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> The Zaurus Replacement (perhaps)
ZDevil
post May 6 2007, 01:50 PM
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QUOTE(chyang @ May 5 2007, 03:30 PM)
I really hope that Intel can closely co-operate with Sharp on the next generation Z, with their long time co-operation in Zaurus, it seems to be possible. But don't sure whether it will come to True. Since the biggest problem of current Z is what Intel's mobile internet device provides: connectivity, with it, Zaurus will be a perfect platform. 
Meanwhile, a Zaurus with x86 instruction set seems to be tempting. smile.gif
*

Now i have already grown used to using the CF slot for wireless connection.
Although the card sticks out a bit, but another way of looking at this is 1) i do not really need to have my Z stay online at all time; 2) i can use a big CF or microdrive or LAN card to do many other things; carrying an extra CF accessory around is really no big deal, especially when compared to those much bulkier UPMCs and psuedo-Z-replacements.

QUOTE(desertrat @ May 4 2007, 07:12 AM)
Anything which is not pocketable and doesn't have a decent keyboard[1] cannot be a potential Z replacement.
*

Exactly!! smile.gif

***

The current state of the UMPCs and alike (except the Sharp EM-One, which is what the dream Z should be) is:
-- Too bulky
-- Too heavy
-- Too pricey
-- Too power-hungry

I also don't see the real need for replacing Z at this point.
Don't you know that there are people using the good old Journada 720 to run Debian and NEC MobilePro to run *nix:
http://www.hpcfactor.com/forums/forums/forum-view.asp?fid=46
http://www.jlime.com/

It's interesting to see the "new" trend of UMPCs. These machines are just the evolved handheld PCs. The handheld PCs died out not because of the design concept, but only the poor implementation of the early wince platforms.
Here the Zaurus shines. I become more convinced that Z actually fits more to the category of handheld PC-like computers than a mere PDA -- also think of the pioneering design of C700 FIVE years back -- while still surviving today with a great variety of distros to choose from and living in this vibrant community.
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RobbH
post May 6 2007, 05:44 PM
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QUOTE(Meanie @ May 4 2007, 06:22 AM)
The Z is irreplacable. There is nothing out there that can even come close to the Z and why would you want to replace it with some other dodgy less feature rich device anyway? Why are some of you so eager to replace it anyway? If you want to waste your money, buy me a 6000 or 5600 smile.gif
*


Why? Because a less feature-rich device might be more attractive if it left off features that are unimportant to me while improving on the ones I care about!

I had something of an epiphany one day recently while trying to do some moderately complicated writing on my C2100*. I realized that I admire the Z greatly and treasure it, but I don't really love it. I am too often frustrated by the keyboard. It gets in the way of what I'm trying to do. Having realized that, I backed off from buying a 3200, which I was ready to do.

Of course, I haven't seen anything that compares to it yet, but I'm going to continue to look. Maybe eventually something will give me a better keyboard in a pocketable form factor. I'll be willing to sacrifice some battery life (the Z's greatest strength, imho) in order to have a better keyboard.

But until then, the Z is truly irreplaceable. I'll continue to value its many good features... and tolerate the keybaord as well as I can!


*Edit: What's a C2100, you might well ask? I wish I knew! What I meant was my C1000.
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Meanie
post May 6 2007, 07:28 PM
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QUOTE(RobbH @ May 7 2007, 11:44 AM)
QUOTE(Meanie @ May 4 2007, 06:22 AM)
The Z is irreplacable. There is nothing out there that can even come close to the Z and why would you want to replace it with some other dodgy less feature rich device anyway? Why are some of you so eager to replace it anyway? If you want to waste your money, buy me a 6000 or 5600 smile.gif
*


Why? Because a less feature-rich device might be more attractive if it left off features that are unimportant to me while improving on the ones I care about!

I had something of an epiphany one day recently while trying to do some moderately complicated writing on my C2100. I realized that I admire the Z greatly and treasure it, but I don't really love it. I am too often frustrated by the keyboard. It gets in the way of what I'm trying to do. Having realized that, I backed off from buying a 3200, which I was ready to do.

Of course, I haven't seen anything that compares to it yet, but I'm going to continue to look. Maybe eventually something will give me a better keyboard in a pocketable form factor. I'll be willing to sacrifice some battery life (the Z's greatest strength, imho) in order to have a better keyboard.

