Published in AI
Sharp launches Mebius PC-NJ70A netbook
Features secondary touch screen
Sharp has changed the world of netbooks as we know it with the introduction of its Mebius PC-NJ70A, as this is the first netbook in the world to feature dual displays. Yes, you read that correctly, Sharp has taken what so far have only been technical prototypes and turned it into a retail product.
The Mebius PC-NJ70A features a main 10.1-inch display with 1,024x600 resolution which is similar to just about every other netbook out there, but the secondary 4-inch 854x480 touch screen has replaced the track pad. The good news is that Sharp has still gone for physical buttons just below the touch screen and Linux users will be happy to know that the Mebius PC-NJ70A has three buttons, also a first on a netbook as far as we know.
Sharp has developed a range of applications that works with the secondary display, ranging from a quick launch utility to a bowling game and various image editing applications all the way to a virtual piano. The surface works with both a stylus (for image editing etc) and your fingers. Sharp has from what we understand used one of it's an in-house touch screen solution that features an optical sensor in each of the pixels in the LCD which is different from your average touch screen display found in a mobile phone. During demo's of this technology in the past, it has been possible to use the screens as a business card scanner, but we're not sure if this is the case with the Mebius PC-NJ70A, although an SDK will be made available.
Sadly the rest of the specifications of the Mebius PC-NJ70A are pretty mundane, as it features an Atom N270 CPU, the Intel 945GSE chipset, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB hard drive, 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, a multi-format card reader, three USB 2.0 ports, a D-sub connector and a pair of audio jacks. At 260x190x23.3-39.8mm (WxDxH) and 1.46kg it's not exactly small for a 10-inch netbook and the battery is said to be good for a mere 3h, most likely due to the secondary touch display drawing some extra juice.
Price wise this is also a no go for most people, as it's priced at 80,000 Yen or €628 (£559/$814) which doesn't quite make it as expensive as the Sony Vaio P, but still a very expensive netbook considering the specifications.
You can find more pictures of the touch display here and more details here (in Japanese). A video of the display can also be found here