Sharp to launch 'Sharp Kitty' Transmeta notebook

Sharp Electronics Corp. will release a new notebook in Japan this month powered by Transmeta Corp.'s Crusoe processor. Its official name will be the Mebius Muramasa PC-MM1-H1W, though for consumer purposes Sharp is using the name "Sharp Kitty."

The notebook will be wedge-shaped, measuring 13.7 millimeters deep at the front and 19 millimeters at the back, and weighs in at 950 grams. The features of the machine have been geared toward business and SOHO (small office/home office) users, according to a source familiar with Sharp's plans.

Based on Transmeta's TM5800 Crusoe chip running at 867MHz, the notebook will come with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP Home Edition and contain a 15G-byte hard drive. It will also include 256M bytes of DDR-SDRAM (Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM), two USB (universal serial bus) 1.1 ports, one PC Card slot, a built-in 802.11b wireless network adapter and a 10.4-inch XGA screen.

The notebook's battery life will be 3.2 hours, although an optional extra battery can stretch that to 9.5 hours. A new docking feature will allow users to connect the notebook to a second PC and synchronize storage data while the system is in hibernate or stand-by mode.

Sharp Kitty is scheduled to be available in stores in Japan Oct. 26 and will cost around ¥170,000 (US$1,375). The notebook will be released in the U.S. in first quarter of 2003, according to the source.

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