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PDA Buyer's Guide Reviews The Sharp Zaurus SL-6000

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the deep-pockets-in-both-senses dept.

Handhelds 154

Tong Zhang writes "PDA Buyer's Guide has published an in-depth review of the Sharp Zaurus SL-6000. If you like livin' large, this super-sized Linux PDA may be just the ticket. Sharp targets the enterprise rather than consumers with this Zaurus model, which looks like an SL-5600 on steriods. It has an amazing VGA display, a 400 MHz processor, thumb keyboard, WiFi and more. Read the full review." This adds just a bit more information to the previously mentioned review at BargainPDA.

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bone2pik (783027) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257299)

Oh wait. That stench was just from this turd of a story.


bone2pik (783027) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257308)

This turd looks like another ad. Just love how you guys create ads that even the subscribers read.

$la$hdot. The next lame joke.

Hey that's my sig now!

Someone's gotta say it (4, Funny)

Roland Piquepaille (780675) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257306)

Yes but, does it run Windows CE?

Re:Someone's gotta say it (1)

Netmonger (3253) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258543)

No is doesnt run Windows CE - and thank god! Ive used both WinCE and now Qtopia, and the Qtopia environment is MUCH more akin to a desktop environment. For example, in WindowsCE, you have to get a task manager add-on in order to switch between running apps. In Qtopia, you have a panel at the bottom of the display - just like in Gnome, KDE, or Winblows.

Ive had my Zaurus 6000 for a month, and its honestly the coolest 'gadget' Ive ever had.

Correct Link (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257314)

Rather than the empty link (href="") in the story, this is the correct link to the previous story on the Zaurus SL-6000 [slashdot.org] .

Also, the BargainPDA article, directly, is here [bargainpda.com] .

Re:Correct Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257483)

Uhh, who moderated that -1 Redundant? Rendundant with what? The link in the story is wrong--view the source! (<a href="">previously mentioned review</a>.) That just links back to the current page. The parent post has the correct link.

This thing is the future of mobile computing now. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257315)

I'll trade my 2.0ghz pentium4-m Laptop for one of these with a extra USB keyboard and flashcard in a heartbeat (or external USB drive if possible).

The thing that makes it worth it?

Linux OS + decent screen + 10-12 hour battery life.

WTF am I suppose to do with a laptop that can only run for 1.75 hours before needing to be plugged in again? It's not nearly as usefull as I thought it would be.

Re:This thing is the future of mobile computing no (2, Informative)

avidday (671814) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257341)

3-4 hours battery life, tops, according to the review

Re:This thing is the future of mobile computing no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9258701)

I get 3.5+ hours on the 860 *with* wif use (browsing) .. ie: not continuous streaming.

You can fly across the country listening to mp3s and playing games, or watching movies.... without using > 40% of the battery.

Re:This thing is the future of mobile computing no (1, Informative)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257715)

Work's buying me a new iBook. 6 hour battery life. More than 6 hours and I'd need a break anyway.

My current Vaio has about 2 hours of battery. It's running Gentoo with the 2.6 kernel, and I've managed to get it to flip the speedstep processor down. It really only makes the computer run slower. The backlight on the display is what chews battery like gum.

For my purposes, I need a full keyboard. I actually find the back of a municpal transit bus the ideal place to code. I get on the bus at the first stop, and always take the seat right behind the rear door. That sheet metal barrier they set up gives me a few extra inches of room to flip the screen up.

And yes, the laptop does operate well off my lap. And I usually type comfortably with someone in the next seat, unless they are a creasote or something.

6 hours of battery? (1)

Merk (25521) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258623)

I have an iBook. Granted, it's a few years old now, so maybe things have changed, but I get nowhere near 6 hours of battery life. I typically get around 3, 2 if I'm using the CD/DVD drive extensively. But then again, that doesn't bother me. The things are really well built. Just the right number of ports, a well built case that is tough enough to withstand all kinds of light bumps, and the great OS X software.

I had a PDA that I used on occasion, but now that I have this, I haven't turned it on in years. If I want something extremely portable, I have my contacts in my iPod. Sure, I can't edit them, but I rarely need to.

Now my situation might not be typical. I bike to work, so I can't use a PDA/laptop on my way to work. If I were using public transportation, maybe a PDA would be a better choice? I don't know.

Re:This thing is the future of mobile computing no (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258916)

Here's a thought...how about a kernel hook to automatically bump up processor speed when there's more than one process waiting to execute, and knock it down when there's only one?

Re:This thing is the future of mobile computing no (2, Informative)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258296)

WTF am I suppose to do with a laptop that can only run for 1.75 hours before needing to be plugged in again?

