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Full Version: Sharp Netwalker Pc-z1, Who Has One?
OESF Forums > Distros, Development, and Model Specific Forums > Model Specific Forums > Sharp PC-Z1 NetWalker
teh.sean
Well, I ponied up for the Netwalker, and I was just wondering who else here has done the same.

Is there any interest in the OESF community to support this device?
Ubuntu is on it natively, but who knows what else you folks could shove in the thing!
Ling
I looked at it, but decided to wait for the UMID M2. I expect that the ubuntu arm repository will have quite a lot to offer.
teh.sean
QUOTE(Ling @ Oct 4 2009, 10:12 AM) *
I looked at it, but decided to wait for the UMID M2. I expect that the ubuntu arm repository will have quite a lot to offer.

Hah, I'm considering the UMID M2 as well! Comparing the UMID M1 to the Netwalker, it's pretty even. If the M2 has 1GB ram and the built in mouse controls, it will be the better device. Holding the M1 and 'imagining' where the mouse controls are yields a pretty usable machine, even if it doesn't open up as wide as the Netwalker.
fpp
Do let us know how it goes with the Sharp... reviews were such a mixed bag it's hard to know what to think.

Nothing like an actual hands-on report by a trusted expert :-)
teh.sean
QUOTE(fpp @ Oct 6 2009, 02:19 PM) *
Do let us know how it goes with the Sharp... reviews were such a mixed bag it's hard to know what to think.

Nothing like an actual hands-on report by a trusted expert :-)


So far I'm impressed. Battery life has been great! I haven't had a lot of time to play with it, but for basic surfing and Open Office scenarios, it works fairly well.

Networking support is a mixed bag, both my USB Ethernet dongle and my USB Cellular modem were not recognized out of the box, so it seems like the Ubuntu environment they installed is really stripped down.

The keyboard is a little odd because the keys don't press to center. When you type on a key, it could collapse to the left or the right a little bit. The feedback isn't that good and it is a little difficult to type on, on both a tabletop and thumb typing.

I bought mine just before UMID announced the M2 model. Having an M1, I kinda wish now I'd waited; I can already see myself getting the M2 and potentially liking it more.
fpp
Thanks. Is the M1's keyboard better than the Sharp's ? Seems the M2 will have the same one.
teh.sean
QUOTE(fpp @ Oct 9 2009, 05:00 PM) *
Thanks. Is the M1's keyboard better than the Sharp's ? Seems the M2 will have the same one.

Hmm, tough call. I would say the UMID keyboard is better overall, but both keyboards are flawed.

The UMID keyboard has fewer keys (56), so it depends on FN combinations much more. Basic keys like / ? - are FN combinations. Worse still, some keys are FN+Shift, then the keypress, so you have a total of 4 mappings for keys. Even weirder, some keys are flat out not marked, like the \. There are no dedicated F1-F12 keys. The UMID keyboard does not have a right shift. Thumb typing, two shift keys is absolutely necessary, because trying to make 'E' or 'D' is a tough stretch otherwise. With a keymap changing program, the no right shift issue is fixable.

The Sharp keyboard has more keys (78) and the keyboard area is bigger in both directions. The keyboard has dedicated F1-F6 (FN+F7-F12) keys, which is nice, and most of the normal use punctuation keys are the same mapping as a standard keyboard. The keys themselves are nearly identical in height to the UMID keys, but the letter keys are a tad wider. Because of this, the keys run to the end of the device. This presents a problem when thumb typing. Keys close to the edge are harder to hit, especially the shift key which is usually under your palm when thumb typing. The optical mouse and mouse keys are nice, and allow surfing without having to go to the touchscreen much, which is a plus the UMID doesn't have, and the UMID M2 won't have either if they do actually put an optical mouse on the LCD bezel. Also, pressing on the Sharp's keys doesn't feel as good as the UMID. The keys don't always travel the same way; If you hit a key from the side, only that side of the key will press down, not the whole key. The keys have a more rubbery feel than a plastic one, and the result is that you don't have a lot of confidence in the keyboard actually registering what you type. It also seems to double press keys periodically, something I haven't had a problem with on the UMID.

When it's all added up, I like the keyboard on the UMID more, it might be smaller, but it's easier to thumb type on generally. On a table top, it would be the Sharp Netwalker's advantage if the keys didn't respond awkwardly when pressed.
fpp
I guess I know what you mean. I had a terrible experience with the Kohjinsha SA1, a precursor of the first 7" Asus eeePC.

It was an innovative and fun little machine, ahead of its time, but the keyboard itself was much like what you describe of the Sharp's.

Given that the main selling point of these clamshells over plain tablets like the Smart Q5/Q7 is precisely that they have a keyboard, they just don't make any sense if you can't actually type on them... :-)
teh.sean
QUOTE(fpp @ Oct 11 2009, 10:06 AM) *
I guess I know what you mean. I had a terrible experience with the Kohjinsha SA1, a precursor of the first 7" Asus eeePC.

It was an innovative and fun little machine, ahead of its time, but the keyboard itself was much like what you describe of the Sharp's.

