Zaurus SL

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2002-04-22 Print this article Print

-5500"> Zaurus SL-5500

Sharps new handheld device, the Zaurus SL-5500, is the first Linux-based palmtop weve seen that competes effectively with the entrenched Palm and Pocket PC operating system-powered units. While the units desktop-computer-style interface may prove daunting for new users, the SL-5500s power and flexibility will make it a smart choice for many enterprise users.

SHORT-TERM BUSINESS IMPACT // The Zaurus retractable thumb keyboard and CompactFlash and Secure Digital expansion options can make handheld users chafing under traditional device input options more productive right away.

LONG-TERM BUSINESS IMPACT // Based on the open, Linux operating system and boasting Qt/Embedded and Java development paths, the SL-5500 can allow companies to make the most of their hardware investments by customizing the Zaurus software and producing new, home-grown applications for the device.

PROS // Competitive price; Secure Digital and CompactFlash expansion slots; retractable keyboard; open, Linux operating system.

CONS // Less available software than Palm OS devices; infrequent memory shortages during multitasking.

Sharp Electronics Corp., Mahwah, N.J.; (201) 529-8200;

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at

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