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Sharp's teeny tiny Ubuntu sub-notebook

Ubuntu is the surprisingly sane choice for Sharp's oddball PC

We've no idea why it chose to do so now, but Sharp Japan has completely ignored the success of netbook-sized PCs and delivered a tiny computer with just a 5-inch screen.

The NetWalker PC-Z1 goes on sale in Japan in September for ¥45,000 (£295), clearly putting it well into netbook price territory, but without much of the usability.

Long battery life

The tiny screen, which seems more suited to a phone, is touch sensitive and comes coupled with a QWERTY keyboard. It weighs 409g and has a decent 10-hour battery life.

Under the hood, it's powered by an 800MHz Freescale CPU, 512MB of memory and a 4GB SSD, of which only half is usable. Sharp says all of this makes it just right for use as an e-book or electronic dictionary, as well as a snappy online terminal.

Linux to the rescue

While that seems unlikely to appeal to many, Sharp does gain some geek points by installing the Smartbook Remix of Ubuntu Linux as the OS, meaning Firefox et al can run with ease.

Still, we can't see this selling particularly well, even in Japan, and so don't expect it to hit overseas markets anytime soon.