Newest Zaurus Due in Q1

UPDATE: Sharp's PDA will boast a 400MHz Intel processor and wireless capability.

Sharp Electronics Corp. in the first quarter of next year will ship the Zaurus SL-5600. The latest addition to Zaurus PDA family, the new device includes a 400MHz processor from Intel Corp.

As with previous Zaurus devices, the Zaurus SL-5600 runs the Linux operating system, and it includes a QWERTY keyboard and a sliding cover that reduces the size of the device when it is not in use.

The new Zaurus includes 64MB of protected flash memory and 32MB of SDRAM, both a Compact Flash and Secure Digital card slot, an integrated microphone and speaker, a lithium ion battery and the Intel Xscale 400MHz processor.

Users can add wireless capability to the device via the expansion slots, officials said.

A Sharp spokeswoman said that the Mahwah, N.J., company is hoping to launch the product as early as January, but pricing has yet to be determined.

Tuesdays announcement is the first in a series from Sharp. Sources close to the company said that within a matter of days Sharp plans to unveil a Zaurus device that runs a Power PC chip from IBM.

Sharp officials declined to comment.