I would agree with you. Escpecially since I own a Zaurus SL-5500, and an IBM X20 whose battery no longer holds any charge whatsoever.

However, I also just bought a Pontiac Vibe (twin to the Toyota Matrix), and it has a passenger seat that converts into a desk and a 115-volt AC outlet in the dash (I think the Honda Element has like features). Suddenly, that laptop with its DVD player is a lot more useful, especially on long hauls with my 2-year-old.

A Year and a half (5, Interesting)

Pine UK (769262) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257321)

"the terminal application (it comes on the CD), allows you to issue Linux commands, edit config files and all that great stuff." Yeah, Ok, that's great, but won't it take like a year and a half to enter a command with one of those stupid hand writing recognition things?

Re:A Year and a half (4, Interesting)

Ianoo (711633) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257336)

I believe that OpenPDA/Qtopia is good enough that the average user should never have to touch the terminal for any reason whatsoever. It's about as close as Linux gets to "it just works" and your average "man on the street" might not even realise it's running Linux, since Qtopia doesn't look like your average Linux X desktop (if there is such a thing, KDE and/or GNOME).

Re:A Year and a half (1)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258061)

Indeed, they are.

Too bad Opie isn't. :( I have no idea how Opie manages to be composed of such rock solid tools and still crash and require me to use the terminal. (I have no idea, but most Linux distributions do the same thing. Danged Fedora.)

I still have high hopes for it, but in the meantime Zaurus owners are either stuck with Sharp's boring, feature-incomplete ROMs or the presently terrible versions of Opie.

Well, I shouldn't say that about the Sharp ROM. I haven't used it since I got my SL-5500.

RTFA (3, Informative)

fpga_guy (753888) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257411)

The Z6000, like all Zaurii before it, has a sliding cover thumb keyboard built in...

OFCS.....obligatory grammar nazi post (5, Funny)

Rhubarb Crumble (581156) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257437)

like all Zaurii before it

Zaurus -> Zauri.

I know that you can quibble about what the plural of 'virus' is as it's derived from an uncountable noun, but as Zaurus is clearly derived from Saurus (=lizard)

1 Saurus -> 2 Sauri
1 Zaurus -> 2 Zauri

'Zaurii' is obviously the plural of 'Zaurius', as 'Triarii' is the plural of 'Triarius'. Now go and write 'romani ite domus' on the wall 100 times.

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9258778)

I think slashdot really needs a -1 RTFA that burns through your karma. It would really help clean things up around here.

Re:A Year and a half (0, Redundant)

stmpynode (123891) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257416)

Ummm... It has a built in keyboard.

Re:A Year and a half (1)

Pine UK (769262) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257444)

Fair enough. I've really got to start reading things properly instead of just skimming over stuff. Next time I'll RTFA.

Re:A Year and a half (1)

pmjordan (745016) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257428)

How about using the built-in keyboard, or hooking up a USB keyboard? I know someone who has a 5500, and the keyboard actually works quite well apparently.

Re:A Year and a half (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257565)

Actually no.

There are several terminal applications for Qtopia that have a drop down of your most commonly used commands. Most of the time I can use the terminal without ever touching the keypad.

Re:A Year and a half (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9258020)

Didn't you hear.
It has integrated qwerty keyboard.

Re:A Year and a half (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9258183)

thats what the thumb keyboard is for.

nice o/s, nicer display (1)

Whitecloud (649593) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257323)

Nice to see it runs Linux. But then, Linux dominates in so many area's and runs so efficiently that its invisible to most users, despite what other desktop OS producers would have you believe. Although probably out of reach this year, it will be tomorrows tech soon enough, and that 480 x 640 LCD will be AWESOME for pretty much any app you can imagine.

Re:nice o/s, nicer display (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257426)

Linux dominates in so many area's

Idiotic statement punctuated with bad grammar (why the apostrophe?). Idiot.

that 480 x 640 LCD will be AWESOME for pretty much any app you can imagine

Oh, you mean that display that the Pocket PC has had for over a year (Toshiba e800)?

Looks cool but.. (1, Insightful)

tfbastard (782237) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257324)

Sure, it looks cool, but I've given up on PDAs a long time ago. A regular wallet-sized calendar works better for me. OTOH, I rarely have more than 3-4 meetings per week, but still.

Re:Looks cool but.. (3, Insightful)

Ianoo (711633) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257348)

Try keeping a diary when you have a large number of repeating events every week/month. Entering those in time and time again gets rather tedious, especially if your schedule is changeable (and with a paper-based diary it's quite difficult to drag and drop an event to one hour earlier without judicious use of tipex and biro). PDAs are a lifesaver for students and business people with lots of regular meetings and deadlines.

