If you're one of the many iPhone fans who have longed for a full-fledged tactile keyboard to go along with your touchscreen device, the new NetWalker PC-Z1 from Sharp, displayed at this week's CEATEC in Japan, may be the powerful compromise solution you've been looking for. The tiny unit is meant to occupy the space somewhere between a smartphone and a netbook with a quick launch function (three seconds) and an easy to navigate 5-inch touchscreen interface.
In addition to allowing you to surf the Internet, send email, and create documents, the NetWalker is also designed to work as an electronic dictionary and e-book reader. Running on the Ubuntu OS, the device also features an optical pointer, a USB port, WiFi, 4 gigabytes of memory, a microSD memory card slot, and has a battery life of 10 hours. Priced at 44,800 yen ($500), the unit is scheduled for Japan release in late October.