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Anonymous
I've been interested in the Zaurus C860 for a little while now, and think it's an amazing jewel of technology. However, a few minor things have stopped me from getting one (just FYI, I opted for a more standard PDA, the Sony Clie TH-55/E).

In the process of looking for a personal portable electronic device, I've had an (endless?) internal debate with myself, as to what I really wanted... What I would like to know from the community here, is: with the current trend towards UPC's (e.g. the attractive Sony Vaio U70, the Sharp Muramasa CV50 ---and ignoring the vapourwares) that approach the size of PDA's like the TH-55 and the Zaurus, would each of you like to have a U70 instead of a C860 ?

Of course, it being a proper PC, putting linux on it should be a cinch, and then you'd have your PDA+laptop in one device... And of course, using the UPC with standby/hibernate mode so that it approximates the PDAs' instant-on capability.

Put it another way, everything a Zaurus can do, a similar size U70 would be able to do... and more. What do you think ?
amrein
With the form factor of the Zaurus SL-C serie (swiveling screen, small, compact, light), with its battery life and with a good keyboad why not.
And I forget about the price that shouldn't be over 999 euros.

The Z appearance is like Windows XP tablet edition laptop one. A laptop with size between a SL-C860 and a Psion S5mx and with a 6 hours battery life can easily eat the PDA market. How can it be differently?

But the U70 is not what people are waiting for.
vishnja
With 550g and no internal keyboard the Sony Vaio U70 is more like an upgrade to the old Simpad (but the Simpad has a much better batterylife).
It has nothing to do with such a small device as the Zaurus and it can't replace a laptop, if you care for the screen size. It's nice to have in addition to a PDA and a Laptop, but I bet you wouldn't use it that much as you should for that price ;-)
Zazz
I have a Sony Vaio U101, 7" screen, full keyboard, 850g, running Linux. It is a convenient size complete laptop replacement for travelling, but too big and heavy to be used as a PDA (coat pocket vs shirt pocket).
nilch
without the keyboard I dont see the U70 as that much of a value proposition - since for a device to be both a PDA and a laptop (a hybrid) it should have the keyboard - the zaurus C series big advantage is the keyboard as well as form factor and screen all in one package.

I understand there the additional keyborad, but you cant work on that without having a flat surface, whcih takes away from portabality.
And personally I dont think a full fledged OS on a small device is that much of a biggie issue since in all probability I wouldnt want (or use) all the functionalities of a full blown OS on a ultra-mini laptop - I (or many) would just want application whcih function well on the move apart from PIM functionalities (that is counted as separate).

So instead having a smallish device with better and more powerful hardware and a more adaptive and customizable software base (like PDAXROM to begin with) would be a better for such a hybrid device. Again this is only what I feel.
xarope
The U70 seems to be a "real" device from the oqo and the metapad vapourware, however as nilch et al have pointed out, without the keyboard it seems kind of useless. Instead, I refer to my recent (yesterday) experience with spending 2 hours typing emails on my zaurus c760 whilst waiting at the airport for delayed flights on both ends. Try that with a any other current PDA device on the market, which does not have a nice keyboard like the zaurus (HP LX200s notwithstanding... I said current!)
Anonymous
Thanks for all your inputs, from what I gather, for you Zaurus users, the thumbboard is a major asset in PDAs. Before I carry on, let me first clarify, those who mentioned the cost of the machine have a very valid point: I personally see PDA's should have a price range of a few hundred dollars, while something as powerful as the Zaurus is nearer to lower-end laptop prices (half a grand and up), whereas laptops are usually over a thousand dollars.

So there definitely is a difference in "bang for your buck" between something like the U70 and the C7/860.. and depending on how much one is prepared to spend, we purchase devices from one or more of those groups. Am I wrong in guessing most of you would have something like a Zaurus+laptop ? wink.gif

For my personal usage habits, I can easily write significant amounts of emails with a stylus, which I do nowadays, but the problem is that any PDA or Zaurus or non-laptop device will not be able to run specific software that I may need (e.g. Scientific Workplace, Latex -may be possible on Zaurus?-, IDL programming language, etc...). Of course, most people use Word/Excel, and there are 'compatible' devices, but absolutely no software to help me write a scientific article with greek letters and horrendous equations.. which is why I suddenly find something like the U70 quite attractive: a PDA+laptop (standard price combo), or a Zaurus+laptop (expensive combo), or UPC on its own (medium price).

I do wish all the software I used ran on the Zaurus, there all this would be a moot point... smile.gif

Thanks all.
--sett
Miami_Bob
QUOTE
(HP LX200s notwithstanding... I said current!)


Thank you, kind sir <G>.

If I can not:

- Drop it in my pocket like my wallet & keys (form factor)
- Carry it all day without having to think about it (ditto)
- Have both hands free when not using it
- Type without cramping my fingers in seconds or making tons of typos
- Use it on & off all day without the batteries going totally south (batt life)
- not worry about having my data & programs vanish in a glitch
- easily use external media for storage & transfer
- hack, pack & customize it like a "real" computer (MY way!)

then I won't be buying it.