But until then, the Z is truly irreplaceable. I'll continue to value its many good features... and tolerate the keybaord as well as I can!
*




you are kidding right? the keyboard is one of the best features of the Z. It is actually usable compared to many other keyboards on small devices (or lack of keyboard in most cases)
the power of the Z keyboard is one of the reason I use my Z on a daily basis for work and other things....
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HoloVector
post May 6 2007, 07:40 PM
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QUOTE(RobbH @ May 6 2007, 07:44 PM)
QUOTE(Meanie @ May 4 2007, 06:22 AM)
The Z is irreplacable. There is nothing out there that can even come close to the Z and why would you want to replace it with some other dodgy less feature rich device anyway? Why are some of you so eager to replace it anyway? If you want to waste your money, buy me a 6000 or 5600 smile.gif
*


Why? Because a less feature-rich device might be more attractive if it left off features that are unimportant to me while improving on the ones I care about!

I had something of an epiphany one day recently while trying to do some moderately complicated writing on my C2100. I realized that I admire the Z greatly and treasure it, but I don't really love it. I am too often frustrated by the keyboard. It gets in the way of what I'm trying to do. Having realized that, I backed off from buying a 3200, which I was ready to do.

Of course, I haven't seen anything that compares to it yet, but I'm going to continue to look. Maybe eventually something will give me a better keyboard in a pocketable form factor. I'll be willing to sacrifice some battery life (the Z's greatest strength, imho) in order to have a better keyboard.

But until then, the Z is truly irreplaceable. I'll continue to value its many good features... and tolerate the keybaord as well as I can!
*




Um, have even tried the to keyboards on something like the Sony UX (either the original Clie or the VAIO) or the OQO? Those keyboards are atrocious and unfortunately are the way all the (sheep-like) manufacturers are going these days. If you want a really bad keyboard implementation take the BlackBerry. Really please take it; I can't stand the FSCKing thing!!! biggrin.gif
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Antikx
post May 7 2007, 04:43 AM
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The Tandy Model 10X's and the Psions had the best keyboards, but I like the Zaurus keyboard. Everyone likes something different I guess.
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raduga
post May 7 2007, 07:47 AM
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QUOTE(Antikx @ May 7 2007, 04:43 AM)
The Tandy Model 10X's and the Psions had the best keyboards, but I like the Zaurus keyboard. Everyone likes something different I guess.f
*


I've never had an Mx0x, but have admired them, lots.
The most comfortable handheld kb I've ever used was the Psion 5MX,
but, oddly, the Jornada 720 (though less comfortable, and rather more annoying)
gave me better accuracy and speed.

I've been far more productive with a Zaurus; despite slower speed and accuracy,
because the whole unit is small enough that I can carry it anywhere/everywhere
without a second thought-- the J720 required a few second thoughts due to its bulk

The Z's keyboard isn't "great" but it satisfies the "good enough" requirement;
probably better than any of the current generation systems will.

Its possible that a FlipStart might not be that much worse;
although the whole machine is chunky (approximate size/shape of a 3.5" HDD)
and it's built by some of the most linux-hostile people on the planet.
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RobbH
post May 7 2007, 06:15 PM
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QUOTE(Meanie @ May 7 2007, 03:28 AM)
QUOTE(RobbH @ May 7 2007, 11:44 AM)
.... I am too often frustrated by the keyboard. It gets in the way of what I'm trying to do.....
*

you are kidding right? the keyboard is one of the best features of the Z. It is actually usable compared to many other keyboards on small devices (or lack of keyboard in most cases)
the power of the Z keyboard is one of the reason I use my Z on a daily basis for work and other things....
*



No, I'm not kidding. Not at all. I don't doubt that the clamshell Zaurii have better keyboards than the competition, but that says more about the competition than it does about the Zs.

Seriously. No kidding. The more I try to do serious work with the Z, the more I'm convinced that the keyboard is a joke.

I used an HP 200LX for several years, and while I'm not going to claim that I could touch type on it, I could work faster and with fewer errors than on the Z. I never used a Psion but I've never heard anything but praise from those who used them. So I think it's clear that there have been pocketable devices with better keyboards than the Z. And I continue to hope that someone, somewhere will decide to make and market a pocketsize computer with a good, more usable keyboard.

