Sharp Announces Two New Zaurus Handhelds

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Sharp has announced an updated version of its SL-5500 Linux-based handheld. The new Zaurus SL-5600 has the same form-factor as its predecessor, but has a faster processor. Sharp has also announced the SL-C300, the clamshell-shaped model it demonstrated a prototype of last month.

SL-5600

SL-5600 The SL-5600 uses a 400MHz Intel XScale processor, while the previous model uses a 206 MHz StrongARM. It will have a total of 96MB of memory, made up of 32MB SDRAM and 64MB of protected Flash, which is secure memory for storing files and applications.

Its screen is a reflective TFT LCD with a front light. This 320 by 240 pixel display is 3.5 inches when measured diagonally and supports 65,536 colors.

Like its predecessor, the SL-5600 has a bottom piece that slides to expose a small keyboard. It also has a CompactFlash slot and a SD/MMC slot. It includes a 1700 mA Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery that is removable. It also has a speaker and microphone with a stereo headphone jack.

Like the rest of the Zaurus line, it uses a Linux-based embedded operating system. It ships with Hancom Office and Opera 6.

The SL-5600 will be available in the first quarter of 2003 in both the U.S. and Japan.

SL-C300

Sharp has also announced that the clamshell-shaped model it demoed last month will be released in Japan as the SL-C300, according to infoSync. This model can be used like a small laptop or the screen can flip to allow it to be used like a typical handheld.

Despite being only 3.5 inches when measured diagonally, the SL-C300’s screen is 640 by 480 pixels (VGA). The whole handheld is only slightly larger than the other members of the Zaurus line. It uses a 950 mA battery.

It has the same processor as the as the SL-5600, includes the same amount of memory, and uses the same operating system.

The SL-C300 will be available only in Japan in the first quarter of next year. There is no word when, or even if, this model will be available in other countries.

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