Pocketables reviews Sharp Willcom D4 MID (Verdict: Turd.)

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Pocketables‘ Jenn Lee posts her final review on the latest MID ripped in premature C-Section from Sharp R&D’s belly by their own restless marketing midwives: the Willcom D4. Like most premies, it seems to have trouble breathing without an incubator.

If you’ve been relatively impressed by the Willcom D4 so far, then here’s where it gets ugly. Very ugly. As most of you know from my standard battery (CE-BL57) wi-fi runtime post, battery life is abysmal. Sharp/Willcom have always been upfront about the standard battery’s “up to 1.5 hours” operating time, but that doesn’t excuse it. That the D4 can also be used a phone in Japan makes the battery life even more pathetic.

Even worse than the drain rate is how quickly the battery’s capacity seems to deteriorate. About 2.5 weeks ago, I was getting a little over an hour of wi-fi time (as shown here). Today, the 960mAh li-ion battery is unable to break the one-hour mark under any condition.

We’re avowed MID cynics at BBG — impressive tech and inappropriate software shoehorned into junk solutions without even a cursory hat tip to real world usability — but even so, a paltry 1.5 hour battery life degrading by 33% in less than a month should convince anyone that this isn’t a device to spend $1,200 on.

As long as MID manufacturers insist on cramming Vista on these devices, the battery life is not going to get better. What kind of hallucinogen-laced Jenkem are companies like Sharp huffing? Even netbook manufacturers aren’t daft enough to use anything beefier than XP.

Review: Willcom D4 [Pocketables]

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5 Responses to Pocketables reviews Sharp Willcom D4 MID (Verdict: Turd.)

  1. Anonymous says:

    As far as I know Willcom is new in the West, but they’re a combination crapvendor and Amp’d Mobile in Japan. Only for masochists, or for those who like bullet points on a box over things that actually work. They seem to target desperately poor business people who can’t afford Softbank’s (much better) service and (i)Phones.

  2. dculberson says:

    #3, but it’s $1200! Or $1000 more than an 8gb iPhone.

  3. strider_mt2k says:

    I did a search before mentioning the Nokia N810 I just ordered so I know you don’t like these things to begin with.
    Admittedly I am coming at this from a hobbyist point of view.

    I agree that Vista is a poor choice for something that has to do it’s best with limited resources.

    Is there any way you can put XP on the thing to see how it differs?
    My guess is that it’d be an eye-opener.

  4. Anonymous says:

    While the battery life is just marginal at about 3 hours with the extended battery, it is still to me the best UMPC so far. Why? because it is pocketable, runs Vista, and is a clamshell and slider. If you read the full review Jenn also agrees that it is her favorite UMPC. To me UMPC’s need to fit in a pocket, have a real keyboard and run full Windows. This D4 does all of that and the only drawback is the average battery life and the high price but to me it is still the best so far and worth the price.

    Devices like the Nokia, and others that are not full windows are useless for real business users. Devices like netbooks are a joke as I would rather spend more and get a much more powerful PC. An Iphone, come on dude we are talking a full computer not a phone get real!

  5. Joel Johnson says:

    Last night I met a woman who carries around a MID for work. CRAZY BUT TRUE.

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