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handheld-linux
Dear all,
you might have followed my recent discussions on three new Linux PDA/Phone specifications defined by you, the ZUG users.

Now, the Low-End "Tux PDA" is becoming a little more realistic (at approx. 2/3 of the price of an SL-C1000), since one asian company I have contacted is interested in supporting this project.

Their current design (apparently being sold in China) is a SL-A300 like device:
* no keyboard
* 320x240 display,
* 64MB RAM
* 32MB ROM
* USB client (no host)
* SD (no SDIO)
* Linux 2.4.18 and Qtopia

Since this device seems too limited in connectivity to be attractive, we are now discussing is to start a redesign and add connectivity. To limit project cost, implementing both is out of scope.

So, what do you feel is more important in a Low End Linux PDA: WiFi or Bluetooth and why?

Many thanks for all votes and responses,
Nikolaus
handheld-linux
I should have added some pros and cons:

What can/can't you do with each of both?
WiFi:
* connect to the internet through a wireless access point or public hotspot
* connect (sync) to WiFi capable laptop/desktop
* connect a WiFi capable disk drive
* can't: connect to printer, mobile phone, keyboard, GPS receiver

Bluetooth:
* connect to the internet through a wireless access point or mobile phone
* connect (sync) to Bluetooth capable laptop/desktop, mobile phone
* connect to printer, mobile phone, keyboard, GPS receiver
* can't: use a public hotspot

Nikolaus
craigtyson
To Qualify Y Bluetooth.

1. Cheap to include and supports phone access. Will be more attractive to your Asian developer as G3 is real in China.

2. Ownership of laptops and hence WIFI points is lower than in the west. (Or was when I was in China. Also you need an ID card to get a logon in an internet Cafe in China.)
Gondola
I voted wifi because a bluetooth CF card doesn't stick out. A wifi cf card does.
bluedevils
I didn't see CF included in the specs. I would vote a cf slot over both those options. wouldn't it be cheaper to implement?
handheld-linux
QUOTE(Gondola @ May 19 2005, 02:29 PM)
I voted wifi because a bluetooth CF card doesn't stick out.  A wifi cf card does.
*

Thank you very much!

Unfortunately, we have to subtract at least your vote - because the discussion is about integrating WiFi or Bluetooth inside of the device (like e.g. the SL6000). So nothing is sticking out in any case. I probably was not 100% clear in formulating the poll.

Nikolaus
adf
2x cf + usb?

but slots are better than gadgets.... more customizable, and cheaper
Mickeyl
Could you add a "both" entry or is that out of discussion ?
handheld-linux
QUOTE(bluedevils @ May 19 2005, 03:19 PM)
I didn't see CF included in the specs.  I would vote a cf slot over both those options. wouldn't it be cheaper to implement?

CF needs a lot of space in a small device. And integrating a Bluetooth or WiFi chip is less expensive than a CF/PCMCIA chip plus connector plus cover plus adding a CF card.

And a great benefit will be for software developers: it is 100% clear which chipset is used. Look at all the threads about: "which card works", "where is the driver for..."?

So, in total it would be a more expensive solution making you ask why it isn't much cheaper than a C1000...

The idea is to have a real low end PDA which does the main task of a PDA including some wireless connectivity (e.g. to the internet, a PC, external devices) - but still being open to write your applications using gcc.

Nikolaus
bluedevils
I voted wifi (BTW you *can* connect to a printer that has a print server) because I don't use bluetooth in my ipaq as much as the wifi. BTW I'm pretty sure there are more Z owners (in North America at least) with wifi than owners with bluetooth.
Gondola
I wasn't perfectly clear about my reasoning in my post. I would *assume* the presence of a CF slot becuase of the sheer amount of peripherals and memory modules that require CF. It would be ridiculous to release a PDA sans CF slot.

That being said, If I had to "add on" a bluetooth or wifi module, a wifi module would stick out, whereas a bluetooth module would not. Make more sense now?

If you're thinking about a PDA without a CF slot, you're just not being realistic.


QUOTE(handheld-linux @ May 19 2005, 02:19 PM)
QUOTE(Gondola @ May 19 2005, 02:29 PM)
I voted wifi because a bluetooth CF card doesn't stick out.  A wifi cf card does.
*

Thank you very much!

