['Willcom D4' UMPC] Using D4 as PC [Part 3]

Jul 24, 2008
Masao Oonishi, Nikkei Microdevices
The touch pad's arrow sign is faintly lit red when touched.
The touch pad's arrow sign is faintly lit red when touched.
[Click to enlarge image]

Continued from ['Willcom D4' UMPC] Size, Weight Balanced Well [Part 2].

As the D4 is a Windows Vista machine, it is basically in sleep mode when it is not in operation. Startup from a sleep state is not stressful because it takes only several seconds. However, it is unavailable for at least 30 seconds before recovering from deep sleep mode.

This is in sharp contrast with mobile phones and other mobile information devices. This made me recognize the D4 was a PC after all.

The display's standard resolution is 1024 x 600. Since I am more than 50 years old, I could only use it after increasing the standard font size (the default setting made it too difficult to do things). Below are my impressions of its operation in keyboard style, which I found the easiest for typing.

The touch pad is positioned on the right side of the screen. It has a gimmick that faintly lights up an arrow with a red dot when operated and slowly fades out when operation stops. The position of the touch pad is almost the same as the Libretto 60.

Since I feel very highly of the Libretto's pointing device, which is known as the "Lib Point," I was able to smoothly adapt to the touch pad (some people loved the Lib Point and some people hated it).

For clicking, users can tap the touch pad or click the buttons on the left (the upper button for left clicks and the bottom button for right clicks). When doing this, I found things a little difficult to operate. As a thumb is used for touch panel operation, it is naturally used for tapping as well.

Unlike touch pads on standard notebook PCs, which can be tapped with an index finger, the D4 requires tapping with a thumb. That was more difficult than expected and I was unable to position the mouse pointer in the right spot, for example.

To press the upper button on the left, however, I had to stretch up my left thumb as far as I could. The button came to the right position when holding the D4 in touch panel style, but it was too far in keyboard style. I would be glad if there were another button in the area where the Vista mark is.