If I had wanted a desktop, then I'd have bought a desktop.
If I had wanted a notebook, then I'd have bought a notebook.

I want true portability with power. So I bought a C860 <G>.

And I *still* have my old HP95LX & HP200LX (xwife got the 100LX - sigh)


Bob W
Miami FL
vishnja
QUOTE
For my personal usage habits, I can easily write significant amounts of emails with a stylus, which I do nowadays, but the problem is that any PDA or Zaurus or non-laptop device will not be able to run specific software that I may need (e.g. Scientific Workplace, Latex -may be possible on Zaurus?-, IDL programming language, etc...). Of course, most people use Word/Excel, and there are 'compatible' devices, but absolutely no software to help me write a scientific article with greek letters and horrendous equations.. which is why I suddenly find something like the U70 quite attractive: a PDA+laptop (standard price combo), or a Zaurus+laptop (expensive combo), or UPC on its own (medium price).



I understand that you are concerned about the price. Still, I'm convinced that such a hybrid device can't really replace neither a PDA nor a Laptop. You will miss the best parts of both worlds: the huge screen of a "real" laptop and the "pocketability" of a PDA.
My Laptop has a very good battery life, and it's "instant on", because I reboot it only when I try out a new kernel config, but I don't carry it around all day and it doesn't wake up to remind me of meetings and stuff.
In fact, I used to have a subnotebook for greater portability, but I changed it for a T40p with a 1400x1050 res on 14" display, as I'm note forced to have it with me all the time, because I have my Zaurus. So I now I can enjoy a much nicer screen for the "real work" and can use my Zaurus for inbetween (btw. some scientific stuff like R is possible on the Z).

If you are as good with the stylus as you claim (but still: a keyboard IS a nice thing on a PDA) then maybe a smaller and lighter U70 with an external display in addition to the external keyboard for your desk would be a nice solution. But with 550g I would be too lazy to carry it around all day and the price would go up significantly. Plus you would be "chained" to your desk for some serious work (and I sometimes prefer other places...)
Seems like there isn't a cheap perfect solution, but as the Zaurus is close to perfect, you could use it for a long long time ;-)

Hope, this helps,
cheers Kathrin
amrein
QUOTE
A laptop with size between a SL-C860 and a Psion S5mx and with a 6 hours battery life can easily eat the PDA market.


I should have said "size between a SL-C860 and a HP728".
Zazz
QUOTE
...but the problem is that any PDA or Zaurus or non-laptop device will not be able to run specific software that I may need (e.g. Scientific Workplace, Latex -may be possible on Zaurus?-, IDL programming language, etc...). Of course, most people use Word/Excel, and there are 'compatible' devices, but absolutely no software to help me write a scientific article with greek letters and horrendous equations...

I do wish all the software I used ran on the Zaurus, there all this would be a moot point... smile.gif


Scientific Workplace being commercial will of course not run (maybe under emulation but very slow) but text mode Latex runs perfectly. I can process a 50 page review with 20 pictures, 100 equations, 200 crossreferences in a couple of seconds. And the xdvi preview looks great and even shows the figures (via ghostscript) smile.gif. (xdvi also makes the perfect eBook reader, properly typeset (hyphenated (in your language) and justified, no other eBook reader can do that) full-screen pages in your choice of font and size, in portrait mode with the screen covering the keyboard and pgup/pgdown mapped to the outside buttons, never read so many books in years...wink.gif).

I am very close to the point where all the software I need to be productive runs on my C860. The only problem is the limited speed of the floating point emulation. Gnuplot and octave are usable (when compiled with -msoft-float) but for things like ray-tracing you need to be very patient.
aida666
As Psion 5mx user for more than 4 years now, I am very interested in the C860: better screen and communication means, improved versatility, not M$oft...I would invest in a cheap laptop to complement it (backup, possibility to work on alternative equipment in case of Zaurus breakdown or in a more comforatble way when at desk), rather than opting for an in-between solution such as the U70 (I am leaving the office every now and then, returning rather soon and will want to have all my data -agenda, customers contacts, e-mail,...-at hand during vacation or week-ends).

Question: is there an easy to implement but powerful enough database for Linux/Zaurus on the market?

Thanks
nathanwms
I personally bought the Zaurus as an extension of my laptop/desktop not a replacement. I believe this is the case with many of you. There are some tasks best suited for a laptop/desktop (big-time gaming, editing complex documents, running intensive applications [scientific, programming, etc]). I don't ever see a handheld being able to replace some activities, even if it were able to run the applications, because of the size of the screen, lack of full size keyboard, etc.

So as an extension and not a replacement, I am extremely happy with my C760. There are a few tweaks I'd like to see here and there and a greater availability of software, but overall it has exceeded my expectations.
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