Unfortunately, we have to subtract at least your vote - because the discussion is about integrating WiFi or Bluetooth inside of the device (like e.g. the SL6000). So nothing is sticking out in any case. I probably was not 100% clear in formulating the poll.

Nikolaus
*

handheld-linux
QUOTE(Mickeyl @ May 19 2005, 03:24 PM)
Could you add a "both" entry or is that out of discussion ?
*

I have thought about that for a long time. But then I did not add it because I would expect that everybody would think: if I can get both, I select "both". And the result would be 95%.

And the truth is that it is already very expensive to add anything (other options would have been USB host, SDIO, CF slot, FM radio, integrated GPS receiver) but I felt that a low end PDA needs most urgently ONE good wireless communication channel.

So it is really about selecting a single option - and finding out the "most popular" or "mostly demanded" one.

Nikolaus
handheld-linux
QUOTE(Gondola @ May 19 2005, 03:42 PM)
I wasn't perfectly clear about my reasoning in my post.  I would *assume* the presence of a CF slot becuase of the sheer amount of peripherals and memory modules that require CF.  It would be ridiculous to release a PDA sans CF slot.

That being said, If I had to "add on" a bluetooth or wifi module, a wifi module would stick out, whereas a bluetooth module would not.  Make more sense now?

If you're thinking about a PDA without a CF slot, you're just not being realistic.

Ok, understood.

IMHO, having this kind of swiss army knife flexibility is not the story of a Low-End PDA.

Therefore, I am talking about a PDA without CF slot, but of course SD (unfortunately no option for SDIO). And the there are popular models from Dell (Axim X30 series) and HP (e.g. HP iPAQ h4155) do not have a CF slot either.

Thanks for the clarification,
Nikolaus
handheld-linux
QUOTE(adf @ May 19 2005, 03:23 PM)
2x cf + usb?

but slots are better than gadgets.... more customizable, and cheaper
*

Hm,
that is something I would consider a feature of a "Micro Laptop" class of devices.

And, slots are cheaper as long as they are unused and you don't add the cost of devices to add in.

Finally, a PDA becomes much bulkier by addings CF slots. So, this discussion is about bringing a little back the original idea of an everyday's use "Palm Pilot" but based on the now matured Linux / Qtopia systems to have software flexibility.

And make it connect to the outside world.

Nikolaus
handheld-linux
QUOTE(bluedevils @ May 19 2005, 03:38 PM)
I voted wifi (BTW you *can* connect to a printer that has a print server) because I don't use bluetooth in my ipaq as much as the wifi.  BTW I'm pretty sure there are more Z owners (in North America at least) with wifi than owners with bluetooth.
*

Good points to consider!

Many thanks,
Nikolaus
koen
QUOTE(handheld-linux @ May 19 2005, 02:27 PM)
QUOTE(bluedevils @ May 19 2005, 03:19 PM)
I didn't see CF included in the specs.  I would vote a cf slot over both those options. wouldn't it be cheaper to implement?

CF needs a lot of space in a small device. And integrating a Bluetooth or WiFi chip is less expensive than a CF/PCMCIA chip plus connector plus cover plus adding a CF card.
*



Virtually any ARM based chip has an CF interface. The iPAQ h4150 you mentioned uses that for it's internal WLAN. Bluetooth is hooked to the CPU's UART. Also note that only (expensive!) socket BT cards don't stick out. All the ones available here in the Netherlands stick out of the slot.
Another note: your design and specs look a lot like the iPAQ h1900 series, which are cheaper than the price you quoted.
bluedevils
any idea on the CPU? If you can make this device as small or smaller than my ipaq 3115, then I might be interested. I would love a really small kde pim pi pda.
adf
does this thing have a serial port? ir? usb?

or are we talking just an sd slot and only either wifi or bt for any connection to anything (like a keyboard, or a phone?)

I should shutup, though, since pim is not very important to me and this is clearly a pim device.
bluedevils
yes but we are also talking lower volumes than the 1900

QUOTE(koen @ May 19 2005, 10:10 AM)
Another note: your design and specs look a lot like the iPAQ h1900 series, which are cheaper than the price you quoted.
*
koen
QUOTE(adf @ May 19 2005, 03:21 PM)
does this thing have a serial port? ir? usb?

or are we talking just an sd slot and only either wifi or bt for any connection to anything (like a keyboard, or a phone?)