Re:Looks cool but.. (1)

smellystudent (663516) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257433)

An added advantage is the ability to sync with whatever shared calendar system your company is running, so that colleagues can immediately see my work schedule and make plans without having to continuously ask me what I'm up to three weeks on Friday.

Re:Looks cool but.. (1, Funny)

Dausha (546002) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257461)

. . . without judicious use of tipex and biro

Wha?! I tried to Google on both terms and drew goose eggs. What are biro and tipex (beside the former being the trademark for a type of ballpoint)?

Re:Looks cool but.. (1)

tarunthegreat2 (761545) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257484)

Tipex is the non-American word for White-Out. Biro is another name for ballpen, one of those brand names that became generic

Re:Looks cool but.. (3, Informative)

Ianoo (711633) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257501)

Is this a case of English vs American English slang?

A "biro" is what most people call ballpoint pens here in the UK (the same most people say "hoover" instead of "vacuum cleaner").

Tipex is an obnoxious white semi-liquid substance than comes in a small pot or a pen or a tape form than you can "paint" over the top of text you've written with most kinds of pens to erase it.

Re:Looks cool but.. (1)

Dausha (546002) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258298)

Tipex is an obnoxious white semi-liquid substance than comes in a small pot or a pen or a tape form than you can "paint" over the top of text you've written with most kinds of pens to erase it.

Or, White out to us Yanks. Which leads to the obligatory "why was the blond's computer screen covered in white out?"

Re:Looks cool but.. (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258664)

That would be Bic and Liquid-paper in the States. You British and your wierd terms. Calling cookies, biscuits; elevators, lifts; and car trunks, the boot. :-)

Re:Looks cool but.. (1)

nickco3 (220146) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258824)

That would be Bic and Liquid-paper in the States. You British and your wierd terms. Calling cookies, biscuits; elevators, lifts; and car trunks, the boot. :-)
...and we mispronounce "the Innerr-ned" as "the Intah-net".

Re:Looks cool but.. (1)

plumby (179557) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257724)

students ... with lots of regular meetings

Things must have changed at college since my day, or are you talking about reminders for your favourite daytime TV show?

Re:Looks cool but.. (2, Insightful)

topdogqqq (780537) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257362)

I have to agree, I looked in depth into PDAs and even the really expensive ones still don't have enough ram to carry big databases or do much heavy lifting. Also, they are a real pain to use with that tiny stylus. They basically are still in beta from my point of view. Short battery life, not enough ram, hard to navigate, no real file system, hard to backup preferences. I won't use one if it's given to me.

I used to think like that.. (1)

xtal (49134) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257371)

until my little book ended up in a mudpuddle. Palms are dirt cheap on ebay, and they have that ever-handy "sync" feature. ..they still all suck for drawing with though :(

Re:Looks cool but.. (1)

tarunthegreat2 (761545) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257384)

Yea I totally agree with you... besides the mobile phones are getting bigger and more PDA-ish. The latest phones from Nokia are pretty out there - Why not go for something which was built to handle phone calls, and then some? I guess the PDAs and Mobiles are morphing to the same thing, from opposite directions, though..

Re:Looks cool but.. (1)

kotj.mf (645325) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258551)

It would seem to make sense, until you need to talk on the phone and check your calendar at the same time.

I've already got a 5500 that serves as my calendar, address book, ultra-portable notebook, wifi sniffer, and media player. What I want NOW is a tiny, cheap, monochrome, tiny, tiny, tiny, cheap, cheap phone. The Zaurus can go in my man-purse, but I really want a phone that will fit comfortably in the front pocket of a pair of Levi's 501s.

On the other hand, I've got no use for a phone at the moment, anyway. It's still cheaper for me to drop the occasional four bits when I need to make a call. YMMV.

Re:Looks cool but.. (3, Insightful)

LilMikey (615759) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258580)

I was in the same boat. I bought in to each generation. I had an old Palm IIIxe, a Compaq Aero, and they're running around here with iPaqs and e750s. None of these devices are capable of replacing my trusty, although quite huge, laptop. The PDAs floated around in my pocket for maybe 6-8 months each before realizing I don't know enough people or have enough appointments to waste my time with these devices.

However, I bought a SL-6000L over the weekend. It's amazing what these devices will do. These 2 reviews cover the hardware pretty comprehensively and the included apps ok but they only allude to its true capabilities. It's surely everything my laptop did for me and it fits in my (larger) pockets. I admit, the USB host and VGA screen are what pushed me over the edge. Check out ZUG [zaurususergroup.com] for a better idea of what people are doing with these machines.

