Back when it was officially announced, we described Sharp’s NetWalker PC-T1 slate as the epitome of a niche device, and sadly Pocketables’ review hasn’t done anything to change our opinion. The Linux-based 5-inch MID does several things right – its ostensibly chunky casing turning out to fit nicely into the hands, and some intuitively placed hardware controls like an optical trackpad – but in the end sluggish performance spoils the show.
Ironically, it’s not the processor – an 800MHz ARM Cortex A8 – that’s at fault, but the 8GB of SSD storage. That slows booting OpenOffice to just under half a minute, and makes Firefox page scrolling jerky. It’s not helped by slow touchscreen responses, with the on-screen keyboard being particularly critiqued.
Factor in an import price hovering around $540, 4.5-5 hours of battery life and a less fashionable OS than Android (which is likely to appeal to more mainstream users) and the writing looks to be on the wall for the PC-T1. A shame, as we’d love to see more successful 5-inch slates, but for now we’ll keep looking.