If you go with Intel's latest Xscale member, the pxa270, you wil get SDIO for free, as well as 3 serial ports (one for the cradle, one for BT, one for IR). I don't know if a Samsong SoC is cheaper, but they have mostly the same features.
koen
QUOTE(bluedevils @ May 19 2005, 03:25 PM)
yes but we are also talking lower volumes than the 1900

QUOTE(koen @ May 19 2005, 10:10 AM)
Another note: your design and specs look a lot like the iPAQ h1900 series, which are cheaper than the price you quoted.
*

*



That's exactly why it has to stand out by some really cool feature, be it connectivity, size or design. Some numbers on how much it costs to add BT, CF and/or wifi would be nice. If 'a lot more' amounts to $10 I'd say 'do both', but $40 would be another matter.
handheld-linux
QUOTE(koen @ May 19 2005, 04:10 PM)
Virtually any ARM based chip has an CF interface. The iPAQ h4150 you mentioned uses that for it's internal WLAN. Bluetooth is hooked to the CPU's UART.
Another note: your design and specs look a lot like the iPAQ h1900 series, which are cheaper than the price you quoted.
*

Ok, I don't know as I am not the technician to develop that device...

Pricing is depends heavily on the number of units. And HP is able to sell at least 100 times the number of such a device...
handheld-linux
QUOTE(adf @ May 19 2005, 04:21 PM)
does this thing have a serial port? ir? usb? or are we talking just an sd slot and only either wifi or bt for any connection to anything (like a keyboard, or a phone?)

I should shutup, though, since pim is not very important to me and this is clearly a pim device.
*

Questions are always welcome even if you are probably not the user...

Yes, it has IR, a serial interface and USB (client, probably 1.1). So, it *could* be possible to connect anything else through a serial interface but I doubt if you can easily buy them. Therefore the wireless connection is very important.
handheld-linux
QUOTE(koen @ May 19 2005, 04:33 PM)
If you go with Intel's latest Xscale member, the pxa270, you wil get SDIO for free, as well as 3 serial ports (one for the cradle, one for BT, one for IR). I don't know if a Samsong SoC is cheaper, but they have mostly the same features.
*

It is already fixed that it has an Freescale i.MXL processor (ARM 9). There appears to be no choice (without starting a 10 Mio US$ completely new development).

Nikolaus
adf
then maybe be sure it runs irk? can talk to phones via ir? (these options make bt less "necessary")
and maybe shoot for usb host?
sriley
QUOTE(adf @ May 19 2005, 08:23 AM)
but slots are better than gadgets.... more customizable, and cheaper


Absolutely correct. When I'm looking at a new gadget, I look for "slots" first. No "slots", no more attention from me, ever, because that gadget can never be expanded to be more than it currently is.

I think that's probably how the majority of gadget users think.
robertcloud
I'm sure if it had USB host alot of people would be more willing to consider it. That is really one thing that I would like even more than wifi or bluetooth.
ltrm
Well, I voted for bluetooth even though personally I use WiFi more.

My reasoning is like this:

Bluetooth can do networking, although its a bit slow.
It has much better power consumption figures than Wifi, unless someone knows otherwise.
It can connect to wireless headphones to play mp3s from the SD card.
It can connect to GPS.
It can connect to mobile phones.

The last point is particulary is particularly useful given that Nokia has at leaste one phone, the N91 I think, planned with WiFi and bluetooth built in. As well as normal network conectivity this will be able to act as a gateway to wifi hotspots.

Also PalmOne has proven that bluetooth only designs can sell well worldwide, although their new PDA does have wifi.

(Personally I'm not buying another PDA till its got both bluetooth and wifi built in and runs linux!)

ltrm
TsingTao
I voted wifi. I don't have any bluetooth enabled devices, and 'the net is vast and infinite...'

Heehee, I'd stop watching GITS every other day, but I'm afraid I'd just go back to my Akira habit.

