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Sharp touts ultrathin Wi-Fi notebook

The Japanese electronics giant releases a 3.9-pound laptop that boasts 802.11b wireless networking support and new features for audio-video entertainment.

Japanese electronics giant Sharp has released in the United States a new ultrathin notebook that boasts wireless networking support.

The Actius AV18P notebook is 1-inch thick, weighs 3.9 pounds and comes with 802.11b wireless networking capabilities. Sharp Systems of America said it is one of the thinnest and lightest notebooks in its class, with an 11.1-by-9.4-inch base.

Sharp executives said although the company has not been a huge player in the U.S. notebook market, it's trying to carve out a niche through unusual designs. In March, the company released two new notebooks--a 2.1-pound machine, one of the lightest notebooks in the market, and a 2.8GHz Pentium 4 laptop that features a brighter-than-normal monitor with a fairly wide viewing angle.

Continuing this strategy, the company's new notebook comes with entertainment features such as a combination DVD/CD-R drive that lets consumers burn CDs and play DVDs with the company's proprietary DVD optimization software and InterVideo's WinDVD software.

The new model uses a low-voltage mobile Athlon XP-M processor from Advanced Micro Devices and has 256MB of memory and a 40GB hard drive. It comes bundled with Windows XP Professional Edition.

The price of the notebook starts at $1,449. It's available now from the company's online mall and through retail networks.