But it's HUGE (3, Insightful)

drizst 'n drat (725458) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257325)

The darn thing weighs in at 10.5 ounces and with the plastic screen cover closed, it measures 6.2" x 3.2" x .9". Come on now -- almost an inch thick? You're not carrying this thing in your pocket; not even if it runs Linux! No thanks ... I'll stick to my Compaq 8350.

Re:But it's HUGE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257409)

This reminds me of the Newton MessagePad 2000/2100 [everymac.com] , from 1997. The Newton was 8.3"x4.7"x1.1" and weighed 22.4 ounces.... It was far bigger than the Palm handhelds available at the same time, but considerably more powerful (162MHz RISC processor, 8MB RAM, dual PCMCIA expansion slots--in fact, that's hardly slower than the Zaurus). It ran a proprietary Apple operating system.

It's the same kind of tradeoff here, I do believe; a little bigger for a little more power.

Re:But it's HUGE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257439)

Thats what she said

Birthdays of some great Americans! (1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257326)

January 12 -- Rush Hudson Limbaugh III
January 30 - Richard Bruce Cheney
May 9 -- John David Ashcroft
July 6 -- George Walker Bush
July 9 -- Donald Henry Rumsfeld
August 26 -- Thomas Joseph Ridge
September 10 -- Bill O'Reilly
October 19 -- Grover Norquist
December 8 -- Ann Coulter
December 22 -- Paul Dundes Wolfowitz
December 25 -- Karl Rove

Re:Birthdays of some great Americans! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257339)

April 21 -- Adolph Hitler

No wait, he's not American. Hard to tell the difference these days...

A killer feature (3, Informative)

Ianoo (711633) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257329)

A really amazing feature of this PDA is that it can act as USB host (since the Linux kernel includes excellent support for USB). This means, presumably, that we can plug pretty much any Linux-supported USB device into it. A USB hard disk, CD-ROM drive, networking adapter, printer? That sounds nice!

Another completely different question - as mentioned in the article, the PDA uses a combination of Flash and SDRAM to mirror the secondary/primary disk/memory model that you see with most normal computers running Linux. This is different to Windows CE, which uses the same memory for both running programs and storing them and their data, although I believe this memory is dynamically divided between memory and storage and programs are still copied across the divide when they're actually run; different again is PalmOS, which as far as I'm aware simply runs a program "in place" since programs are both stored and run in the Flash RAM on a device.

Is there anything that can make Linux work like this? I can imagine a hack involving boot-time RAM disks and loop mounting, but it doesn't sound like an terribly optimal solution.

PDA with HD? (4, Insightful)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257370)

I know I've posted this before, but how long will it be until Apple realizes what they're missing? Slap that LCD on a current generation iPod (or iPod mini if you really want to make a lightweight device), port QuickTime video to it, and poof, a pocket sized multimedia device that will put most anything else on the market to shame.

I think it's the logical progression to see PDA's start to take on parts from laptops/desktops. PDA's are really the Laptop's of our generation. A USB host controller is awesome because of all of the USB devices that exist. USB Networking is a definite plus, but most everything is going to Bluetooth/WiFi anyways.

Either way, this is a damned cool PDA, even if hella expensive, and I can't wait to see something like this, but cheaper, or any of the improvements from above are added (micro hd, minus usb host controller, plus wifi AND bluetooth, plus quicktime/some movie player).

Re:PDA with HD? (1)

hp46168 (740846) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258387)

Ahh, but you forget...
Apple *DID* have PDAs once upon a time. They were called Apple Newtons.
Something from that whole experience left a bad taste in Apple's mouth (maybe not getting a good enough penetration in the windows world) and they ended up pulling the plug.
One of the developers could even see the writing on the wall. Palm (US robotics, whatever) had a bigger penetration in the pda complimenting a mac than apple did. He committed suicide. (Of course, I'm grasping here, and there could have been other factors involved into his decision.) FWIW

iPod to iPaq? Heh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9258497)

The problem with that (I presume) is that ipods run ARM processors, not PowerPC. They couldn't put anything other than OS X on there without damaging their credibility, so they'd have to port Darwin and OS X to ARM. They probably opensourced Darwin because they couldn't spare the resources for a port to x86 themselves. So they sure as hell can't spare the resources for a port to ARM, for the sake of an iPod.

Even if they managed it, and OS X was fast enough on ARM, the graphics would still run like crap. OS X ran like crap on my 500 mhz iBook, before I put Linux on instead. So they'd need a powerful GPU on there, too, rather than just a framebuffer.

And then there's the battery. iPods seem to have battery issues. Given Apple's reluctance to replace 'em, I figure they're spending a lot on the built-in batteries, and praying they don't have to replace 'em.

