Out With The New – Sharp Drops Zaurus SL-6000
Firstly, Sharp have aparently decided to stop producing their Zaurus SL-6000 device which was introduced less than a year ago (see review). We haven’t seen a definitive press release from Sharp on this, but various sources point to the loss of the SL-6000 and the price on Amazon has dropped from $699 to $399 without explanation. This will mark Sharp’s exit from the US PDA market. The funny thing is that Sharp never really supported this device anyway, at least, not for consumers. Most consumer Zaurus users have learned to rely on the community far more than Sharp for after-sales support, so the new low price – even if it’s only “while stocks last” – is definitely a bargain. If you’re looking for a bargain linux PDA with great hardware specs, this might be what you need (link to Zaurus SL-6000 on Amazon.com)
In With The New – Sharp (Japan) Launches CL-C3000
Secondly, from Sharp Japan and according to an article in The Register (where Tony Smith has provided some translated specs), Sharp are introducing a new variant of their clamshell device, for the Japanese market only, in early November. The screen is the same one used in the earlier clamshell models by the look of it – i.e., the 3.7 inch version and not the better 4 inch screen used in the SL-6000.
The SL-C3000 has a 416MHz Intel XScale PXA270 CPU. A directional keypad (lower right of the keyboard) replaces the cursor keys but otherwise the hardware looks a lot like the SL-C860, which in turn looked a lot like the SL-C750 reviewed here some time ago. The main difference, then, is the 4 GB hard drive, which may be targetted at the MP3 and multimedia users. It is highly unlikely that Sharp will introduce this device in the US, particularly given the lack of BlueTooth and Wi-Fi which US consumers now expect as standard. We will post more info on this device as we get it.