And there's always the fear of a Croutching Tiger, Hidden Dragon relapse...
ninjafoo
Personally I would rather have which ever option has the least impact of battery life, its much easier to work around any range restrictions (etc) than painfully short battery life and any form of on board networking is a million time better than nothing.
Gondola
It seems to me like everyone here has a different idea about what they want, and most of them differ from the base specs you initially posted.

How about this; write up a simple web page in php or something with approximate costs for each item...

Pick one from each line:

320x240 $20 / 320x400 $40 / 640x480 $60
RAM 64mb $10 / 128mb $20 / 256mb $50 / 512mb $100
Battery life 4 hours $20 / 6 hours $50 / 8 hours $75 / 10 hours $100

a la carte:

USB host $40
Wifi $30
Bluetooth $25
CF slot $25
SD slot $25

(Disclaimer: I made up these prices!)

Let people "build their own PDA" and see how much it would cost. Let them save their option in a cookie, and gather statistics when they 'save'. You can get all kinds of good info from that, including most often chosen options, and average/mean/median cost.

Without extensive market research, your product isn't likely to do very well. Considering a ton of companies have done 320x240 PDA's, you need to do something different to catch people's attention... like 640x480 or built in GPS or whatever.
mars
For the original estimate of 2/3 the cost of a CL1000, personally I'd rather spend an extra 1/3 and get a CL1000. The addition of Wifi or Bluetooth aren't compelling enough for me to go with a lower resolution display, no USB host, and it didn't seem like a built-in keyboard.
kahm
QUOTE(mars @ May 19 2005, 05:17 PM)
For the original estimate of 2/3 the cost of a CL1000, personally I'd rather spend an extra 1/3 and get a CL1000. The addition of Wifi or Bluetooth aren't compelling enough for me to go with a lower resolution display, no USB host, and it didn't seem like a built-in keyboard.
*


Lower resolution display. Slower processor. No CF slot, only SD with no hope for SDIO. No keyboard. No USB host.

I'm afraid you've lost me here. Does it at least have IR? The *only* thing that I can think of that would make this worth buying is a 100% open software, and I'm not fanatic enough to buy it for that. It's basically a Palm 505 running linux.

I'm not going to vote either way for BT or WiFi. I'd want WiFi, but BT makes more sense for the main market in Asia. How practical is it to do two models, one with BT, one with WiFi? You probably won't get a consesus on one or the other.
adf
gondola...
good idea, but aren' we all going to build a 6K-W clamshell witha a 600mhz+ scalable pxa 270 (with video accel)256 rom 128 ram (min) and a bigger battery and optional battery pack?

maybe make a price cap that fits the manufatcturer?
bluedevils
hmm....gondola=michael dell?
Gondola
QUOTE(bluedevils @ May 20 2005, 01:05 AM)
hmm....gondola=michael dell?
*


LOL!

No, I am not Michael Dell... but putting a price cap on it would help in eliminating frivolous choices and get people to answer what they really would like in a pda. Good idea, adf.

And actually no, I wouldn't build one with all that extra stuff... I want something that'll give me a nice display (640x480 at least) in the smallest package... running an open platform like Linux preferably.. So yeah give me performance and display but make it small. I'd do with a shorter battery time and fewer slots to shave off excess weight and bulk.
nequiem
I agree with Kahm on this one. What is the market for this thing? Who are you selling to? Most people on this board spend more to get more and are not interested in low end. They want a palm-sized laptop. Are we talking about the Asia market only? It won't sell anywhere else. Joe Euro/American won't want this because he could have PPC for the same price and could give a rat's dingy about it being proprietary. He would rather have a smartphone anyway. What if Sharp adds wi-fi to the C4000 or C2000 this fall? A wi-fi C2K at 1/3rd more would make this device look kind of redundant. I expect new Linux phones will be coming out to the Asian market later this year that will have approximately the same features as this device (though they may be more expensive).

QUOTE(kahm @ May 19 2005, 06:36 PM)
QUOTE(mars @ May 19 2005, 05:17 PM)
For the original estimate of 2/3 the cost of a CL1000, personally I'd rather spend an extra 1/3 and get a CL1000. The addition of Wifi or Bluetooth aren't compelling enough for me to go with a lower resolution display, no USB host, and it didn't seem like a built-in keyboard.
*


Lower resolution display. Slower processor. No CF slot, only SD with no hope for SDIO. No keyboard. No USB host.