In short, I think someone might at Apple have a heart attack if you suggest turning iPods into iPaqs :)

Re:PDA with HD? (1)

LilMikey (615759) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258649)

Well, the Archos and the Lyra have already done this. The Archos especially has a great screen on it but both are around 3.5". The newest Archos is even rumored to be using an embedded Qt similar to the Zauri. The 20gig Lyra is only 399 which is the same price as the audio-only 20gig iPod.

However, these devices won't be 'sleek and elegant' (aka pretentious) enough to consider until Apple makes one.

excellent support for USB!! WOW!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257451)

Only 6 years after Windows 98! Yay Linux!

Re:A killer feature (1)

Stuwee (739059) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257477)

It's a nice concept, but I really can't see much need for linking a PDA to a hard disk, CD-ROM drive or whatever. Surely the "killer feature" of any PDA is that you can carry it about and get common tasks such as organisation done as quickly as possible. Anything more than this and a PDA will quickly become cumbersome due to the small screen size and limited input.

If you need to print something or save something big enough to require a hard drive, then surely you would be better off using the laptop or dekstop PC that's invariably located about such hardware?

Re:A killer feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257933)

> I really can't see much need for linking a PDA to a hard disk, CD-ROM drive or whatever.

Think of these applications:
- mp3 player
- video player
- ebook reader
- image viewer

They would all profit massively if you could just hook up your external usb 2,5" HD instead of spending loads for memory cards.

And you talk about limited input - just think about it - you can use an USB keyboard!

Re:A killer feature (2, Informative)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258665)

No - the Hard Disk in the end is what makes the thing valuable.

People who do real work need access to large stores of data - without the cost of parsing what to bring and not.

I'm going somewhere - I bring a. My Laptop or B. My PDA-HD with a verbatim copy of "My Docs" folder.

Do I need everything? No.

But Do I have the time to go through everything and sort out what is it I don't need?

What's wanted here is a small screen - which = long life.

Small size - for weight and pocketability

minimal utility - for killing transit time

And Serious storage.

People who have storage know what to do with it. They store pictures, music or both - They Store Source Code.

People who have a PDA - universally say they don't know what to do with it. (Not a flame - if you think so skip this post). Almost everyone has or had one and doesn't use it.

The solution however is the stop and start HD of the iPod. If you can make the HD unnecessary - but available when needed - you can get serious battery life. - combine with a useable screen for personal movies, pictures, notes etc, keyboard with qwery, and option of wifi - you have a useful device.

My prediction - cellphone with 1" 20MB HD shown by the end of the year - available by christmas of next year. (download ringtones and movies)


One More thing (1)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258729)

Laptops are delicate and easy to steal. If you have one outside your fortress - you are shackled to the thing. You cannot put it down - check it - put it in overhead storage, or under the table.

In public places it will evaporate faster than spilled vodka.

Travellers want to carry less of the computer and borrow a big display and keyboard at the hotel destination if necessary.

You can give a presentation from a small box with a big HD.

You can get email on a small box with a small display.

You could edit / practice - even give your presentation at the hotel by connecting to the TV.

you can check the keyboard in luggage.

Here's an idea for small screen - big results:

Since most of the screen is options and button which you rarely use. Create a virtual screen in which the edges are condensed or compressed. The scroll bars would be very narrow, the title bar would be a thin blue line - which would stretch as your curser approached.

Then you would feel pretty comfortable on a small screen


Re:A killer feature (1)

kunudo (773239) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257823)

A USB hard disk

You know what would be sweet? Imagine sitting at some airport with you pda, waiting. You decide you need a file from home/more space/whatever. You mount the hd of your home computer with samba over a ssh tunnel over wifi... :)

Just wish it was smaller & cheaper... :/

Cost? (3, Insightful)

Marxist Commentary (461279) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257331)

$699? Ouch...

I think I'd rather have a cheap used laptop for that price. More functionality, about the same weight.

Re:Cost? (3, Insightful)

Tet (2721) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257356)

$699? Ouch... I think I'd rather have a cheap used laptop for that price. More functionality, about the same weight.

Rubbish. The Zaurus is a complete Linux box, and thus has exactly the same functionality as your desktop or laptop machine, albeit in a smaller form factor, and less expansion options. As for weight, I don't know about the SL-6000, but my SL-C860 is significantly lighter than any laptop I've ever come across (lighter even than the Libretto).

still no touch screen? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257342)

That is what folk want...

Hell just try and find laptops or tablets with a touch screen.

If anyone works at HP or Dell please give the relevent department a kick.

