Kohjinsha SH6WP10A User Review

by Reads (30,992)

Overview and Introduction

This review covers the Kohjinsha model number SH6WP10A, one of the awesome ultra portable laptops made by Kohjinsha. This is a touch screen device sold only in Japan for a retail price of around 130,000 Yen ($1,100 USD) depending on the configuration.


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The Kohji SH6WP10A comes with the following:

  • Processor: Intel A100 600 MHz processor
  • Motherboard: Intel 945GU +ICH7U
  • Memory: 1GB DDR2-400 ram
  • HD: 100 GB HDD
  • Screen: 7" LCD screen with a max resolution of 1024 600 or 1600×1200 via the VGA port. (Touch Screen capable)
  • Connectivity: 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX, WLAN IEEE 802.11b/g, Bluetooth Ver 2.0+EDR
  • Audio: Realtek High Definition Audio
  • Camera: 1.3 Mega pixel camera
  • TV Tuner (only works in Japan)
  • O.S: Windows Home Premium Edition
  • Ports: 2 USB Ports, CF/SD/MMC/MS Input, Wireless On/Off Switch, Audio output and Microphone input
  • Weight: 2 lbs 3 oz
  • Accessories: Includes a "man purse" for the laptop, strap to carry it, and 2 antennas for the TV tuner.


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Seen above, items that are included in the package

Reasons for Buying

I bought this laptop because I’ve been at college in Japan for a year and my previous laptop was just way too heavy to carry around. I wanted something that I could carry around and not worry about the weight. I looked at other ultra portable laptops here in Japan as well as some Sony Vaio, and Toshiba brand computers. Being in Japan these notebooks were over $2,000 and I didn’t have that kind of money to spend. When I saw this Kohjinsha laptop, I knew I immediately wanted it. One has to see the size of it in person because videos and pictures do not do this little computer justice.


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I’m at Tsukuba College, so I took the Tsukuba Express to Akihabara shopping district in Tokyo to look around at laptops. I went to Yodobashi Camera, a large electronics store, as I thought that would be an excellent choice to find a laptop. I looked around for a while, shocked at the very expensive prices, but finally came to the little Kohjinshas. They still had the lower end model Kohjinshas with the 500 MHz AMD processor for about $850. I remember looking at a review of them, hearing about how it doesn’t play movies very well due to the slow processor speed, so I skipped out on it. I then came to the 800mhz version Kohjinsha that had 40GB more HDD space. This version was about $1,100. This seemed like a good deal, but I then saw the 600MHz version for an incredible $770. I didn’t even have to think, I bought it on the spot. You can buy the notebook in either black or white, however there were only white versions of the computer left, which didn’t bother me. Also, if you get a point card at Yodobashi camera, you get 10% added onto the card for an amount off your next purchase. Meaning on y next purchase I can use that point card to get $77 off. Not a bad deal if I say so myself! I believe this was an incredible deal because all the other websites that are importing these to various countries as well as other stores in Japan, and Kohjinshas site itself retails this at around $1000. So I’m incredibly happy with this purchase. If you’re in Japan, go to Yodobashi Camera now and get it. Or if you’re not in Japan, get a friend who can get it for you because this deal is really hard to pass up.

Design

This little computer can either be bought in white or black, both of them look really nice. In my case, it’s white. When you hold the laptop, you can kind of feel that this thing is really built quite nicely. It’s definitely light. In fact, if you put it on your lap, you might even forget that it’s there! This computer is so small, it fits really nicely in just one hand. 

The screen LCD is pretty thick so no ripples can be seen if you push on the lid. If you touch the screen in the up position, it doesn’t wobble at all. Twisting the frame turns it into a Tablet PC, so go ahead and twist away, that’s what it’s designed for. The laptop is mostly made of plastic except for the metal hinge part that allows you to turn your screen into a Tablet PC. Though it’s made of plastic, it feels extremely solid. The only complaint that I have about the build is the AC adapter input. The plug doesn’t go all the way into the computer, it kind of just hangs there so you can accidentally push it out and not even know until your battery is dead. I wish they would have made it so that the plug went in all the way, and then clicked in. I’m always watching the plug and my battery power to see if it accidentally slipped out.

Screen


I took this night photo to show you how bright the screen is (view large image)

I am so happy with this screen. Yes, it is only 7 inches, however it’s 7 inches of pure eye candy. The resolution is 1024 600 or 1600×1200 via the VGA port. Meaning, if you want to connect this computer to a monitor, it will allow up to 1600×1200. On the LCD panel itself there are loads of buttons; including a direction pad, pointer, launcher, shutter, rotation, enter, scroll and mouse button.  The other button is a brightness control. Even on the lowest brightness setting you can make out everything and on the highest setting it feels like a beam of light shooting a clear image of your desktop at you. I have not noticed any leaks or uneven back lighting, I can only praise this screen because it’s that good. It looks especially good when you’re playing DVD/HD movies on it.

Below is some video of HD playing on the Kohjinsha, it looks much better in person, but this is just to give you an idea:

Sound and Audio

Like any laptop (or most of them anyway), the sound is going to be lacking on internal speakers. It sounds pretty good for what it is. For example, I was in class today and I started up iTunes to play some songs and many people could hear the songs that I played clearly outside (I was on the 2nd floor with the windows open). So it is pretty good for its size, but I suggest buying headphones or external speakers. When you hook headphones up to this, the sound really comes alive. There’s also a switch right next to the headphone input for adjusting the volume of the audio, pretty handy!

Speed and Processor

The processor speed of the Kohjinsha is 600mhz. For more information about the processor itself, please visit http://www.intel.com/products/mid/ultramobile2007.htm.

