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Full Version: Should I Open My New Sl-6000l?
OESF Portables Forum > Everything Else > Archived Forums > Distros, Development, and Model Specific Forums > Model Specific Forums > Sharp Zaurus > 6000 - Tosa
I've got a brand new SL-6000L sitting here on my desk and need help deciding if it's worth keeping. I ordered this back in December in advance of traveling to India, where I've been living and studying until this last weekend. Originally, it was supposed to make the trip with me, but instead it's been sitting at a friends place with the rest of my mail.

Here is some background. I'm a satisfied SL-5600 owner (Watapon ROM user) and a long time Linux user. My first experience with ultraportable Linux was an old Toshiba Libretto 110CT running Slackware. A couple of years ago I purchased the SL-5600 looking for more portability and better battery life than my Libretto could offer. While I'm annoyed by Sharp's numerous miscues in the non-Asian PDA market, my SL-5600 has served me well. I use it mainly to edit text files with "vi". Occasionally, I use it to listen to MP3s, and I really only use it to browse the web when my 110CT is out of reach or re-charging.

I originally ordered the SL-6000L because I needed a good travel companion for managing my digital pictures and getting on-line while in India. I wanted something more laptop-like than the SL-5600 but less bulky than the 110CT. From the accounts that I had read, the SL-6000L seemed the obvious choice in this respect (or at the very least I had found an excuse to justify buying a new toy). Unfortunately, between my procrastinating the decision to order and the relentless Holiday shipping crunch, the SL-6000L showed up to my apartment a few days after I left for India. I was pretty disappointed, but the ever-faithful 110CT stepped up and took its place. In retrospect, this was a blessing because I underestimated just how much computer I needed to have available during my travels (I shudder to think about pecking and scratching at the SL-6000L for 10 months).

Now that I'm back and trying to adjust to being home, digging through all of this mail is like opening up a time capsule. As stated above, my new SL-6000L is sitting here waiting to be unsealed, and I can't figure out if I should keep it around or sell it off to a buddy of mine who's been looking to pick me up (of course, he thinks that I shouldn't keep it). From what I can tell, the SL-6000L is a natural upgrade from the SL-5600. The problem is that my original intention for the purchase has now passed, and I don't honestly need an upgrade. In fact, I think that my "vi"-lifestyle would be better suited by an old Psion (can you use that word around here?) or something of that ilk. At the same time, the SL-6000L is already here and I'm more than happy to give it a try if it'll seems like a good fit.

So, can anybody compel me to open up and savor the SL-6000L? Does it seem like a good fit for me, or should I move on and keep looking? Thanks.
I use mine as a web browser, media player and notebook (mostly). I like it very much.
I upgraded from a 5600... the difference in funciontality is night and day with the big vga screen.
For surfing the web, there will be a huge difference (VGA and on the fly rotation).

The usb host might add functionality that you can appreciate (full keyboard and mouse).

The keyboard is not significantly improved. The vga screen actually makes the console fonts much smaller, though for good eyes they are clear. On the other hand you will be able to see more content with the smaller fonts.
the display is phenomenal, for eBooks, internet, word processing, etc

plenty of built-in memory for all your apps, but there's scope for expanding the internal flash and adding bluetooth to it

built-in wireless lan keeps both the SD and CF slots free for big memory cards or GPS adaptors etc

it's very rugged - designed to cope with falls

microphone/speaker make it ideal for VOIP, dictation recording etc

it's faster than the old 5xxx, with wireless lan enough to stream audio so can listen to internet radio on the go, and internet browsing is thus quite satisfactory too with opera or netfront

the only reason to sell a 6000 is because you want to buy a clamshell model like the 3100.
i've got two psion 5's(don't have the modem or the ac power supply-do have the serial cable)-let me know if a swap interests you.
Thank you all for your input. The trade offer is an interesting one, but at this point I'm still on the fence.

I've had a chance to charge up the 5600 and get re-acquainted, and my original gripes are coming back. The screen is certainly the deliciously tempting part of the SL-6000L. It's not the quality of the 5600's screen that I mind as much as the size. However, my biggest reservations about the SL-6000L is the usability of the keyboard. With this unit being larger in size than the 5600, is "thumb typing" any easier or faster?

I guess an external keyboard is a possible solution too, but that seems a little inelegant. I tend to use my Zaurus in a spontaneous way, yanking it out of my bag on the bus, in a coffee shop, or at the couch when I get the urge to bang out a piece of code. I fear that the external keyboard route runs contrary to this whimsical usage pattern. Is my intuition right here, or am I overstating the hassle of always needing to lug a keyboard around and getting it setup before I can dig in?
first, let me say, the sl6000 is a great little machine. it's about everything you'd want in a pda imo. my only wish for it is, as you may agree, that sharp had made it a clamshell w/a keyboard, not a thumboard. i confess here that i am probably older than the typical user and have not developed the thumboarding dexterity
that those who have grown up w/ such devices have. aside from the fumble finger aspect of using the sl6000 keyboard, the worry for me is that when you uncover the keyboard, the cover is left in what appears to me to be a state entirely too vulnerable to damage. i would have preferred it to be removable and not just precariously attached by a minimal grip on the end of its slide mechanism. i say this not so much by way of discouragement to you, but to offer input to your evaluation of how the sl6000 will fare in the universe of your own everyday usage.
the separate keyboard is a possibility; i tried one and couldn't get it going, but others work fine. this becomes a matter of dealing w/ two pieces of hardware rather than one. i do hear that the ir boards can be problematic in maintaining a line of sight for the transmission, but the usb thing ought to solve that(i have a rubber usb almost full sized board that i am trying to get working now; at least i can roll it up and carry it without much hassle).
the clamshell part of my desire for a better sl6000 results from my observation that the plastic protective screen cover is, like the keyboard cover, severely exposed to damage possibility when flipped up for screen access. this situation wouldn't be near the worry to me that it is if i could find a replacement source- i'd just get two or three and forget about it.
this decision on your part seems to come down to how you will use the machine in your actual physical handling of it and what sort of treatment it is likely to encounter during your usage. it's a lttle larger than most pdas, and i haven't found a suitable case for it(one that let's me attach it securely and safely to my body), but i love it as i do the psion for its versatility and its way cool factor. my best to you.
I have both. The 6000 keyboard is better than the 5600. Obviously, it's not going to be as great as the clamshells, but I did find it a step up. Basically, the 6000 is superior to the 5600 in every way I can think of, except dimensions. (it's BIG)
a colleague who has tried every gadget known to man (Palm, PocketPC, blackberry, SonyEricsson P800 & 900) tried my Z 6000 and said he could be really happy with the thumb board.

