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> Zaurus SL-C3000, Officially announced
amrein
post Oct 15 2004, 10:08 AM
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When a company is happy with its sale and have no big competitors on their market their products don't evolve a lot. Why should they? They just need to "refresh" the device "image". With the harddrive inbuilt, the SL-C3000 has now all needed feature to be call mini laptop.

But for US and EU markets, there are three important missing parts:

_ Wifi - for fast internet connection (at home in many place in town or at work)

_ Bluethooth - for easy connection and exchange with other mobile device like Mobile phone, Palm, Pocket PC, other Zaurus, laptops.. or desktop hardware like standard PC, wireless router, printer... (Most device can use IrDa thought).

_ USB master - for extra device usb connection. This can't be ignored when using a Linux OS.

Bigger memory, bigger screen, better battery life are close to be in the list. They are all link up thought.
I don't talk about the OS because the only good thing for me is pdaXrom or OE.

Sharp doesn't sell clamshell Zaurus in US/EU so they don't care. Normal! If you manufacture a device only in US, would you add extra feature for a group of Japanezes asking for more componants? Even more true if your other device didn't succeed enough in this country.
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jettie1767
post Oct 15 2004, 10:25 AM
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I've had my C860 for the last 2 months. So, the only thing new is the processor and the built-in drive? It would have been a compelling pda to upgrade to if it had wifi and bluetooth built-in.
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tg
post Oct 15 2004, 10:59 AM
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QUOTE(lardman @ Oct 15 2004, 12:33 PM)
Do people really need that much memory (okay, I do, but I'm not reason enough for them to change their spec, unfortunately ;-))? It would be nice occasionally, but in truth for most apps it's a waste of power (keeping the unused/cached memory refreshed).

Si

More memory is absolutely critical. Take a look at what people in these forums are trying to do with these devices - X-windows, emulators, compiling, web servers, mysql etc. People who don't want to hack and are not addicted to keyboard as most of us unix addicts are probably don't need more memory, but they probably don't need z clamshell either. But for Z clamshell users I would think memory is more important than 4G hard drive vs 1G SD storage (assuming we agree no wifi is ok so CF slot goes to wifi card). I personally have not tried compiling on Z but that is only because I fear that compiler will complain about lack of memory for any larger builds. However, I am now totally comfortable accepting that z keyboard or screen size would not stop me from developing on it (and this is a total reversal for me as before I had c860 I could not imagine I would ever feel this way about a device so small - this was certainly my opinion even when I had sl-5500).
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kopsis
post Oct 15 2004, 11:53 AM
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QUOTE(tg @ Oct 15 2004, 10:59 AM)
More memory is absolutely critical. Take a look at what people in these forums are trying to do with these devices

People in these forums are not, and never have been, the people that Sharp is targeting with the Zaurus. What's hard for enthusiasts to realize is that the vast majority of people who buy PDAs (even high end PDAs like the Zaurus) will never install more than a handful of third party applications. A surprisingly large number (close to 1/3 according to the last survey I read) will never install any third party software.

Needless to say, if the amount of memory included in the device adequately supports the built in apps and the mainstream third party stuff (X and web servers are definitely not mainstream) then why change it? It would mean a hit in cost, possibly component lead times, and definitely power budget (RAM is a big power hog - especially when you look at sleep mode). All that with no tangible benefit for the target consumer would be very bad business strategy.

As much as I would like to see a company making a handheld specifially targeted at the "geek" market, I accepted long ago that such is not Sharp's mission. So who is Sharp targeting with the clamshell models? Not Linux hackers. The clamshell is intended as a mobile office platform for business folks. Think about the built in software suite ... Hancom Word, Hancom Sheet, Hancom Presenter, and a relatively Outlook compatible PIM suite and email client. No terminal app, no real text editor, not even a Java VM on the latest model. It may run Linux but Linux people aren't the target demographic (I wonder if they even include Qtopia Desktop any more?).

