Fanboys have been running Ubuntu on Sharp's deceased Zaurus lineup of PDAs for years. Now Sharp makes it official with the launch of this 5-inch, 1024 x600 TFT LCD touchscreen NetWalker smartbook, aka the PC-Z1. It's not a Zaurus per se, but the compact 161.4 x 108.7 x 19.7 ~ 24.8mm / 409g device certainly resurrects its ghost. Underpinning the device is an 800MHz Freescale i.MX515 CPU built around the ARM Cortex-A8 architecture, 512MB of memory, 4GB of on-board flash storage (with microSDHC expansion for another 16GB), 802.11b/g WiFi, 2x USB, and QWERTY keyboard going 68 percent of full-size. Sorry, no 3G data. The PC-Z1 features a 3-second quick launch, non-removable 10-hour battery, and is purposely positioned by Sharp as a taint -- it ain't quite a smartphone and 't ain't quite a laptop. Good luck with that Sharp. The device is expected to hit Japan on September 25th for ¥44,800. That's about $479 whenever it might come Stateside.

It's worth noting that the current US ban on the import of BGA-packaged products like Freescale's i.MX processors should not affect the import of the PC-Z1 as Akihabara News contends. As we understand it, that ban affects the import of the chips, not the systems using them and assembled elsewhere. Otherwise, Amazon wouldn't be selling its Kindle, dig?

[Via Akihabara News and Engadget Japanese]

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Sharp's 5-inch PC-Z1 NetWalker honors Zaurus legacy with touchscreen Ubuntu