Sharp Ships PDA with Wi-Fi in US

Sharp’s Zaurus SL-6000L
PDA is now available with English language support online. This device, as well
as two additional SL-6000 models, have been available in Japan.

Unlike other recent Zaurus models, the Zaurus SL-6000 series comes in a
traditional tablet style rather than a clamshell. Like the earlier clamshell
models, the SL-6000 series also has a QWERTY keyboard, except with this series
the keyboard appears when the bottom of the device is pulled down. The new
Zaurus runs the Trolltech’s Qtopia platform interface on top of Linux and
includes personal information management software.

All the models in the series run on a 400MHz Intel XScale processor, 1500 mAh
Lithium polymer battery, 64 MB of RAM and 64MB of Flash memory. The series also
features a large 4-inch CG Silicon display that has a VGA resolution of 480 x
640 pixels. The only PDA with a VGA display currently available is Toshibas
excellent e800 Pocket PC. Though ASUS has another one coming in the next couple
of months. The new Zaurus models also have Secure Digital and CompactFlash slots
for memory expansion with an optional sleeve available to add an additional
CompactFlash slot and battery.

According to the company, the embedded Linux PDAs have been designed for and
will be targeted to corporate users, and can run Java as well as Linux
applications. The model now available in English, the SL-6000L, includes Wi-Fi.
Of the other models available in Japan, the SL-6000W features Wi-Fi and
Bluetooth, while the Sl-6000N has neither Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Theres no
information as to whether these will also be made available in the English.

Sharp said it is working with IBM to develop mobile field force solutions for
the new Zaurus. For example, the Wi-Fi enabled SL-6000 series running WebSphere
Everyplace Connection Manager software allows mobile employees to securely roam
with high speed access to information across multiple networks without
interrupting Web connections or losing an existing session. So remote workers
will be able to access Web applications like PIM and e-mail and also be able to
retrieve information from IBM’s DB2 database software. The Sharp Zaurus also
supports IBM’s WebSphere Everyplace Multimodal Environment for Embedix, which
allows end users to run multimodal applications.

The Zaurus SL-6000L is selling for $700 at Amazon.com
and other online retailers. This price is in line with high-end Pocket PC and
Palm OS handheld models. Of course, there are far more third party applications
available with these established mobile platforms. There is enough software
available, however, for the Zaurus to make it attractive for those looking for a
PDA that is alternative to those with these other operating systems.


Reprinted from PDAstreet.com

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