Sharp-Wilcom’s minuscule UMPC out on June 20th in U.S.

D4_02.jpg

Sharp’s D4 is a two-faced bastard of a UMPC. On one hand, it’s the first such device that’s small enough to slip into a jacket pocket and still have a standard-looking keyboard. On the other hand, it’s so obviously bloated–Windows Vista, hard drive, a Centrino CPU–that one can practically hear the battery screaming as its energy is sucked from it, a charge measured not in hours but in minutes.

More than ever before, the temptation to buy an ultra-mobile burns. And yet the same thing that makes it so attractive reminds us how short these expensive trinkets fall of obsolete analogs from the handheld past, which boasted instant-on and many hours of battery life. Ask yourself this: what might I do with this thing, and why do I need Vista, 1GB of RAM and 1.33 GHz to do it?

Imagine a version of Windows intermediate between CE/Mobile and XP/Vista, with a focus on mobile power-management wedded to compatibility with standard Windows applications; wouldn’t that be super? Imagine this thing with the iPhone’s cut of OS X on it. Goodness, just imagine it with anything that won’t make your eyes bleed trying to decipher 10-point fonts at 250 dpi.

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com

 

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4 Responses to Sharp-Wilcom’s minuscule UMPC out on June 20th in U.S.

  1. Tbearz says:

    I agree with Murray – get rid of Windoze and this becomes much more attractive.

    This machine would blaze if it were running DSL (Damn Small Linux), or Vector, or some other distro designed for minimum hardware.

    I can think of a lot of ways this could be made to work, e.g., load the OS into RAM and suspend the HDD except for data reads (hopefully there is some degree of caching built in), cache data writes as much as possible, keep the screen illumination low, all could contribute to making this a really useful lil device for us first-adopters.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Come come sharpen up sharp while
    your at it why not make a usable
    keyboard. Psion and HP could in
    the 90’s why cant you?

  3. FonHom says:

    Thanks, Sharp! You finally updated my beloved Wizard OZ 9600! I loved the IR transfers and printing, handwriting storage, PC Link, memory cards – in 1993. What took you so long??

  4. murray says:

    No linky?

    Well anyway, I agree that the first thing anyone should do with this is to delete Vista and install Ubuntu or something. But honestly, 1024×600 on 5″ screen? That’s hovering around “unusable”.

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