I'm afraid you've lost me here. Does it at least have IR? The *only* thing that I can think of that would make this worth buying is a 100% open software, and I'm not fanatic enough to buy it for that. It's basically a Palm 505 running linux.

I'm not going to vote either way for BT or WiFi. I'd want WiFi, but BT makes more sense for the main market in Asia. How practical is it to do two models, one with BT, one with WiFi? You probably won't get a consesus on one or the other.
*

chrget
Hmmm, I doubt there is a big market out there for such a device at that price. Frankly, at 2/3 the price of a C1000, it's way too expensive. If I currently was in the market for a low cost PDA with at least a possible future Linux option, I'd definitely go for an Acer n10. They are currently sold around here at €199/$250 (SRP: €249/$315) and can be had for as little as €179/$225 (and yes, that's end price including 16% V.A.T) -- now that is low cost/low end.

While it doesn't have a keyboard, it does sport the useful combination of CF and SD slot, a fairly large capacity LiPo battery, 64 RAM/32 Flash, 240x320 3.5" display, IrDA and a PXA processor. While AFAIK there is no ready-to-run Linux distribution available yet, the efforts of getting Linux up and running seem to have progressed quite a bit.

Now, as a dealer I would probably rather think about spending some money in furthering development of this Linux port and convincing Acer to either give me all of their remaining stock (IIRC the n10 is no longer manufactured) or possibly ask them for a good deal on a small production run of this existing design.

It's likely that this might indeed make more parties happy than doing it some other way. But then again I am not a dealer (and I don't even play one on TV unsure.gif), which is why there's likely a flaw in this plan ...

Best regards,
Chris.
handheld-linux
QUOTE(Gondola @ May 19 2005, 11:15 PM)
How about this; write up a simple web page in php or something with approximate costs for each item...
--- snip ---
Let people "build their own PDA" and see how much it would cost.  Let them save their option in a cookie, and gather statistics when they 'save'.  You can get all kinds of good info from that, including most often chosen options, and average/mean/median cost.
Yes, I have though about that and the best marketing research tool to do is called "Conjoint Analysis". It would provide you repeatedly with two randomly mixed products, sum up the price and let you state your preference. From all that it calculates the most preferable model and the relative preference of features.

I yery much like the idea of "Open Source Product Sepcification", so if you would volunteer to write the scripts, I would try to provide some data to fill it in.

Unfortunately, the whole approach works only if you have really the choice to design a device from scratch.

In this case it can only work the other way around: use an existing device and add something which is most urgently needed to make it attractive.

Nikolaus
handheld-linux
QUOTE(mars @ May 20 2005, 12:17 AM)
For the original estimate of 2/3 the cost of a CL1000, personally I'd rather spend an extra 1/3 and get a CL1000. The addition of Wifi or Bluetooth aren't compelling enough for me to go with a lower resolution display, no USB host, and it didn't seem like a built-in keyboard.
*

Ok, you are probably member of the "Micro Laptop" group.

Nikolaus
handheld-linux
QUOTE(kahm @ May 20 2005, 01:36 AM)
Does it at least have IR?
Yes
QUOTE
The *only* thing that I can think of that would make this worth buying is a 100% open software, and I'm not fanatic enough to buy it for that.
Yes, that is the intent - and to have it available for some time. Independently of market strategies and product decisions of Sharp, Dell, HP or whoever...
QUOTE
It's basically a Palm 505 running linux.
Well, more an Sharp SL-A300 with either Bluetooth or WiFi.
handheld-linux
QUOTE(nequiem @ May 20 2005, 08:10 AM)
I agree with Kahm on this one. What is the market for this thing?

worldwide - whoever wants to have such a device
QUOTE
Who are you selling to?
All the gurus who want a Linux based PDA for daily use.
QUOTE
Most people on this board spend more to get more and are not interested in low end.

Not all. I have run a recent poll: https://www.oesf.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=11403 whish as of today says:
12% I love my Zaurus and will stay forever with Zaurus
38% I would like to have a low priced Linux PDA
29% I would like a Linux based Smartphone
QUOTE
They want a palm-sized laptop.