I use my Zaurus to control my toaster (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257369)

I have an awesome program I made in Java that I run on my Zaurus. With a Wi-Fi card, it works as a remote control for my TV, Toaster and Microwave. It's pretty awesome. You can download it from my counterstrike clans website. Check it out here [kingsofchaos.com]

^^MOD PARENT UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257373)

D00D that IS AWESOME!!!@!@!

Re:I use my Zaurus to control my toaster (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257589)

I dont know whats worse..

a) the fact youve done this before
b) the fact youve been reported and nothings been done about it
c) the moderator you gave you insightful :/

YOU FAILL IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257389)

AMERICA) might be List of other OS I d0, because somethingc that you

Another PDA for ya.. (5, Informative)

tarunthegreat2 (761545) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257397)

and this one's much cheaper, and yes, it runs Linux. Simputer [amidasimputer.com]

Re:Another PDA for ya.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257481)

How about this newcomer?

Hydrix' Qonos [hydrix.com]

Looks like a combination Linux PDA x HP calc x TI calc... Let's hope they can do it!

Re:Another PDA for ya.. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257502)

No fair, they ripped-off a tricorder fot the design. I'm gonna have Roddenberry sue...oh wait..

Pricing ? (4, Informative)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257412)

The one thing I dont understand is the high cost of certain Linux based PDA's. Given the cost saving on the operating system licensing surely that should be passed onto the consumer. The hardware itself isnt radically different from PocketPC based devices which in general cost less. Sooner or later I'll be in the market for a PDA but i dont think I should have to pay extra for the privelege of not having to use a Microsoft based one.

The real question is out of the newer specification PDA's which ones can be re-flashed with Linux and work as well as the sharp offering ? I suppose a palm based device might be an alternative but i want my bash shell and dev tools to boot .

Re:Pricing ? (2, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257480)

One thing that you have to take into consideration is that Sharp probably doesn't expect to sell a whole lot of these things ... its fair to say that their treatment of the Zaurus product line (I have an SL-5500, love it to death...) is pretty much an afterthought, for the consumer market.

Instead, you'll see these things being used a lot by sytems integrators for business/commerce systems, and that explains the average higher cost for the Zaurus PDA's over other, equivalently featured products from competitors.

That said, the Zaurus is a whole lotta computer for what you pay and pretty much smokes the competition when it comes to programmability. When was the last time you spent a few hours tweaking the PalmOS kernel to exact every last bit of performance out of it? Well, that happens all the time in Zaurus land, and there are a really amazing wide range of options for this PDA, when it comes to distro's ...

Look for OpenEmbedded-based distro's in the future lineup of linux-based PDA's. It really is smooth and sexy ... I've been with PalmOS since day one, but this year I abandoned it completely and moved exclusively to Linux for my pocket computing needs ... and let me just say that it is tres-exciting, ssh'ing over WLAN to the bulge in my pocket where I've got bittorrent's sitting alive for the local 2600 meeting, ooh yeah ...

Yeah But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257413)

Does it run Windows Mobile 2003?

I've got SL-C860 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257419)

I've ordered an 860 from shirtpocket(.co.uk). This is clamshell model sold only in Japan, but Shirtpocket guys have made really good job on translating it to Engslih. However, I've moved to Cacko ROM. It is an amazing PDA, best of everything I had or still have (such as Garmin iQue, an superb Palm OS PDA + GPS). Simply put, this *is* a laptop you can put in your pocket (although a bigger one). It's got 640x480 screen, SD and CF slots (I have a WiFi card there), and it connects via USB to act both as USB host and P2P network interface. There's a LOT of software there and several flavors of ROM images. You can even make your own Linux distro for it. There's that PDAXROM for geeks: you get the login prompt, log in, then type startx to get GUI, the real GUI with moving, resizeable windows, just like you on your PC. I have perl and python there, there are several IDE environments, Java and GCC. It can be overclocked, in which case you can use mplayer to view full-screen movies in 25fps. The keyboard is small, but you can get used to thumb typing in a short time. Yes, you can make swap files to get extra memory as well. While the PDA functions aren't quite impressive, you can put Korganizer there and get pretty decent results. If the mail app isn't worth it, install Mozilla Thunderbird and have a go. Yup, you can put GIMP there, Apache as well. PHP just goes with that. And what would it be without MySQL? You can install it too...

This really is a Geek dream come true. :) It isn't for the faint of the heart, for it does need some knowledge to hack it, and flashing ROM in a wrong way can render it unusable, and you get no support outside of Japan. This is a hacking toy, the best I've seen so far.

