Sharp have been pretty quiet on the netbook front, but that's set to change with the launch of the Sharp Mebius PC-NJ70A next month. Delivering what many netbook manufacturers find impossible - something unique in the segment - the Mebius PC-NJ70A's special trick is a 4-inch 854 x 480 flush-fitting touchscreen trackpad, which can not only be used for controlling the mouse but as a secondary sub-display.
Video demo after the cut
The touchpad can also function as an app launcher, game controller (as seen in the image above) or even play videos. It will respond to a stylus for handwriting recognition, and there's an ambient-light detector to automatically adjust brightness.
Other specifications are pretty standard for a netbook, with Intel's Atom N270 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of RAM (2GB supported), a 160GB hard-drive and 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 display running off the 945GSE Express chipset. Connectivity includes three USB 2.0 ports, WiFi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and a multiformat memory card reader, plus ethernet, VGA and audio in/out.
The whole thing measures 260 x 190 x 23.3-39.8mm and weighs 1.46kg, which makes it thicker than other 10-inch netbooks we've seen, and Sharp claim up to 3hrs runtime from the standard battery. It's set to land in Japan in late May, priced at around 80,000 yen ($817).
Akihabara News shot some demo footage of the Mebius in action: