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Sharp touts skinny notebook

The Japanese electronics giant announces its second notebook since the company re-entered the U.S. market earlier this summer.

Sharp unveiled on Tuesday its second notebook since the company re-entered the U.S. market in June.

The Japanese electronics giant's PC-UM10 notebook weighs 2.89 pounds and measures 0.65 inch thick, 11.1 inches long and 9.1 inches wide. It comes with a keyboard that rises slightly when the screen is opened and recedes back into the notebook when the screen is closed. The $1,999 notebook will be available by the end of the month.

Sharp has been successful in capturing the interest of Japanese consumers with its small notebooks and is hoping for similar popularity in the United States.

ARS analyst Matt Sargent called Sharp a "bit player" in the U.S. notebook market at this point.

"Sharp has always been good with engineering," he said. "But its marketing presence hasn't been very strong in the U.S."

The company is trying to change that by addressing one of bright spots in the PC market.

"The notebook market is the fastest-growing portion of the U.S. PC market right now," Sargent said. "And the (sub-three pound) market has been its fastest-growing niche. So Sharp's trying to take advantage of that and get a foothold. The hope being that that foothold will grow into a larger overall notebook presence."

Sharp representative Terry Storm said the company's re-entry into the U.S. market for notebooks has been "taking off slow, but that's the plan. Our notebooks have been moving well globally, so there's not as much pressure on us right now. We're going to gradually build corporate clients and grow our business."

The company left the U.S. notebook market several years ago, Storm said.

In April, Sharp launched a new division, Sharp Systems of America, focusing on notebooks and liquid-crystal displays.

The magnesium-covered PC-UM10 comes with a 600MHz Intel Pentium III processor, 128MB of memory, and a 20GB hard drive. The system can run up to nine hours on battery power, according to the company. Its 12.1-inch active-matrix screen has a resolution of 1,024 pixels by 768 pixels and can display up to 16 million colors.

Storm added that the company is looking to incorporate wireless-networking technology into its notebooks.