Oh, and the geekiest of the geeky things: I've shown it to Ken Coar while he was wisiting Croatia, and guess what - he was jealous! :-)

Nice hardware (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257421)

I could have used it... too bad it can only run that crappy software.

looks nice, but.... (2, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257431)

... for that kinda loot, it needs a built in camera. All kinza cellphones have that now, seems they missed that.

but.. it also looks like maybe something we were discussing with regards wifi, some sort of low power remote relay for doing homebrew line of sight jumps to get wifi to remote areas. Small enough to be stashed someplace out of the way, low enough power that a solar panel and batteries might make it work. Although most likely there is a cheaper pda-like device with even better power management/lower requirements that would do the same, because the screen would be hardly ever used, grey scale would be fine for that.

I keep thinking yikes, that's a lot of loot for this thing. Start to think about it, sheesh. I'm thinking PDAs need to be way closer to the 200$ range all the time, after that, you are heading rapidly towards (used) laptop prices, and at 700$, most likely there's a new one out there someplace close to that.

What they need is a comparison shootout, with computer things being sold as PDAs compared to computer things being sold as telephones, dollar for dollar feature for feature. They are merging fast.

Re:looks nice, but.... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257534)

I'd like to see you stuffing an old laptop down your pants.

portability versus useability (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257889)

I understand what you are saying, yes, laptops can't be stuck in your pocket. Wasn't really my point though. It's just fairly expensive for what it does, IMO anyway. If I got one it would have to be rugged/weatherised as all get out, I destroy just normal wristwatches while I am working. Don't want to risk it with anything really expensive. I've destroyed clip on the belt walkman like things before, radio/cassette devices. I don't do the urban/office/student thing, I work outside. And weight doesn't bother me, I am always amazed that the obvious solution to laptop battery life isn't taken-just use dual or triple batteries built in, and "struggle" with an extra pound or two weight. That's a side issue though, the wimperization of our society.....

I don't even carry my cellphone, it would be destroyed or horribly grunged out within a week if I did. When beepers first came out, same deal, kept smashing them. I tried it before with my cell, lasted about three days and it got dropped from around 15 foot up. Still worked, it fell on a lawn,but still...I keep it in the ride or whatever or if I go out "to town" with GF she carries it in her purse. I run chainsaws, tractors, hand tools like picks and shovels and axes and machetes and brushhooks, sometimes in some pretty rough terrain, etc and always got to stop and fix stuff as well, it's just too impractical for me to have an easily broken device hanging on my belt or even in like a cargo pants pocket. I could *probably* do it, but it would limit me as instead of working and concentrating on the task at hand I'd be constantly worrying about the doo-dad and having to adjust what I am doing in order not to break the thing. Now, if they built a PDA/phone combo with all the bells and whistles into a ruggedized normal flashlight, say a two D-cell sized flashlight, then *maybe*. 700$ wouldn't seem too bad then. I can carry one of those hanging from a small cord and a dog clip all the time and very rarely break one and getting it oil and dirt grunged never effects them that much.

hmm, think I just had a good idea....prior art!

Re:looks nice, but.... (2, Insightful)

LilMikey (615759) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258694)

As for the camera... I doubt enterprise would be very interested in it and if they were, there's a camera addon for the 5xxx line that is rumored to work fine in the 6000.

A Geek's Toy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257435)

Linux + non-volatile + fits in your hand. I'm pretty sure customizing and tweaking this pda would be alot easier and fun for us geeks.

With that in mind it makes it appearant why it's not targeted for consumers.

This is the Linux future, IMHO (1)

italiannavigator (769943) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257457)

This is where Linux will crush MS: handhelds, embedded devices, etc. It's pretty hard right now to go up against Redmond on the desktop. Before anyone jumps me about the server side, know that most end users don't give a care how that web page gets delivered; it's invisible to them. If Linux is ever going to become a household term, this is where the battle must be fought.

comparison survey of all SHARP Linux PDAs (4, Informative)

wehe (135130) | more than 9 years ago | (#9257598)

Here is a comparison chart of the SHARP Zaurus Linux PDA series [tuxmobil.org] . The survey contains also the internal code names for the PDAs, which are taken from dog races (Collie, Boxer, Poodle, ..).

Re:comparison survey of all SHARP Linux PDAs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257689)

SA-1110 VS PXA250 VS PXA255

anyone know if the pxa255 is noticeable better than the sa1110 ? i had bad experiences with the pxa250 (memory bandwidth and pipeline stalls).

and how responsive is it while refreshing the VGA screen ?

"Full" review if made for Short Attn Span Theatre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257622)

"Full" review if made for Short Attn Span Theatre. If crap is king, we have a winner. I could say more but I've got to go to K5.

Where's the phone ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257699)

Would have been great if they had made it a smartphone for that price ... Motorola A760 is a linux-based smartphone and it is cheap (i've heard rumors of a successor - forget the name though).

