Willcom D4. Reseller Hands-on Opinion. Videos.

Posted on 08 July 2008, Last updated on 11 November 2019 by

D.F.J – Direct From Japan, an exporter of mobile solutions direct from the Akihabara district have a Willcom D4, one of the neatest ultra mobile PC solutions we’ve seen yet. I’ve been in touch with DJF today and they’ve been kind enough to send over some first-opinions about the device. Before you read through them though, let me highlight one very important figure. Last week it was reported that the D4 was returning just 1.5 hours on the standard battery (7wh) DFJ report that this is under WWAN conditions. Running without WWAN and Wifi is a different story. We’re working on getting some better battery life reports out soon so don’t give up on the D4 just yet. Continued after the pic…

DFJ’s First opinion of Final Willcom D4:

Positive:

  • Size and weight perfect for a big pocket.
  • Touchpad, side of the screen, is very useful and respond very well.
    Light up when you place your finger and can be used for scroll Up/DOWN.
  • Dock station very interesting. D4 stand up well, easy to place IN, and you can charge another battery on the dock.
  • Several communications ports included on the dock station (Dock is sold separately)
  • Run fast enough on Vista. Thank you ATOM CPU.
  • Screen quality and density of pixels is amazing. Screen quality like Sharp Zaurus or Sharp Muramassa.

Negative:

  • Price (Should be less) and dock station should be included (like with Sony UX)
  • Keyboard keys are small.
  • Willcom W-SIM (Proprietary sim card) Work only in Japan.
  • Glossy Black body, nice but not for fingerprint.
  • GPS is Option and external (mini USB port).

I’ve highlighted one point above. This is a big big outstanding question for many. Hopefully when we get the Kohjinsha SC3 from DJF next week we can confirm some performance figures.

In addition to these first-impression bullet points, DJF have released three videos about the D4. Check out the very, very cool track-pad in the first video. If only this was a quad-band HSDPA device!

All videos available through our product information page. Click the image.

Source D.F.J

22 Comments For This Post

  1. Direct from japan says:

    Hello. DJF -> DFJ :-) Direct from japan

  2. chippy says:

    Corrected. Thanks!

  3. fixup says:

    Why you guys think this thing is the the neatest? Just look at how much space wasted at the both sides of the screen. No. If it comes with a Japanese keyboard, then big no.

  4. TareX says:

    AMAZING. Also runs Vista… but again, what is the point of having VISTA on a UMPC if it doesn’t have a touchscreen for handwriting recognition.

    Other than the absent touchscreen, I thought it was perfect.

  5. TareX says:

    MY BAD: IT HAS A TOUCHSCREEN!!

    perfection…

  6. clever_name says:

    reaaaly cool if you think about it actually looks more similar to a phone especially without perspective of the size

  7. Al says:

    They have a extended battery that appears to slope about a 45 degree around the unit and attaches to the bottom which increases the battery to a 4-5 hour claim and increases the height to an overall 1.389 inches versus the 1.01″ with standard battery according to Pocketables. I think that is still very jacket pocket size.

    I am very curious to see reviews on it as I am very interested in purchasing one but a bit scared never buying a grey market Japanese computer? From looking at third party resellers they offer it with English Vista.

    Right now this seems the best UMPC as it is small enough to carry in a jacket and has a normal keyboard (eventhough Sharp has always designed not ideal keys) and it runs full windows. I would like to see other UMPC companies build on this type of design. I really like the clamshell ability. It would seem easy for another company to copy the design but use a keyboard layout like the Psion or HP Jornada which provided better keyboard buttons in the same real estate, and have more universal SIM card for cell phone wireless so an unlocked unit could be used with any GSM cell companies. Also as many say XP seems better for UMPC’s?

    Overall though still a great UMPC that I am definately considering to buy!

  8. Vakeros says:

    The touch pad seems better in the video than what it looks in the picture.
    Make it a tad smaller and as Al said with a universal SIM card andf I’m buying it.

  9. Dave P says:

    So Sharp is making a cheap version of the OQO except it has a touch screen instead of an active digitizer (no handwriting recognition) and it’s 50 mm longer (no hanging it on a belt). It does have a better battery life but I’ll live with my OQO’s shorter battery to keep its shorter case.

    Still, I would be interested in a side by side comparison of the Atom versus the Via.

