Sharp launched Netwalker PC-Z1 last year and enjoyed moderate success with it. This year, Sharp unveiled yet another Linux handheld – Netwalker PC-T1. Running Ubuntu, the Sharp Netwalker Z1 is more of a pocket computer than a MID. It is powered by the i.MX515 Freescale processor that runs at 800MHz clock speed and is outfitted with a nice big 5-inch WSVGA display, which means that it can display upto 1024×600 pixels which is considered as a standard in the world of netbooks.
Under its shell, you will find 512MB RAM, which may sound a bit low, but Sharp has heavily customized the operating system and things run very smoothly. For storage, you get 8GB of solid state flash memory. You need not panic as it can be easily extended with the MicroSD card slot that supports up to 16GB SDHC card. Coming to its build quality, it is well-constructed, but compared to its predecessor, PC-Z1, it feels slightly less solid. Also, the glossy plastic used in the Netwalker PC-T1 catches smudges pretty easily and I would recommend keeping a cleaning silk cloth handy. The PC-Z1 had matte surface and that did not catch any fingerprints.
One of the main advantages of running Ubuntu is that you get real Firefox, which means full Internet experience. Even the flash runs without a hitch and you also get Open Office suit to edit the office documents on-the-go.
Sharp has made extensive enhancements to make the Ubuntu as finger-friendly as possible, but still there are plenty of areas where the Sharp needs to put in more effort. Sometimes that is the reason they have bundled a stylus to select and click those areas which are not finger-friendly.
Unlike most MIDs and slate tablets, which do not come equipped with a USB port, Sharp Netwalker PC-T1 comes with not one, but two USB ports where you can plug-in almost any external keyboard or mouse. You can even plug-in a 3G modem. All-in-all, we really like the Sharp Netwalker PC-T1 slate tablet and we wish that the Sharp makes some improvements to the operating system to make the navigation absolutely stylus-free