista. It has a five-inch touchscreen (roughly the size of a whole iPhone or iPod Touch, to give you some idea) and includes to my delight a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. A keyboard that will likely be unusable for long form text input, of course, but one that is essential all the same.

This is exactly the sort of computing device the Japanese used to make more of: sexy little trinkets completely useless for general purpose computing. If it had built-in WWAN or a way to access the internet besides Wi-Fi it could nearly supplant a smartphone. Oh, how’d I’d love to own this tiny computer, leaving it powered off in my bag while I used my full-sized laptop!

The D4 will go on sale in June in Japan for ¥130,000. No North American release dates have been announced.

Willcom D4… The Tiny ATOM Powered UMPC [Akihabara News via Gadget Lab]

This entry was posted in japan, sharp, umpc, vista and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Sharp/Willcom D4 UMPC is tiny, gorgeous, and runs Vista

  1. Anonymous says:

    you can access ordinary LAN with this UMPC using its genuine cradle, which looks pretty dummy though…..

    also you can view rather embarrassing promotional videos here:
    http://www.willcom-inc.com/d4/index.html

    have a fun

  2. lev3k says:

    I’d prefer an MIU HDPC. It’s of a similar size and shape, and much less sexy looking, but it manages to also have a full-on cellphone in the same box as everything you describe up there.

  3. Downpressor says:

    Â¥130,000? pass. Honestly even for Â¥10,000 I’d pass. Just dont see the coolness of a full scale OS on such a small screen/keyboard.

    Wilcom is however a nice carrier for those of us who dont like the fishy pricing and overpriced handsets of Docomo or AU.

  4. Tommy says:

    Poor Psion. So far ahead of their time.

    I wonder if my Revo and Series 5 still work?

  5. loloc says:

    HOW !!! crazy machine !
    i found in pro-order here:

    http://www.dfj-store.com

    someone know this site ?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know about the Atari Lynx, but its a near dead-ringer for the Atari Portfolio. Waiting for the ATM brute-forcing attachment to come out before I buy.

  7. murray says:

    Joel, you’ve been my favorite tech writer ever since your Gizmodo days. I love how you juxtapose the irrational desirability with the practical unusability of this (sorry – I’m no writer – but you get my drift). I agree with you and I want one because it’s freakin cute. But if I’m going to blow a bunch of cash on a tiny computer, I think the HTC Shift might be more to my liking (see Dynamism).

    #3 – seriously? It looks almost nothing like the Atari.

  8. murray says:

    Hmm, that is a downer. Oh well, can’t afford it anyway!

    #8 – Cloudbook? How is that relevant? We’re talking handhelds here. The Cloudbook is in a totally different category.

    I never get it when people find out you’re shopping for something and suggest something completely irrelevant. “You want a shaver? Hey, you should check out these lawn mowers!”

  9. technogeek says:

    “Tiny, gorgeous, and runs Vista” — well, two out of three ain’t bad. If they give it a Linux build, with good device drivers, I’ll be much more interested.

  10. brianary says:

    QWERTY? Bah. I’ll get excited when I see a Dvorak keyboard on a device, or better yet–a Dvorak-for-thumbs keyboard. ;)

  11. Moon says:

    Geez, there’s about 20 of these out, a lot of them with Linux or XP.

    Go to dynamism.com and click the UMPC link.

    130,000 yen is about $1300, right? That’s a lot of money for these right now. You can get the Cloudbook for $399 with a Linux implementation.

  12. Joel Johnson says:

    @7: Thanks for the kind words, Murray! You might reconsider getting the Shift, though. Danny Dumas reviewed it and pretty much panned it all around.

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