For the first time ever it’s an ARM-only show featuring Cortex CPUs from Freescale and Texas Instruments. The Sharp Netwalker will be there and, if Mr DHL does his job, the Archos Internet Tablet (Android version) too.
We’ll be focusing on the Mobile Internet experience as usual but we’ll be giving a hardware overview, software overview (as much as we can given that these devices are brand new on the market) and trying to answer your questions.
The Sharp Netwalker is kindly provided to JKKmobile by Conics.net. The Archos Android Internet Tablet is kindly provided by you readers. (Please keep supporting our advertisers!) The session is unsponsored so bring beer and expect a no-holds-barred session.
and now, wobbly keys on the Sharp Netwalker which, given the importance of keys, is quite the problem. “The keyboard (14mm pitch, 0.8mm stroke) so far is a mixed bag for me…” says Jenn. “I’m not liking the keyboard at all.. key caps bend to all directions.” says JKK.
On the positive side, build quality gets a thumbs up along with the optical mouse, battery life and screen angle but performance is again, a bit wobbly. Standby, application start-up times and browsing speeds appear to be varying between acceptable and poor.
For a two-handed thumb-style mobile device, the Netwalker may have missed the mark. The Ubuntu UI is unrefined, the keyboard caps not ideal for thumbing and the processing power slightly less than is needed for a smooth experience. There isn’t even any Bluetooth.
At well over $500, the Netwalker is going to have problems competing with the UMID M2 that is said to be launching at $499. Even with 512MB of RAM and Windows XP it will fly compared to this device. Battery life will be much less (at around 4hrs) and the looks and build quality may be slightly less than you’ll find on the Netwalker but for me, the UMID M2 (due to launch in Q4) still has the edge.
The UMID Mbook (#11 in the charts today) represents one of the smallest most efficient PC’s in the world. The Netwalker (#8 in the charts today) represents one of the most powerful ARM-based devices in the world. Both platforms are capable of running desktop operating systems and being designed into a handheld form factor. This comparison photo proves that.
The image comes from a side-by-side photo set and review that appears on PC Watch. It’s actually the new Kohjinsha PM on the right but it’s the same device as the UMID. Check out more images and thoughts on their site. [translation] (Via JKK)
The question is, how does XP on the UMID compare to Ubuntu (ARM version) on the Netwalker? PC Watch focuses on the UMID in their article but stay tuned because JKK should be getting a Netwalker very soon so he’ll be able to answer that question.
I suspect that the differences between the platforms will become very clear when using Firefox which is available on both systems. On the Netwalker you’ll be waiting 50% longer for page loads and wondering why flash doesn’t work everywhere. On the UMID you’ll be happy that the browser is quick because you’ll get less runtime when using it. The classic ARM vs X86 trade-off.
This isn’t an Intel-based MID device but with the Cortex-based CPU and desktop OS it should be of interest to the same target audience. I’m analysing the details right now but so far it’s looking good. Check out the gallery and the information at Engadget while I get the details together for the database. Update: It’s in the database now.
800MHz Freescale i.MX515 CPU built around the ARM Cortex-A8 architecture, 512MB of memory, 4GB of on-board flash storage (with microSDHC expansion for another 16GB), 802.11b/g WiFi, 2x USB, and QWERTY keyboard going 68 percent of full-size. Sorry, no 3G data. The PC-Z1 features a 3-second quick launch, non-removable 10-hour battery