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Cool Zaurus here at last

Sharp brings Linux PDA to UK

Today Sharp launched the Zaurus SL-5500, the first Linux/Java-based PDA, in the UK.

Priced at £382, the Zaurus is aimed at the enterprise market, which Sharp feels will benefit most from the development potential offered by using the open source Linux operating system and the cross-platform compatibility of Java.

But despite Sharp's target customer base, high-end consumers might also be attracted to some of its features.

These include the first slide-out keyboard on a device of this form factor and the integration of both CompactFlash and Secure Digital memory card slots, which means you can combine extra features, such as wireless networking, with more storage capacity.

A Bluetooth CompactFlash module is due out at the end of this quarter. Sharp is looking into offering a GPRS (general packet radio service) card when these become available.

One change from the developer release unit, the 5000, launched late last year, is an increase in memory from 32MB to 64MB and the inclusion of Hancom's Mobile Office Suite, which includes a word processor, spreadsheet and the ability to view PowerPoint slides.


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