Sharp announces SL-6000 series

Many users have been disappointed by the lack of built-in wireless capabilities on Sharp’s line of GNU/Linux-based Zaurus handhelds to date. Sharp’s latest entrants, however, take GNU/Linux off the wire.
The SL-6000 series includes three different handhelds. The SL-6000N will not include any wireless support. The SL-6000L will offer 802.11b (Wi-Fi) support. The SL-6000W will offer both 802.11b and Bluetooth support.

On the inside, all three models closely resemble the Zaurus SL-5600. They run on a 400 MHz Intel XScale processor, and are backed by 64 MB of flash ROM (for the OS and user-installed applications) and 64 MB of RAM (for active running programs). They include a pull-out thumbboard, SD/MMC slot, and Compact Flash slot, and are backed by a 1500 mAh rechargeable, replaceable Lithium Ion battery.

The new models, however, include a new, more streamlined case design and a VGA, 640 x 480 color display that supports on the fly rotation, first seen on the SL-C760. They also add the option for a clip-on “sleeve” with an additional Compact Flash slot and battery pack. Sharp will also sell a CDMA 1xRTT Compact Flash adapter, intended for use in the expansion sleeve to leave the CF slot in the device free.

As with earlier Zaurii, the SL-6000 series runs on Lineo Embedex, a GNU/Linux distribution built around Trolltech’s Qtopia graphical environment. The new line also includes support for IBM’s WebSphere Everywhere software stack, aimed at enterprise users who need tight security and remote access to corporate databases.

All three units will be phased in throughout the remainder of the near and into January in Japan. US availability is slated for first quarter of 2004. Price information is not yet available.

Source: Infosync, Sharp

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