For those who Sharp wants to buy the C3000, increasing storage without changing speed or memory makes a lot of sense.
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theuserdylan
post Oct 15 2004, 12:01 PM
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I think everyone is looking at this from the wrong perspective. As an American or European and not as a Japanese. I mean Sharp doesn't bring these devices to the US for a reason. And when they design them they are not trying to satify that market. What they are trying to do is a build a device for Japanese salary man with fat wallets. Bluetooth is still almost non-existent in Japan, only a few models support it. People who don't want to browse the web from their cell phone buy special wireless cards from the cell phone providers that they can stick in their laptop or zaurus. Thus wifi support in the device isn't that essential. Sharp figures if people want wifi they'll buy a wifi card, if they want cell phone internet they'll buy one of those cards.

In terms of processor speed and ram, Sharp probably figures that with 400mhz they can get everything the average Japanese salary man needs. In terms of the screen, while larger would have been nicer it also would have changed the aspect ratio or forced the device to be even larger in width. Plus since the Japanese are used to their 2 inch cellphone screens, 3.7 inches is probably plenty. This device may or may not have USB host, so I'll save judgement on that till later.

Finally in terms of storage, Sharp is not stupid. They know that you can buy a 4GB hard drive for 200 bucks and stick it in your CF slot. But they would rather have that CF slot for Wifi. But why not just put in Wifi and leave the CF slot for storage you might ask? Well alot of people on this forum refer to the Zaurus as a mini laptop. I mean if someone said you could either have the hard drive or the wifi, I think most of you would choose the hard drive.

Plus if you look at Sharp's website note that they are toting the fact that it has a built in dictonaries. Now American's will go great a built in dictionary... But notice this is more like an encyclopedia then a dictionary. It has pictures and sound and everything. Sharp calls this a multimedia dictionary. It appears that it takes up 600+ megabytes of space on the hard drive. Now this will be a big selling point in Japan and Sharp could not have included it without the built in hard drive. Keep in mind that Japanese is a hard language and the Japanese often have to consult dictonaries when they forget a Kanji. Because of this Japanese electronic dictonaries are extremely popular in Japan. I mean there eaiser then carrying around books with thousands of pages. The value of these dictionaries is at least $250. If you bought a standalone device with these dictionaries you'd be spending $350. The Zaurus has this capability built in and it can link to the e-mails there working on.

So while this might not be a great upgrade for American users, it is for Japanese users, which is after all their target users.
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tg
post Oct 15 2004, 12:20 PM
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QUOTE(kopsis @ Oct 15 2004, 02:53 PM)
QUOTE(tg @ Oct 15 2004, 10:59 AM)
More memory is absolutely critical. Take a look at what people in these forums are trying to do with these devices

People in these forums are not, and never have been, the people that Sharp is targeting with the Zaurus. What's hard for enthusiasts to realize is that the vast majority of people who buy PDAs (even high end PDAs like the Zaurus) will never install more than a handful of third party applications. A surprisingly large number (close to 1/3 according to the last survey I read) will never install any third party software.

Needless to say, if the amount of memory included in the device adequately supports the built in apps and the mainstream third party stuff (X and web servers are definitely not mainstream) then why change it? It would mean a hit in cost, possibly component lead times, and definitely power budget (RAM is a big power hog - especially when you look at sleep mode). All that with no tangible benefit for the target consumer would be very bad business strategy.

As much as I would like to see a company making a handheld specifially targeted at the "geek" market, I accepted long ago that such is not Sharp's mission. So who is Sharp targeting with the clamshell models? Not Linux hackers. The clamshell is intended as a mobile office platform for business folks. Think about the built in software suite ... Hancom Word, Hancom Sheet, Hancom Presenter, and a relatively Outlook compatible PIM suite and email client. No terminal app, no real text editor, not even a Java VM on the latest model. It may run Linux but Linux people aren't the target demographic (I wonder if they even include Qtopia Desktop any more?).

For those who Sharp wants to buy the C3000, increasing storage without changing speed or memory makes a lot of sense.