From the discussions I have identified three basic wishes:
* low end Linux PDA ("PIM PDA")
* Micro-Laptop
* Linux Smartphone
always assuming that they are as open for writing and installing software as the Zaurus.

Nikolaus
handheld-linux
QUOTE(chrget @ May 20 2005, 10:49 AM)
... currently was in the market for a low cost PDA with at least a possible future Linux option, I'd definitely go for an Acer n10. They are currently sold around here at €199/$250 (SRP: €249/$315) and can be had for as little as €179/$225 (and yes, that's end price including 16% V.A.T)

While AFAIK there is no ready-to-run Linux distribution available yet, the efforts of getting Linux up and running seem to have progressed quite a bit.

The question is: what is it worth to get a comparable PDA that already comeswith Linux installed, from a manufacturer who supports Linux and where you don't run the risk that a Linux release never comes or is never complete, or comes in two years when the device is no longer available?

An other point to consider: that is a sell-out price where nobody earns money. They even might loose money because the have to clear stock. So they subsidize by the new models.

And one more: How much does it cost to add Bluetooth/WLAN (unless you get a special offer).
QUOTE
and convincing Acer to either give me all of their remaining stock (IIRC the n10 is no longer manufactured) or possibly ask them for a good deal on a small production run of this existing design.

That could be a general alternative - if they are willing to do. Usually such companies fear the effort of supporting such a project - or you have to pay for it.

And as a dealer you have to get the money to support the Linux development from somewhere. So you have to make it more expensive than the original (or sell-out) price. And as long as the device is still available somewhere, everybody would buy the PPC version and install Linux. So to protect, the dealer must wait until the model is no longer available anywhere. And you get offered the oldest models... Is this attractive?

And: the device I am talking is also in production. So, if NOTHING would be added, it can be offered at a lower price.

Nikolaus
kahm
Let me see if I can sum this up from a differnet angle. You're trying to pitch this as an inexpensive Linux-based PDA to the 38% in your poll.

So, my question is: Why do people want a linux based PDA?

There are the Open Source fanatics who'd run anything as long as it's GPL. They won't care so much what they're running it on.

Then there are the people who want Linux because of it's power and flexiblility. This group is most likely split between capabilities and price - your mini-laptop group and you're inexpensive Linux PDA group. The mini-laptop group is definitely out.

Now, take the device you're suggesting. 320x240 screen, no keyboard, no possibility of expansion. With the specs of 32mb ROM, and 64mb RAM, I'm assuming that it uses a Pocket PC-like storage method - OS in ROM, Ram split between storage and memory, so it's pretty low on memory as well. This can be worked around by using an SD card, which is slow and limits the device by permanently occupying it's *only* expansion slot. It is priced at 2/3 the cost of the C1000, from which I take to mean at most ~$300 US.

At that price, you're going to lose the interest of the users looking for truly low end pricing.

So now you're left with people looking for a relatively inexpensive but flexible PDA.

Without a keyboard it is going to be harder to enter data into. With no expansion slots other than SD you can't add peripherals. The low memory limits the software you can install and run. You're device will have either Wi-Fi or BT, so you can either surf the net quickly or sync through BT (or for those lucky enough to have BT cell phones or computers, surf slowly)

So where's the flexibility? It's just a PDA now, albeit one that runs Dillo and Ko/Pi instead of Pocket IE and Outlook. Who cares what OS it runs if it is really just a PDA?

You said yourself on the first page that flexibility isn't the strength of a low-end device. If it isn't, then the only market you've got left for an underpowered and unexpandable PDA is based on it's 100% openness. And even then, if you can't extend the device in any way, what are you going to do with it? Recompile newer kernels to eke out another 1% out of an outdated processor? You're stuck with the same Email, web and PIM that every other PDA in the market has. If you go with BT then maybe the unit can be "expanded" by using BT peripherals. Unfortunately, they're expensive and inconvenient, forcing you to carry and charge multiple devices. That eliminates the "inexpensive" market again.

The original Z's were differentiated by being Linux, their keyboard, and the fact that almost nothing on the market had both SD and CF when they came out. The newer models had better screens than anything else out there, in addition to Linux and keyboards. The 3000 was the first PDA in the world to include a 4gb hard drive, in addition to Linux and the keyboard. Sharp has always been ahead of the PDA curve in some manner.

