Sharp Announces Zaurus with 4 GB Microdrive

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Sharp’s Zaurus handhelds have always 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.

Today, Sharp is leapfrogging the competition again by announcing a Zaurus model with a built-in hard drive, something no Palm or Pocket PC offers yet.

The SL-C3000 will have a 1-inch hard drive that can hold 4 GB of data. It will also have 64 MB of RAM and 16 MB of Flash ROM.

Sharp Zaurus SL-C3000 Like many previous Zaurus models, this one will use a clamshell design with a color screen on one side and a keyboard on the other. In addition, the screen can rotate and then be closed down over the keyboard. This will allow the unit to be used like a typical handheld.

It has a 3.7-inch, 640-by-480-pixel (VGA) display that supports both portrait and landscape modes.

This device will run Linux on a 416 MHz Intel XScale PXA270 processor. Trolltech’s Qtopia environment will provide the user interface. This comes with a suite of PIM software, plus there are a good number of third-party applications for this and more are coming every day. Still, there are far less than are available for the Palm OS or Pocket PC.

Some were hoping this would be the first Clamshell Zaurus with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but this is not the case. However, the SL-C3000 will include an SD card slot and a CompactFlash Type II slot, allowing the use of wireless networking cards.

Users will be able to plug this device into a PC’s USB slot and have it appear as a removable drive.

Sharp Zaurus SL-C3000 When closed, this Zaurus will be 4.9 inches wide, 3.4 inches tall, and 1.0 inch thick (124 mm by 87 mm by 25 mm), making it slightly larger that its predecessors. It will weigh 10.5 ounces (298 g).

The SL-C3000 will go on sale in Japan on November 10.

While Sharp hasn’t introduced any of the clamshell Zauruses in the United States, companies like Dynamism buy them in Japan, convert them to English, and re-sell them in this country.

Thanks to tke918 for the tip.

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