Japan handheld with Intel Atom chip debuts

Willcom, Sharp, Microsoft, and Intel have announced an ultra-mobile device using Intel's Atom processor, one of the first devices to be officially announced.

Sharp got atomized Monday. The Japanese electronics maker along with Willcom announced the ultra-mobile Willcom D4 "communication device" based on Intel's Atom processor and Microsoft's Vista operating system.

Willcom D4 ultra-mobile communications device
Willcom D4 ultra-mobile communications device Willcom

Microsoft and Intel were also credited with development of the device, according to the Japanese-language release on the Sharp Web site.

The handheld-size device uses a 1.33GHz Z520 Intel Atom processor and runs Windows Vista Home Premium (with Service Pack 1). Other prototype devices based on similar designs--referred to as mobile Internet devices or MIDs--have also been shown running the Linux operating system.

With a separate headset, the device can also be used as a phone using Wilcom's Personal Handy-phone System (PHS) network, both Sharp and Willcom said.

The device weighs in at 470 grams (about one pound) and features a 5-inch sliding LCD (1024x600/262K colors) with an LED backlight, a 1.8-inch 40GB hard disk drive (Ultra ATA/100), 64-key QWERTY keyboard, a built-in camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a mirco SD card slot, and a USB 2.0 slot.

The D4's inclusion of a 40GB hard disk drive is an indicator that the device is meant to run Windows--because of the operating system's typically larger footprint--not Linux.

Intel Atom technology includes a single-chip with integrated graphics called the Intel System Controller Hub.

Atom will find its way into fit-in-your-pocket MIDs from Gigabyte, Toshiba, LG Electronics, Lenovo, and BenQ, among others. Netbooks (inexpensive, Internet-centric ultra-small notebook PCs) such as Asus's popular Intel-based Eee PC, MSI's Wind PC, and Clevo will also use the chip.

Willcom D4 is slated for a June release and is expected to be priced at 128,600 yen ($1,272).

Featured Video
6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Everything you can expect at Apple's Sept. 9th event

Apple is expected to throw the kitchen sink at us with new iPhones, iPads, a new Apple TV and MacBooks. We'll breakdown what you can expect to see.

by Brian Tong