actually, you should give all your zauruses to me and go out and get a life. they're too addictive. it's too late for me, no need for gratitude for this kind offer.

really, the only way you're going to find out is to try it. if you're going to sell it, you need to test it before shipping. if you can repack it perfectly, and ensure you keep it all in the plastic wrappers, you're going to be ok.
While it's pretty obvious we're all slightly biased to the 6k, we also have the greatest insight into your decision- we've all made it, I have only seen one user EVER in the best of my knowledge that purchased a 6k and regretted it so much they immediately sold it, and he was simply a Linux noob and was expecting to be able to run MS apps on it and thought it was incredibly limiting for Sharp to not allow him to do that. *sigh*

I digress, sorta.

I feel COMPELLED to beg you to try it out.
First. If he's that close of a friend and he knows you treat your hardware well my bet is that if you change your mind after using it a few days, he'll still wet himself in his excitement that he still has a chance to buy it from you. And rightly he should.

Second. I don't think you're giving keyboards nowadays a fair chance. If you go the IR port route then the ThinkOutside Stowaway IR keyboard is GREAT! It gives you full size alpha keys and the latest IRK drivers work flawlessly and with every key function I've tried. But even better if folds up to about the same size of the 6k, maybe a tad smaller. I find myself taking it everywhere I go. But better yet, since you have that USB host port sitting there, you can plug in just about ANY usb keyboard and it will work fine. I use an Adesso 88key mini keyboard. The keys/keyboard is almost identical to the size and feel of a notebook's built in keyboard. I use it when I'm gonna be doing some serious typing etc. for hours on end. It is still small enuf to fit in the smallest pocket in my backpack.

Third. This thing REALLY IS and CAN BE used like a notebook! My peripheral config when I go into "micro-notebook mode" is as follows:

For battery use:
The afore mentioned usb keyboard, a logitech usb notebook mini-mouse (laser), a Hitachi 4mb Microdrive in the CF slot, a Lexar 1gb sdcard, a 20gb 2.5 External HDD, and a battery powered USB hub (uses 4 AAA batteries). (I do have an expansion sled also but that's irrelevant to my point.)

For when I have access to a plug in AC outlet:
The same as above only add an external CD-RW (usb).

(I also have modems, wifi cards, etc. etc. as needed but again...not the point)

So the beauty of it is that my 6000k is WHATEVER I wish WHENEVER I wish it. If I feel like just grabbing the 6k by itself, I grab it and go knowing I've got all the power I need. If I feel like going the notebook route I grab the 6k and toss it in my Targus backpack where I keep all the rest of the peripherals and away I go, knowing I have all the power and flexibility I need to do ANYTHING. And since it's modular I can pick and choose to meet the needs of the moment.

I have owned mine for a year now, and not only do I still use mine daily- er hourly, we have purchased two more since then for the family. My family can testifiy to the fact that since the day I opened my 6k box I have not used our laptop at all, (unless one of the kids smash the windows installation and I have to fix it of course.)

You REALLY, REALLY, REALLY should give it a chance.

PS I have not experienced any of the frailty the above poster was concerned about - the keyboard slide etc. I don't recall ANY fatalities due to damage other than broken screens and bad nand flashes since the 6k forum was opened here on the ZUG/OE forums. Feel free to double check me on that, I could be wrong.

Heck, give yourself a's PAID FOR for cryin' out loud! OPEN THE BOX!



EDIT - changed my description of the ir keyboard's size relative to the 6k. (Was comparing it initially to the size of the 6k with my expansion sled equipped, realized that might be misleading.)

My peptalk didn't take. However if anyone is in the market for one, he now has his brand new Zaurus 6kL up for sale on Ebay.

At least we didn't lose a Zaurus Community member, (he apparently still has/uses a SL-5600), and through this sale we may even gain another!

There's always a bright side to everything I suppose.

im looking for a 6000 to buy.. anyone wanna get rid of???
while i totally agree with neuroshock, i still sold my 6000 few days ago. 6000 is a great mini-laptop when i use the ir kb & usb mouse. However, i really want to try a clamshell model so i decided to sell it, not because i do not like it. Sad but true, student budget does not allow me to have many Z at the same time. I tried to sell my 2x5500 but could not.
I will definitely re-buy a 6000 when i have enuf money.
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