You are right about who Sharp wants to target with these clamshells. But it is fairly obvious that the reality is such that people who are most interested are developers and geeks and not typicall pda users. So my point is that Sharp is completely misunderstanding how they could/should market this type of device to make it most successfull. People who are primarily looking into PIM and basic PDA functions are not likely to get excited about clamshell keyboard. People who buy these are power users and unix geeks so providing hardware to make it possible to run their apps/tools should be one of primary design goals. Or Sharp can just continue to muddle along the way they have been and continue to frustrate us by releasing more of expensive "almost good enough to be mini laptop but never good enough to be best pda" products. This is a niche product but Sharp does not understand who the niche is.
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nathanwms
post Oct 15 2004, 12:23 PM
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theuserdylan,

Very well said. I must admit I was definitely looking at it from my perspective and not as a Japanese consumer. However, I did have hopes that this device would have a broader appeal than it does. Maybe now we can turn our enthusiasm and support to those among us who are laboring to improve the software options available to us (Cacko, PdaXrom, OZ, etc.). There are some major strides that can be made in these areas that will make our Zaurii the envy of the PDA world.
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tumnus
post Oct 15 2004, 02:25 PM
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With regards to the HD storage, a large chunk of it is taken up with the Japanese dictionary. Sharp seems to be quite keen on these dictionaries/translators, so it must sell.

From the announcements and the fact that it supports WMA as well as mp3 etc out of the box it sounds like they are pitching it as a multimedia device too. And considering the iPods and iPod clones that have sprung up recently, it seems to me that Sharp is going after those who want a bit of a media player and a PDA all in one.

Sharp effectively pulled a Sony by withdrawing from the western markets. But who knows what will happen. PDA sales in Europe are actually on the up at the moment so there's a (very) slim chance Sharp in Europe might reconsider selling here and I would imagine or hope they'd at least put Bluetooth in it for a European model. A large drop in the would be nice too smile.gif
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nianderson
post Oct 15 2004, 02:51 PM
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QUOTE(uczmeg @ Oct 15 2004, 09:48 AM)
This is the spec I wanted from a just released, new PDA:

Powered by the Intel® XScaleTM PXA270 Processor at 624MHz
Brilliant 3.7" color TFT VGA display with 640x480 resolution
Integrated Intel® 2700G multimedia accelerator with 16MB video memory
Integrated 802.11b and BluetoothTM Wireless Technologies
Packed with 64MB SDRAM and 128MB Intel StrataFlash® ROM
Integrated CompactFlash Type II and Secure Digital / SDIO Now! / MMC card slots provide flexible expansion
VGA-Out Support with optional VGA Presentation Bundle
Removable Primary Battery with optional High Capacity Battery
3.5mm Headphone / Headset Jack for Headsets to support VoIP and voice recognition applications
Built-in microphone and speaker for easy recording on the go
USB Cradle including Battery Charging Slot
Sleek, stylish design

All available for $499 in the new Dell Axim x50v.

Okay, I'm lying, I'd want the 4" screen of the iPAQ 7400, but otherwise it looks amazing.

Cheers
Marc

where is the thumb board? to me thats a major feature of the clamshells

the storage upgrade is nice but i would rather have had another cf slot under the battery cover so you can have a 4 gb cf card "internal" then you can replace it or upgrade it as you like. and of course the integrated wifi would have been a plus but only for us here in the us market i suppose.

but if i could get all those features in clamshell id be all over it especially at that price ... but probabbly only if it ran linux.
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Bombur
post Oct 15 2004, 04:06 PM
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Target Market aside, does any one know if Sharp will have hardcore tech specs posted?

Does anyone have any poop on the Lineo version the C3K is using other than that it is using a 2.4.20 kernel? Does it support SDIO for example?

J.
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lardman
post Oct 16 2004, 02:21 AM
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QUOTE
You are right about who Sharp wants to target with these clamshells. But it is fairly obvious that the reality is such that people who are most interested are developers and geeks and not typicall pda users. So my point is that Sharp is completely misunderstanding how they could/should market this type of device to make it most successfull. People who are primarily looking into PIM and basic PDA functions are not likely to get excited about clamshell keyboard. People who buy these are power users and unix geeks so providing hardware to make it possible to run their apps/tools should be one of primary design goals.


