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Sharp Willcom D4 is first Intel Atom UMPC

Willcom D4 set for release in Japan

Willcom is to ship the first portable computer based on Intel's Centrino Atom chip package in June, although it will be bigger and more expensive than such devices were expected to be.

Manufactured by Sharp, the Willcom D4 ultramobile PC, which will be priced at ¥90,200 (around £460) with a two-year data contract, will measure 84x192x26mm and weigh 470g. Therefore, while it's easily portable, it's not pocketable.

Intel launched Centrino Atom at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, but only showed prototypes of portable computers based on the new chips. However, Intel executives promised 20 such devices are in the works and will ship soon. The Willcom D4 announced Monday appears to be among those devices.

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Centrino Atom was developed for small, pocketable devices based on Linux that Intel calls mobile internet devices (MIDs). These devices were expected to be priced starting from $500 (£250), according to Intel.

Unlike other prototypes that have been rolled out, the D4 is the first Centrino Atom device to be announced with a release date. The computer has a 1.33GHz Atom processor, a 5in widescreen display, 1GB of RAM, a 40GB hard disk and includes support for Willcom's Personal Handyphone System (PHS) data network, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It has a slide-out keyboard and a monitor that tilts up slightly, making it easier to read when typing on a flat surface.

The D4 runs Windows Vista Home Premium, instead of a mobile version of Linux. It also comes with Microsoft Office Personal 2007 with PowerPoint 2007.

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