Rilakkuma: Ultra-mobile, ultra-cute tablet PC

First a Casio Exilim, now an ultra-mobile PC (or UMPC, as the Japanese say): Cult teddy bear Rilakkuma is on his way to dethrone Hello Kitty as the character of choice for Japanese electronics companies when it comes to giving gadgets that extra-cute touch. The bear is now to be seen on a special version of a Kohjinsha tablet PC [JP, PDF] that’s part of the company’s XS series.

The Rilakkuma device features a 8.9-inch touchscreen with 1,280×768 resolution, an Atom Z520 processor (1.33GHz), 1GB RAM, a 60GB HDD, a digital TV tuner, a DVD drive, Ethernet, two USB ports, IEEE 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, a web camera, an SD card slot, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and Windows 7 Home Premium.

But what’s more important for the target group is that the device comes with a number of pre-installed Rilakkuma wallpapers, cute icons and screensavers. And if the users turn on the web camera, they can choose to see their faces in one of five different virtual Rilakkuma picture frames.

Offered by Bandai Namco (the owners of the Rilakkuma brand), the tablet PC will go on sale in Japan at the end of June for $990. As I don’t see the device ever being sold outside this country, I’d suggest people who are interested should ask import/export specialists such as the Japan Trend Shop or Geek Stuff 4 U for help.