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ralph
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ralph

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16 Mar 2004
Zaurus SL-5600 Review
(Reviewer made a purchase decision in Janurary 2004, and
upgraded from a Sharp Wizard OZ-770 and successfully
transferred phone list.)

* Wanted a keyboard for starters.
* Did not want to pay extra for a Clam-Shell form factor even
though the horizontal orientation is preferable.
(Sony, Sharp imports from Japan)
* Did not want a phone included. (Treo 600)
* Wireless was not important to me. (Tungsten C)
* Wanted an MP3 player included.

Zaurus pluses:
* replaceable battery instead built-in (unlike Tungsten C)
* two card slots instead of one provides better expandability
* cheaper price: $300 from Amazon verses $419 verses $450 at
time of purchase, so more value for the money

Zaurus minuses:
* no thin hard case; had to settle for generic soft case
* Sharp address book only has one sort order
(I wanted by first name, not last name. This was
corrected in Intellisync by reversing first and
last name, a near fatal software design flaw IMHO.
In contrast, the Sharp Wizard was able to sort
either way.)
* no generalized synchronization between arbitrary directories
(Only Outlook "notes" sync, not text files.)
* 240 by 320 resolution instead of 320 by 320 like Tungsten C
was not a big deal for me
* No way to adjust the tone of the default MP3 player.

What you are not told:
* Screen has a plastic cover you must open and close. You
have to have it because PDA screens are so fragile.
* Sharp switched processors from 250 to 255 without a switch
in model number. Should have gone to 5601.
* Once Linux boots up, it's instant on from then on.
* USB is fast enough.
* Since Outlook sync's "notes", and Qtopia does not, Outlook
is better.
* The ROM update for the 5600 may not be necessary since you
may already have it.
* Slightly longer than Tungsten C but still fits in shirt
pocket and front pants pocket. (Can't use back pocket
because it breaks.)
* USB communication for synchronization fails to start
(I power off when inserting and removing from cradle
and that seems more reliable.)
* I find its most efficient to use a stylist pen and a
keyboard at the same time.

The Sharp Marketing Failure:
When will Sharp stop making accessories for the SL-5600?
They should tell you when, so you can buy what ever you
think you may need at that time. (For example, an extra
battery.) Sharp's silent obsolesce policy is a near fatal
flaw. Sharp needs to learn how to be a reliable and
trustworthy vendor. This can be done inexpensively, you
just have to disclose information and encourage support
communities.

Zaurus fixes (for me):
Replace Terminal with Konsole.
Use JCryptPad and SafeDee for encryption, Sharp provides none.
Use tkcEditor in addition to weak Sharp Text Editor.
Install ResumeGuard to fix: on button turns on too easily.
Purchased auto ligher power adapter (5 volt DC, 2 Amp)
Purchased a Lexar 64MB SD card for extra storage.
(No problems yet.)

Recommendations:
* By synchronizing with Outlook, you have a common means
to switch to a different PDA in the future and a backup
for some of your data. (You don't have to use Outlook
for e-mail.)
* Keep track of other files added so you can easily re-create
your environment on another PDA.
* Would buy again, its really cool.

Any comments?
15 Feb 2004
My phone has keyguard to prevent accidential key hits when in a pocket. Would it be possible to write a program that prevents the unit from turning on unless you hit two keys together? This is to avoid unnecessary battery drain. For example, this would be for the SL-5x00 series.
7 Feb 2004
Is this site intended for developers, end-users, or both?

Is this site paid for by Sharp?

Thanks - Ralph
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