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New hard-drive equipped Linux PDA impresses

Dec 14, 2004 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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BargainPDA has reviewed the Sharp Zaurus SL-C3000, a Linux-based PDA introduced in October. The SL-C3000 is the first Zaurus model equipped with a hard drive. It is officially available in Japan, although several distributors resell internationalized English versions.

(Click for larger view of SL-C3000)

According to the review, the SL-C3000 includes a number of hardware upgrades over previous Zauri, including:

  • 4 GB Hitachi hard drive
  • XScale PXA270 (Bulverde) processor
  • Bulkier, heavier case with rounded corners and iPod-style graphics
  • Real buttons, instead of membrane-covered keyboard
  • USB hub mini-A connector for host PC connectivity and peripherals such as keyboards

According to the reviewer, the software environment is largely unchanged; however, most users will replace the firmware anyway, the author notes. Alternative firmware distributions that support the Zaurus include Opie, OpenZaurus, Lycoris, mySTEP, and others.

The brief BargainPDA review is based on the author's initial impressions of a unit purchased for $899 from a company that “tweaks the OS slightly” to display English instead of Japanese.

Sharp has not marketed its recent clamshell Zaurus models in the US; however, the SL-C3000, C-860, and C-760 are available here from by Dynamism, The Kompany, and others.

The last Zaurus to see US distribution from Sharp was the SL-6000, which Sharp discontinued in November, with no plans for a successor in the “immediate future.”

The author concludes that the SL-C3000 has a fresh feel, and warns: “If you see one, you will want one.” The brief review is here.

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