I have one of these SL-6000Ls and ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257805)

I have to say that I'm shocked, just shocked, that people are posting the following drivel without reading the article or learning anything about this machine:

1. ... year and half to enter a command with handwriting recognition ...

When I use Konsole (tabbed terminal---better than the default), I do it in one of three ways: (a) built-in keyboard, (b) Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite 2 (with control key in correct position) attached to the USB connector, or (c) ssh from another machine with a full-size keyboard, since the SL-6000L is usually on the network when I'm around other machines.

2. ... given up on PDAs ...

It's not a pda, it's a small Linux machine I wear on a camera strap around my neck and use while standing up on a totally wifi campus where I need to be mobile.

3. ... You're not carrying this thing in your pocket; ... I stick to my [Windows-tax-paying, Linux-fighting] Compaq

I previously used a Clie, about the size of your Linux-fighting Compaq, and found it was no fun to carry in a pocket, either. Plus, it didn't do enough to replace my laptop.

4. ... rather have ... laptop for that price. More functionality, about the same weight ...

If you can find a 10.5 ounce laptop for that price, get it. I dare you to.

5. ... hardware itself isnt radically different from PocketPC ... should pass on Linux saving to consumer ... I never took Econ 101 ...

The SL-6000L has a VASTLY better screen than any PocketPC. It is VASTLY more ruggedized than any PocketPC. It has VASTLY more features (USB host, 802.11b) than any PocketPC. It's made in VASTLY smaller quantities than any PocketPC.

6. ... needs a built-in camera ...

Thanks to Sharp for NOT including a built-in camera. I need to take it into places where cameras are no longer allowed (thanks Donald Rumsfled, this totally solves the torture problem) for government meetings. I don't want builtin cameras on anything really important.

7. ... should be feature for feature like a phone and cost $200 and I am an idiot ...

Well, you got the last part right, but seriously, it's not about features, it's about usability. This thing is usable as a phone, but it's really a laptop replacement for people who want to use a computer in situations other than sitting in one place for long periods.

Finally, I would like to comment that Opera on this machine is the most impressive example of an application fitting a machine I've seen in a very long time. I use http://local.google.com to find services in my new home at Carnegie Mellon, a very wifi campus, for instance, and this is the fulfillment of the promise of mobile computing.

Thumb keyboard is an oxymoron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9257935)

If it's small enough that you are forced to use thumbs, it is definitely a "keypad". Keyboards are so named because of their resemblance to wooden boards.

Nice ........ (0, Offtopic)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258170)

....but I'll stick with my Treo 600.

Re:Nice ........ (2, Insightful)

LilMikey (615759) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258719)

....but I'll stick with my Treo 600.

...as you should. This is a completely different device targeted at a completely different audience.

Too bad you can't purchase it anywhere? (1)

TrekCycling (468080) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258553)

At least not from how it appears on Sharp's own site. I can't find anywhere to actually purhcase a Zaurus of any model.

Re:Too bad you can't purchase it anywhere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9258818)


Features: Yes, Sexy: NO! (3, Informative)

zapp (201236) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258603)

I'm probably going to be modded troll for this, or just ignored, but it's gotta be said.

Compare this: set of pictures [newegg.com] of a HP iPAQ 4155/4150

with this [pdabuyersguide.com] (the article) set of pictures.

The 4155 can be obtained from newegg for $400, and the Zaurus has a list price of $700 (almost 2x the price), and the only extra thing the zaurus offers feature-wise is a VGA screen. Also, the 4155 is the 2nd-smallest PocketPC right now (with the 19xx series being 1st), small enough to keep it in my pocket all day without it being annoying.

Yes, i own a 4155.

I like my SL-5500 (0)

The_Dougster (308194) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258652)

Yeah its a toy, no its not going to replace your desktop, yeah its pretty cool.

I gotta get the aux input hooked up in my car so I can use it as an Ogg / mp3 player. I've tested it a couple times and thats spiff.

As far as geeky toys go, Zarus's are hard to beat. If you're all into practicality and that kind of crap then go get a 10 cent notebook from wally mart.

Developer Resources? (1)

Milican (58140) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258742)

Anyone know of any developer resources for the Zaurus line? The official Sharp DevNet [sharpusa.com] is down... and has been down for a long time. Until they get with it and support their developers I don't see how they are going to get many apps.


Re:Developer Resources? (2, Informative)

LilMikey (615759) | more than 9 years ago | (#9258917)

The ZUG [zaurususergroup.com] has great forums and a number of developer resources and there are rumors flying around that Sharp's developer pages will be available again 'real soon now.'
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