It looks like it’s based off the 90 nm Pentium M core with a 400 MHz FSB and 512kb L2 cache. Booting up to Windows Vista took a good 45 seconds on a cold boot, however I changed to Windows XP Tablet edition 2005 since Vista really wasn’t my thing. On Windows XP it takes around 25 second to boot up. The hard drive is a Fujitsu MHV2100AH, which is 5400 RPM. More information can be found at: http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/storage/hdd/mobile/mhv2120ah.html. It’s safe to say that you can change this hard drive out with any 2.5 inch notebook drive. However, given the size of the notebook, it might be kind of hard. This notebook came with 1 stick of 1GB DDR2-400 ram. There is only one slot for memory, so the max you can put in is 2 GB. It all depends on what you do with this laptop. If you play lots of high def movies, you should probably go for the 2GB of ram. However, if you use this to surf the Internet, write documents and watch TV on the TV tuner, then you shouldn’t have any problems. The only time I’ve noticed the computer taking too much time to complete a task is when I have way too many programs open (and I’m talking like ten). So, other than that, I haven’t really noticed any speed problems. I haven’t tried playing games on this laptop, however I don’t think it would be very good due to the speed of the processor. So if you’re a person who loves to play games, stay clear of this laptop.

Benchmarks:

Super Pi

To calculate 2 million places, this computer took 4 minutes 33 seconds. Really not bad considering this is only 600 MHz.

Notebook Time to Calculate Pi to 2 Million Digits
Kohjinsha SH6WP10A (600MHz Intel A100) 4m 33s
Fujitsu LifeBook U810 (800MHz Intel A110) 6m 22s
Fujitsu T2010 (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo) 1m 40s
HP Compaq 2710p (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo) 1m 39s
Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (1.6GHz Core 2 Duo) 1m 10s
Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (2.2GHz Core 2 Duo) 54s
Gateway E-155C (1.06GHz ULV Core 2 Duo) 1m 58s
LG C1 (1.2GHz Intel Core Duo) 1m 49s
Toshiba R400 (1.2GHz ULV Core Duo) 2m 10s
Asus R1F (1.66GHz Core Duo) 1m 20s
Lenovo ThinkPad X60t (1.66GHz LV Core Duo) 1m 24s
IBM ThinkPad X41t (1.5GHz LV Pentium M) 2m 02s
HP TC4400 Tablet PC (2.0GHz Core Duo) 1m 13s
Dell Latitude D420 (1.06GHz Core Solo ULV) 2m 11s

 

The HDD test looks on par with most other notebooks, nothing special, nothing really bad:


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Heat and Noise

What can I say about the heat and noise about this computer? The computer is completely silent, no noise comes out of it…except for the hard drive when it’s busy. When it’s busy, you just hear small hard drive "seeking" noises, nothing loud at all. The fans are silent, I can’t hear them at all, even on high load. The laptop gets a little warm on the bottom, there is also an exhaust on the right side of the computer that blows out a little warm air, but that’s about it. It’s a very well built machine.

Keyboard

Since this is a Japanese machine, it will have Japanese placement, also some of the buttons are smaller than many people are used to, but the keyboard is very easy to use while taking notes and the keyboard is relatively quiet. The touch pad is very small, but is very responsive. The touch screen works great, I love sitting down, turning the computer into a tablet PC and watching videos.

Ports

This laptop has 2 USB 2.0 ports, a CF reader, a VGA output, a Compact Flash card slot, and a Memory Stick/Multi Media Card/ Secure Digital slot.  It also has 2 Kensington locks, one on each side for a strap that attaches to the computer, so you’re able to carry the computer around with you.


Left side view of ports (view large image)


Right side view of ports (view large image)

 

Wireless

802.11b/g is included with the Kohjinsha, it also has bluetooth built-in. From what I’ve tested so far, the wireless works pretty well. I was able to pick up signals that I wasn’t able to with my S96j computer. I also got better reception on a lot of the signals plus I rarely got disconnected.

Battery

The battery is so small, once again you have to see it to believe it. I’m surprised the amount of power this thing can dish out and it’s only a 3 cell battery. While running 720p video, wireless off and full brightness, I got around 3.5 hours of battery. Another example is when I was in class for 5 hours straight, I had wireless off, 2 notches down from full brightness, was playing iTunes, sometimes typing and playing a little video every once and a while, I got 5 hours of battery. Not bad, but if you want more time, you should go for the more powerful battery.

Software and OS

The computer comes with Windows Vista Home Premium, and unfortunately no discs are provided by Kohjinsha. There is a partition on the drive that has a recovery function, although I would have preferred the actual discs. Software that comes with the Kohjinsha includes: IVT BlueSoleil, ebiBookReader Version 3.0J, Adobe Reader, InterVideo WinDVD, and DigBest TV (for the built-in TV tuner) Free software is kind of average, nothing great.

Conclusion

I really love this computer, aside from the few minor problems. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to get a UMPC because this thing can be a regular laptop, then switch to a Tablet PC in a second. If you like videos, iTunes, Internet surfing and typing, this computer is for you. If you like games, intense graphic editing, then this computer really isn’t for you. I used Vista for the review, but decided to switch to Windows XP tablet edition 2005 after and I love it. It’s good on Vista, but it runs better on Windows XP.

Pros:

  • Small, very very small
  • Good battery life
  • Touch Screen is a plus
  • Processor is only 600 MHz, but can play HD videos
  • Big Hard drive
  • Decent amount of ram, can upgrade if needed

Cons:

  • AC adapter plug feels like it will fall out from the socket at any moment
  • Under heavy load the computer might slow down
  • Average speakers
  • No recovery discs, have to use partition on hard drive


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