  10. scoobie says:

    This isn’t an OQO. As far as UMPCs go, this is a unique form factor – you can thumbtype, touchtype and store in it your pocket. Its a form factor a few of us have been advocating for a while. OQOs are great – I have one – but they aren’t for more than a small paragraphs like this

  11. ecsk2 says:

    Bring it down to under $1000 and with world 3G and some 4-5 hrs of battery time then I might be tempted :)

  12. Jenn says:

    While I definitely hope the 1.5-hour runtime applies only to WWAN, it seems strange that Willcom would list that measly figure on its official product page. Isn’t that usually the place to pump up battery figures and add all kinds of asterisks explaining that the number is only achievable with all wireless radios off and the screen brightness set to a minimum?

    Oh, and FWIW, it takes 3 hours to fully charge the standard battery and 7 hours to fully charge the extended one. I don’t know if anyone cares about that kind of info, but it’s something I always like to know.

  13. ecsk2 says:

    On the keyboard it’s a bit too Nokiaish and HTCish while those both are good qwertys they are NOT GREAT as the other Sharp 5 row qwerty keyboards!

  14. ecsk2 says:

    Still says: “DJF”:

    “I’ve highlighted one point above. This is a big big outstanding question for many. Hopefully when we get the Kohjinsha SC3 from DJF next week we can confirm some performance figures.

    In addition to these first-impression bullet points, DJF have released three videos about the D4. Check out the very, very cool track-pad in the first video. If only this was a quad-band HSDPA “

  15. PEZ says:

    Holy crap, that thing is serious.

  16. MB says:

    Maybe my hands are too small. But it was too big to thumb type on for me. And if I have to put it on the table or my lap to type … well you all know I could get something cheaper. I was really excited about this, but after 2 minutes I was not very impressed. The scroll bar on the side can only move short distances diagonally. I am now hoping for a Sony UX replacement that is thinner and has an Atom so the battery life will be better. Otherwise it is see what is in the app store and get an iPhone.

  17. ecsk2 says:

    MB,

    So you’ve had your hands on one of these? Can you tell us more?

  18. fixup says:

    The keys do not seem to be touch type able, they look like like cellphone keypad, even hard to press down than OQO keys. Then the wide keyboard falls into “too wide for thumb”. If this is true, I see no point over OQO.

    It will be perfect if: two hot swappable batteries at the sides of the screen for 8 hours run and the keys are indeed touch type-able.

  19. Al says:

    “This isn’t an OQO. As far as UMPCs go, this is a unique form factor – you can thumbtype, touchtype and store in it your pocket. Its a form factor a few of us have been advocating for a while. OQOs are great – I have one – but they aren’t for more than a small paragraphs like this”

    I agree! I’ve tried the OQO and while it is small it just is not very functional for me; I ask you how do you use full windows? it is not with a thumb keyboard that is for sure! The OQO should make a new model using this type of form factor as they are not that popular; even after 8 years they only sell about 12-15K a year (SF Weekly 08′ had an article which posted their yearly sales and if you divide the current price of a OQO about 15k if you add accessories as most likely are also purchased the number is closer to 12k or less).

    I never said it was too big, I would like it as thin as possible but even with the extended battery it is plenty mobile for carrying in a jacket pocket. I like the fact it is longer than an OQO that enables a real keyboard. Sony and other UMPC’s are too wide and bulky to carry in a jacket pocket so then you either get a “man purse” or carry it in a computer bag/briefcase; then you might as well get a more powerful subnotebook or notebook to me.

    A UMPC should be a full windows, touch type keyboard that is small enough when folded to carry in a jacket pocket to me. I hope more UMPC’s use this type of form factor as the current slew of UMPC’s and their form factor is not very popular and not selling well. (Forbes 12/07 cited IDC, only 350K UMPC’s sold in 07)

    Right now this Sharp seems the best UMPC that more mainstream business users would buy. Yes it is a bit pricey but they are the only UMPC that is jacket pocket in size, with a normal keyboard, running full windows.

  20. Dave says:

    I think this is the best umpc so far. I agree with the others whom commented on form factor. To me a umpc with a thumb input is pointless. I like the idea of others using this form factor instead like the OQO, I would buy an OQO if it were more like a clamshell something around the same size as this D4 as I tried it out and would never buy an OQO.

    I am very eager to see reviews and how I can buy one in the US.

  21. scoobie says:

    I have seen no performance information on this yet at all – its a shame the video doesn’t show this

  22. Joseph says:

    If you look at it from the right angle it kinda looks like a PSP.

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