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.
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 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.and runs
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).