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Sharp Zaurus SL-6000L re-surfaces in US

May 3, 2005 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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A high-end Linux-based Sharp Zaurus PDA thought to be discontinued in the US is actually available from two sources. The SL-6000L is available in quantity from 10East, a seller of vertical market systems for the railroad industry, and in single quantities from online retailer SDG Systems.

(Click for larger photo of SL-6000)

10East sells railroad operations software written in Python that runs on the Familiar Linux distribution for PDAs. According to VP of operations Mike Wilson, 10East was able to move its supply channel directly to Sharp Japan after Sharp USA stopped marketing the SL-6000L in the US. “We have a manufacturing relationship with Sharp Japan. Sharp Japan builds them for us, and we resell to our customers. However, we usually have enough inventory to sell to others,” Wilson said.

According to Wilson, 10East currently has about 1,500 SL-6000Ls in stock, of which 300 and 400 are currently unallocated. It orders about 300 each month, in order to keep reserve stocks on hand.

The SL-6000L was originally marketed as an enterprise PDA featuring GSM/GPRS remote connectivity to IBM Websphere enterprise applications. Although Sharp no longer actively markets the SL-6000L in the US, a Sharp USA spokesperson told in November of 2004 that Sharp would continue to make the device available to enterprise customers “as long as their needs dictate.”

Prior to becoming scarce in the US, the SL-6000L received rave reviews.


The SL-6000L is available in single quantities, priced at $785, from an online store maintained by SDG Systems. SDG Systems is a small systems development house that is working with 10East to port Linux to several PDAs that normally run Windows, including the heavily ruggedized TDS “Recon” PDA and the HP/Compaq iPAQ 4705. SDG Systems also offers the SL-6000L through, albeit at a higher price.

Volume customers may wish to contact 10East directly, although Wilson notes that only orders beyond several thousand are likely to give 10East any leverage with Sharp Japan on volume discounts.

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