I hate to say it, but I doubt this is true. Although the vast majority of (clam-shell) users in the Europe and the US are 'hackers' (because it requires some serious effort to obtain one for starters, they it has to be translated, etc.), I'd guess that the majority of Japanese users are not, and that they just bought a PDA like a 'normal' ;-) person would go out and buy a PocketPC machine.

Therefore it terms of revenue generation, I'd guess that they are on the right track.


Si
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amrein
post Oct 16 2004, 04:23 AM
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QUOTE(nathanwms @ Oct 15 2004, 09:23 PM)
theuserdylan,

Very well said. I must admit I was definitely looking at it from my perspective and not as a Japanese consumer. However, I did have hopes that this device would have a broader appeal than it does. Maybe now we can turn our enthusiasm and support to those among us who are laboring to improve the software options available to us (Cacko, PdaXrom, OZ, etc.). There are some major strides that can be made in these areas that will make our Zaurii the envy of the PDA world.

Yes, sure! It is definitively the way to go to support our Zaurus.
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Zuber
post Oct 16 2004, 05:07 AM
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Well, sold my personal C860, and planning to get a C3000.

I reckon I'll get one of those SD WiFi cards that is on the horizon.

This way, I have WiFi, and a free CF slot for bluetooth or other peripherals at the same time without worrying about finding storage space.

Shame they have gone back to Barbie white again...
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raybert
post Oct 16 2004, 08:33 AM
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I'm actually happy about the hard drive. I had been secretly hoping for that. My thinking is that if my Z had a large HD in it, it could replace my Archos MP3 player. smile.gif Since I tend to carry both of those around much of the time, eliminating one would be great!

So, I'm interested now in hearing more about the HD in the C3000: what kind is it and can it be upgraded to, say, 30 or 40 GB? If anyone hears anything regarding this please post what you hear.

BTW, I think some folks may have missed the point that you don't need as much flash storage if you have a HD; you install stuff to the HD instead. I'll bet they put /home on the HD. Reducing the RAM, however, is a problem. However, as someone pointed out (in a somewhat roundabout way), this may have been a design compromise to compensate for the additional power needed by the HD.

I am disappointed about the lack of built-in WiFi; my biggest complaint about my C860 is the placement of the CF slot; it makes it very hard to type. Built-in WiFi would be a great solution to this (and very convenient) with the added benefit of leaving the CF slot open for storage, etc.

Another potential solution would be to move the CF slot (of course, they didn't do that either). The problem is actually much worse with LAN and modem cards, which tend to be much bigger than WiFi cards, and built-in WiFi wouldn't solve that problem. (Luckily, I don't need to use those cards very often.)

The better (SL6000) screen and USB host would have been nice too (unlike some, I wouldn't mind a slightly larger clamshell to accomodate a bigger screen). But, these days, I guess we've got to take what we can get from Sharp. It's truly a shame that they didn't even TRY the clamshell design in the US/UK. If they had tried and failed (as with the SL series) that would be one thing; but not even trying is just stoopid, IMHO (especially when they had the existing infrastructure, that was created for the SL series, at their disposal).

Another feature that I've been secretly hoping for is an SL-style joy button that could be used when the clamshell is in its portrait configuration. There's a lot of good SW for the SL-series (games, especially) that runs fine on the clamshells in portrait mode but cannot be used effectively because of insufficient controls. There's enough wasted space around the clamshell screen that a joy button could probably be placed there pretty easily.

~ray
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kopsis
post Oct 16 2004, 12:04 PM
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QUOTE(raybert @ Oct 16 2004, 08:33 AM)
So, I'm interested now in hearing more about the HD in the C3000: what kind is it and can it be upgraded to, say, 30 or 40 GB? If anyone hears anything regarding this please post what you hear.

The HD is almost certainly a 4GB Hitachi 1" drive. We won't know if it's in the CF card packaging or standalone until someone rips a C3000 apart, but I'm betting it's a CF card. If so, there's a good chance you could upgrade it to a 5GB Seagate but that's currently as far as you can go. To get 30 or 40 GB you need to go to a 1.8" drive and it's doubtful the C3000 went that route.
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