New Sharp Zaurus Available In North America

Starting today, Amazon.com is selling the Sharp Zaurus SL-6000 in North America for $699. The Linux powered handheld can be used as a laptop replacement and features a 400MHz Intel processor, 64MB of protected flash memory and SDRAM, a 640 x 480 display and a Compact Flash and SD expansion slot.

From Sharp’s product description and November press release:

Companies devoted to increasing the productivity of their mobile employees will welcome the new Sharp Zaurus model SL-6000 with built-in Wi-Fi, which offers wireless local area network (W-LAN) connectivity running on IBM mobile software. This embedded Linux PDA, which has been designed and targeted specifically to corporate users, is easily customized for use with corporate applications due to its powerful yet flexible open standards based Linux operating system and Java environment. It also has extensive protected memory, a much larger higher-resolution four-inch CG Silicon screen, a durable form factor designed for active use in the field, a built-in protected QWERTY keyboard, and is readily expandable with both Compact Flash and SD expansion slots. The “corporate solutions ready” unit will be available in the first quarter of 2004. Pricing will be announced at the time of product shipment.

“We want to extend the reach of the Zaurus so today’s increasingly mobile worker can seamlessly connect to critical data – no matter where they are,” said Steve Petix, Associate Vice President of Sharp’s Solutions Division. “To do so, we are collaborating with IBM to create a Sharp Linux-based Zaurus handheld that is integrated with IBM mobile middleware software solutions* for the enterprise market. The SL-6000 offers corporate users a robust development platform for enterprise applications and databases virtually anywhere, making it simple to collect data remotely and automatically share the information with the central servers.

Creating Superior Solutions with Top-Ranked Partners
Sharp is working with IBM to develop mobile field force solutions for the Zaurus Enterprise PDA. These solutions take advantage of the growing industry movement supporting the product’s Linux and Java platform, which offers a robust yet flexible development environment for businesses to port their software to the Zaurus and connect mobile workers to the corporate network.

The Zaurus Enterprise PDA, running WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager software, will allow mobile employees to securely roam enjoying high speed access to information seamlessly across multiple networks without interrupting Web connections or losing an existing session. Running WebSphere Everyplace Access software on the Linux-based device, remote workers will be able to access Web applications like PIM and e-mail and also be able to retrieve information from IBM’s DB2 database software. The Sharp Zaurus also supports IBM’s WebSphere Everyplace Multimodal Environment for Embedix, which allows end users to run multimodal applications.

“The new Zaurus PDA makes it easier for enterprises to securely extend virtually any application to remote workers across virtually any network,” said Rodney Adkins, General Manager, IBM Pervasive Computing Division. “The operational improvement benefits for businesses and mobile professionals are consistent with IBM’s on demand approach to computing.”

Wireless Networking and Expandability
Connecting the Zaurus wirelessly to the corporate network is now easier than ever with a built-in Wi-Fi connection to the corporate W-LAN through 802.11B. Users can also choose to maintain their connection outside a corporate LAN by using an optional high-speed 1xRTT service through a Compact Flash card solution offered by Sprint.

In addition to a Compact Flash slot, the Zaurus SL-6000 has a SD/MMC slot and an expandability jacket with an additional Compact Flash slot and battery. By using an expansion jacket, corporate users can actively update a server through a wireless connection over 1xRTT service while scanning barcodes with an optional barcode module plugged into the expansion jacket. These innovative features make mobile workers more productive then their colleagues who are hardwired into a network.

Larger CG Silicon Screen and Shock-Resistant Casing
Headquarters and field-based mobile enterprise workers – and CIOs – will appreciate the heavy-duty Zaurus SL-6000. It withstands rigorous field force use because of its durable case design, which protects the unit and its screen, which has been designed to survive a drop onto concrete from up to a meter above the ground.

Business users will appreciate the larger screen to quickly view content on the go. The SL-6000 makes Web page and spreadsheet viewing easier by switching from portrait to “VGA landscape” view at the touch of a button. It has a crystal clear, four-inch, transflective, high-density TFT LCD screen. This larger CG Silicon VGA display with 640 x 480 resolution shows up to four times the information than the average handheld product with a 320 x 240 resolution can display.

The SL-6000 is one of the first products to include Sharp’s proprietary CG Silicon view screen. This unique display provides the user with extremely high resolution viewing of both moving and still images. In addition, CG Silicon screens optimize the properties of both transmissive and reflective modes, providing outstanding resolution and clarity under virtually any lighting condition, even bright sunlight.

Laptop-Like Performance
The feature-packed Zaurus SL-6000 can be used as a laptop replacement. It has 64MB of protected flash memory and SDRAM, a high-powered Intel Xscale 400MHz processor and extra long battery life with a rechargeable, replaceable 1500 mAh Lithium polymer battery supporting typical business use. Power users with needs spanning more than the average business day can use the supplemental battery equipped expansion jacket.

The enterprise user with a heavy workload will appreciate the Zaurus’ effortless typing capability, thanks to a built-in QWERTY keyboard with an innovative sliding cover. Like smaller laptops, it can run several applications simultaneously with a true multi-tasking 32-bit operating system. For example, a user can view mission critical data while e-mailing or while web pages are being downloaded. It also has an integrated speaker and microphone to record and playback conversations.

Pictures and discussions can be found here:
http://forums.designtechnica.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4109

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