The Kohjinsha SK3 that we reported on yesterday has been formally launched for the Japanese market at a local price, including taxes, of about $730. Before I put some thoughts down though, here are the full specs:
- Model id SK3KX06GA
- CPU type Intel Atom (Silverthorne)
- CPU speed 1330 Mhz
- Graphics Intel GMA 500
- OS Windows XP Home
- Display Size 7″ 1024 X 600
- RAM 1024 MB
- Hard Disk 60 GB, 1.8 inch, 4200RPM
- Battery capacity 17 (Wh)
- Claimed battery life 3.2hrs (Jeita test)
- Weight 720g
- Size (w/h/d mm) 193/132/30 mm
- Ethernet 10/100
- Line-out / Headphone
- Multi-format card reader
- Micro SD slot
- USB2.0 (x2)
- WebCam 3.0mp
We’re clearly looking at the evolution of a good quality ultra mobile PC here. The SC3 was well built and had an excellent (arguably the best in the market) screen making it downright stunning for 720p playback and very useful for high-end navigation duties. The SK3 will be just as good if it has the same screen. The size reductions are quite considerable considering it’s got a swivel screen and the weight reduction to 720g is class-leading for a 7 inch ‘laptop.’ It will be noticeable if you’re using it with one hand. The local price of $733 seems reasonable considering the huge array of connectivity options that the SK3 offers. Finally, it looks Kohjinsha might have changed the keyboard slightly. If i’m not mistaken it’s taken cues from the Everun Note keyboard and enlarged the main character keys. This will help a lot.
On the negative side we can’t ignore the extremely disappointing battery life figures. 3.2hrs battery life on a Jeita-based test is nothing exciting at all and will translate to between 2 and 2.5 hours, possibly less under heavy load. The battery pack is a tiny 17wh and there’s no indication of an extended battery option. This alone is going to be the deal breaker for many. Add the fact that it’s running a 4200 1.8 inch 60GB hard drive too and you’ve got too very significant reasons not to buy this and to wait for the Viliv S7 (much much bigger battery and battery life, bigger keyboard, ssd options) or even to go for the Viliv X70 and buy a portable keyboard.
Kohjinsha have a habit of creating impressive designs but losing focus on battery life. Two years ago when the SH8 was released I expressed disappointment at the 2hr battery life. That was 2 generations of device ago. Then, the SC3 was released and it was at that point we decided to run a poll. Under 3% of people found 2hrs to be an acceptable battery life. It looks like the SK3 won’t be much better and with new UMPCs turning in 5hr+ battery life, it appears worse than ever before.