On paper, the Mebius NJ70A looks just about the same as every other Atom netbook, except for one glaring, 854x480, 4-inch, multitouch LCD difference.

Following a stroke a genius (or possibly just a regular stroke), Sharp's designers have completely replaced this netbook's trackpad with a glass multitouch screen. Akihabara News gave it a try below, but their photos, first impressions and video still leave some questions.

Like, is there a another pointing mechanism? Akihabara's fiddling seems to reveal a touchscreen that is like almost any other capacitive panel, which is to so say sensitive, but not overly precise—and certainly not precise enough for typical mousing duties. Unless the center button is touch sensitive, or another section of the OS 9-reminiscent wristrest area has a Synaptics pad hiding out underneath it, the screen like the sole touch input mechanism, rather than a supplementary fun-screen like the Fujitsu LifeBook's. It's also unclear if the screen can be configured as a second monitor.

The rest is boring, filled out with a 1.6GHz Atom, 160GB HDD, 1GB RAM, 1024x600 main display, 1.3mp webcam, etc. Pricing and release date are still somewhat up in the air, but it looks like it'll be Japan-only for a while, and should ship by late May. [Akihabara]