Given that the main selling point of these clamshells over plain tablets like the Smart Q5/Q7 is precisely that they have a keyboard, they just don't make any sense if you can't actually type on them... :-)


I couldn't agree with you more. I'm really hoping someone will revisit the concept of a keyboard larger than the device footprint. The IBM Thinkpad 701 did it with a 'butterfly' keyboard, and Samsung piloted the SPH-9200, but sadly there haven't really been any bigger efforts. I would like to take a gumstix board and stuff it in one of those folding PDA keyboards, some how attach a low res LCD screen. . . That would be great.
Jiba
Hello, I have a Netwalker too and I've got a happy hacking session with it.

First, I've managed to recompile the kernel and flash the new kernel in the internal booting memory; you can find detailed explanations here :

http://laterrevuedailleurs.fdn.org/en/info..._z1_/index.html

I plan to used the Netwalker as a PDA, for reminding me my meetings and courses. However, it does not support wake up on RTC alarm by default, so the device can raise an alarm only when it is on... pretty useless for a PDA !

However, I've managed to make the RTC alarm usable as a wake up resource by hacking the Linux kernel sources; more informations and patch here :

http://laterrevuedailleurs.fdn.org/fr/info...lker/index.html

I'm now looking at the Sunbird calendar, in order to make it use RTC alarms.

This forum is probably not the ideal one for my post, but is there a Netwalker-specific forum somewhere ? Please forgive me if it is not the right place :-)
Jiba
Here is the last step for using the Netwalker as a PDA : a set of scripts for setting the RTC alarm automatically from Sunbird's calendar :

http://laterrevuedailleurs.fdn.org/fr/info...nts_/index.html

I use this "PDA" since about 10 days and it works well :-)
pdahero
I picked up a Netwalker last year in November, here in Japan. I actually didn't know anything about it until I happened upon it in a local electronics store. I had been a Zaurus user in the past, but the C860 never really did it for me. I hit up the store the next day and bought it.

I really like it, and have found it much better than the Zaurus series. For some reason the store clerk was pretty adamant in stating that the Netwalker was NOT the next Zaurus.

I agree about the keyboard; it's not that easy to type on it. Also my battery life is not that great, but that's usually when using a wireless USB broadband modem. Also it's pretty cold over here, and the battery seems to hate it as much as I do dry.gif
merlin1
QUOTE(pdahero @ Jan 13 2010, 12:36 AM) *
I picked up a Netwalker last year in November, here in Japan. I actually didn't know anything about it until I happened upon it in a local electronics store. I had been a Zaurus user in the past, but the C860 never really did it for me. I hit up the store the next day and bought it.

I really like it, and have found it much better than the Zaurus series. For some reason the store clerk was pretty adamant in stating that the Netwalker was NOT the next Zaurus.

I agree about the keyboard; it's not that easy to type on it. Also my battery life is not that great, but that's usually when using a wireless USB broadband modem. Also it's pretty cold over here, and the battery seems to hate it as much as I do dry.gif

Hello,

great to see another Netwalker owner smile.gif Would you like to join NUTS (Netwalker Users Testing Society)? smile.gif

I partially concur with you on the Zaurus statement. I owned a C1000 for four and a half years, and while it was a great machine it somehow wasn't really what I'd been looking for. So far, the Netwalker's been performing much better for me (performance, app compatibility, screen size). I don't see it as the next Zaurus either.

Same here re: the keyboard, I have gotten used to it and think it's nice but it implies a learning curve, and I wish some characters were more easily accessible than with an Fn or Fn-Shift combo.

What kind of battery life are you getting?

Which 3G modem are you using? I'm trying to compile a list of 3G dongles reportedly working with Netwalker as it doesn't have internal 3G...

Hope you don't mind me asking all those questions smile.gif
XE1UFO
There is a new Sharp Netwalker Yahoo Group forming, if anybody is interested:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/sharpne...yguid=219196859
biggrin.gif
crossblaim
Hi guys, just ordered mine today, waiting impatiently
crossblaim
Yay!, my netwalker is here, the screen is pretty good, the keyboard is not fun. Compiling and trying some stuff on it, looks like I'll have a lot of fun with this little machine.
Snappy
So how great is the batt life of the Netwalker? 5+ hrs 8+ hrs?
crossblaim
not that good, from full charge to zero, 4 hours, just the wifi on, I expected something more. Is that normal?
merlin1
QUOTE(crossblaim @ Mar 13 2010, 12:34 PM) *
not that good, from full charge to zero, 4 hours, just the wifi on, I expected something more. Is that normal?

Did you have anything running or was the device just sitting there?
crossblaim
just sitting there, firefox was open but idle
ptoki
QUOTE(crossblaim @ Mar 13 2010, 02:17 PM) *
just sitting there, firefox was open but idle

What was cpu usage?
A simple script on page can bump cpu to load where power governor (if any) pushes cpu on higher clock.
Wifi can consume a fair amount of power...
Anyway 4 hours are not that much...
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