Sharp is apparently planning to unveil a new handheld at a tradeshow in late October.
Last week, at the CEATEC Japan 2004 tradeshow, Sharp gave a sneak peek of an upcoming Clamshell Sharp Zaurus model.
The WPC Expo is coming to Japan October 20 through 23. Many believe that Sharp will unveil this new handheld at this tradeshow. Even if it doesn’t, this handheld will surely be introduced in Japan before the end of the year.
Unfortunately, details on this model are extremely sketchy, aside from the fact it will apparently be the first Clamshell Zaurus with a D-pad. The model number isn’t even known.
Nevertheless, hopes are running high that this model will be the first clamshell model to offer both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Late last year, Sharp introduced a dual-wireless model, but this uses a traditional tablet design.
Some have even speculated that this device will include a built-in hard drive.
More about the Zaurus Line
Sharp’s Zaurus handhelds have attracted a lot of attention because of their cutting-edge features. For example, the first Zaurus with a VGA screen came out in 2002, more than a year before the first VGA Pocket PC.
These devices use Linux as their operating system, with Trolltech’s Qtopia environment providing the user interface.
The previous clamshell models all have a 3.7-inch VGA display that supports both portrait and landscape modes (see picture at right). They also include an SD Card slot and a CompactFlash Type II slot.
While Sharp hasn’t introduced any of the clamshell Zauruses in the United States, companies like Dynamism import them from Japan and re-sell them in this country.
Thanks to Engadget for the tip.