Take away the keyboard and the expansion, and what do you have left? Linux that you can't do much of anything with. Don't underestimate the impact that the Z's hardware has on the viability of the platform. You don't see a booming import market for A300's, do you?

Now, don't take this rant the wrong way. Having a 100% open and supported platform is a great idea.

You just won't be selling one to me.
koen
QUOTE(kahm @ May 20 2005, 08:24 PM)
The original Z's were differentiated by being Linux, their keyboard, and the fact that almost nothing on the market had both SD and CF when they came out. The newer models had better screens than anything else out there, in addition to Linux and keyboards. The 3000 was the first PDA in the world to include a 4gb hard drive, in addition to Linux and the keyboard. Sharp has always been ahead of the PDA curve in some manner.
*


So that's why they are releasing new devices without bluetooth and wifi in 2005.

</rant>
adf
that apparently has to do with asia being wirelessly incoherent, so to speak.
I've been contending for some time, that if there is such a standards issue in asia, then they (sharp) should release with more expansion options to compensate the lack of built-in stuff.
kahm
QUOTE(koen @ May 20 2005, 03:34 PM)
So that's why they are releasing new devices without bluetooth and wifi in 2005.

</rant>
*


This has been rehashed quite a bit here. Until relatively recently, Wi-Fi has been pretty rare in Japan, and apparently BT isn't all that popular either. The reason that the Z's have both SD and CF slots is because the Japanese market has cheap and common cellular CF cards. It's never made sense to include Wi-Fi in a Japanese only unit, because a Japanese buyer was more likely to ignore it and pop in a CF cellular card anyway. (I was there last October, and you literally saw display stands for AirH cards *everywhere*! I saw one store that only sold appliances - and they still had an AirH display out front!)

As much as we'd like to blame the current lack of Wi-fi or BT on Sharp's cluelessness, we can't. They're just playing to the market that they designed the things for in the first place. Notice that the only "modern" (usb host, VGA screen) Z released in the US did include Wi-fi as a standard option.

Now, though, Wi-fi usage is on the rise and Buffalo has stopped making their CF Wi-fi cards (and they had a big part of the market there.) We're now more likely to see Sharp build Wi-fi into their next model.
handheld-linux
Dear all,

now as the discussion has calmed down, let me try to draw a first summary.

Regarding the original question about Bluetooth or WiFi, there is a clear winner: WiFi (24:4).

That was much to my surprise - since I had expected that Bluetooth comes out better in a low-end device because it would offer more options to connect to external devices (GPS mouse for navigation, keyboard to better use PIM applications, mobile phone to sync with). But apparently, WiFi (i.e. full IP/Internet access) is more important (in a Linux PDA).

And funny enough, as we have run this discussion, I got the indication from the manufacturer, that they now even consider integrating both - so the result turns out to be of some academic importance.

The second discussion level was generally about the demand for a lower priced device. Here the discussion has puzzled me a lot, since on one hand I (think) I always read that the Sharp Zauruses are more expensive than anything else to reach broader use, but if I propose a less expensive device, it does not have enough functionality or is not extensible enough.

So, the only solution would be that we all use, promote and buy more Sharps so that they come into economies of scale and the price can go down to reach a level where Dell and others already are. So it is about strengthening and extending this community. What about a "proud Zaurus user" button on each of your home pages or a "Zaurus" sticker on your car?

Or is there really no demand for a lower priced Linux-PIM-only-PDA (with reduced functionality of course)?

Many thanks for discussing these topics,
Nikolaus
pgas
You should take into account that most members here allready own a Zaurus.

Hence the lack of interest for something equivalent or less powerfull than what we allready have.

You'll perhaps get different answers if you try to do the same kind of poll elsewhere.
handheld-linux
QUOTE(pgas @ May 25 2005, 03:51 PM)
You should take into account that most members here allready own a Zaurus.

That is a valid argument. On the other hand, especially Zaurus owners should probably know best what they need (would have needed).

But with the announcement of the Nokia 770 for approx. 400 EUR this project seems no longer to be competitve.

Nikolaus
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