Until then, I'll continue to use the device I have instead of the device I want. That's my trusty C1000. (Not a C2100, as I stated earlier. Where did that number come from?) Better than the competition, but still frustrating.
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cycle_55
post May 7 2007, 06:26 PM
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QUOTE(RobbH @ May 7 2007, 06:15 PM)
QUOTE(Meanie @ May 7 2007, 03:28 AM)
QUOTE(RobbH @ May 7 2007, 11:44 AM)
.... I am too often frustrated by the keyboard. It gets in the way of what I'm trying to do.....
*

you are kidding right? the keyboard is one of the best features of the Z. It is actually usable compared to many other keyboards on small devices (or lack of keyboard in most cases)
the power of the Z keyboard is one of the reason I use my Z on a daily basis for work and other things....
*



No, I'm not kidding. Not at all. I don't doubt that the clamshell Zaurii have better keyboards than the competition, but that says more about the competition than it does about the Zs.

Seriously. No kidding. The more I try to do serious work with the Z, the more I'm convinced that the keyboard is a joke.

I used an HP 200LX for several years, and while I'm not going to claim that I could touch type on it, I could work faster and with fewer errors than on the Z. I never used a Psion but I've never heard anything but praise from those who used them. So I think it's clear that there have been pocketable devices with better keyboards than the Z. And I continue to hope that someone, somewhere will decide to make and market a pocketsize computer with a good, more usable keyboard.

Until then, I'll continue to use the device I have instead of the device I want. That's my trusty C1000. (Not a C2100, as I stated earlier. Where did that number come from?) Better than the competition, but still frustrating.
*



i'm glad i'm not in the hardware business, however, i am curious what you would do to the Z keyboard to make it better....bigger....wider? it is obvious to anyone that one can not touch type on the Z so i'm not commenting on the keyboard i'm just curious smile.gif

cycle_55
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Capn_Fish
post May 7 2007, 07:03 PM
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I really like the Z's keyboard. It's the right size and it gives good tactile feedback. The Cxx00's are also quiet. Any mapping issues can be remapped.
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desertrat
post May 7 2007, 09:51 PM
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QUOTE(cycle_55 @ May 8 2007, 02:26 AM)
i'm glad i'm not in the hardware business, however, i am curious what you would do to the Z keyboard to make it better....bigger....wider? it is obvious to anyone that one can not touch type on the Z so i'm not commenting on the keyboard i'm just curious smile.gif
If I were to redesign the Z's keyboard I would:

- remove the application buttons (Calendar, Address etc) - maybe place them on the seemingly empty space to either side of the display

- remove the "joypad"

- expand all the keys so it fills all the remaining space (obviously with cursor keys and ESC to replace the "joypad"), no gaps between keys

Whilst nowhere near as good as the Psion's keyboard, the Z's as it is, is still pretty good to use.
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Da_Blitz
post May 8 2007, 04:52 AM
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actually i would add more application buttons, i use them for VT switching and love them, you might want to bind them to somthnig you find better suited to your needs (eg alt+tab alt+tab+shift)

but i too would make the keys larger, the only real problem i had with them is typing when my hands are cold but i dont think i could fit a click mechanisim in there
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kopsis
post May 8 2007, 04:59 AM
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Nice to see I'm not the only one who was never thrilled with the KB on the Z clamshells. I like the clamshell form factor for the screen protection, but I found the keyboard too big for fast thumb typing yet too small for touch typing. And with a CF WiFi card sticking out the right side, it's even worse.

In "mobile mode" (i.e. not using it at a desk) I actually think that I was slightly faster on my old SL-5500 smile.gif And if the 5500 had a 5th row with number keys and symbols it would be no contest.
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HoloVector
post May 8 2007, 06:31 AM
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While the keyboard on my Zs are not as good as the one on my Psions; I wouldn't go as far as calling it a joke. I find the keyboard quite usable even with my wifi cards in place. Then again my cards are the small foot print (Symbol and Buffalo)ones so, they don't stick out as much as some of the others (like that huge D-Link).

The funny thing is that I distinctly remember despising the 95/100/200lx's keyboard when they came out. My accuracy was atrocious on it. The bloody numeric keypad was always in the way. It was like having a D-Link wifi card sticking out the side of Zaurus and trying to use the keyboard. biggrin.gif

Unfortunately, we are in the mainly crap keyboard stage of the game right now with the Zaurus being one of the better contenders out there (and the blackbery being the worst IMHO). This is an improvement from a few years back when we were in the no physical keyboards thanks to Palm and all the manufactuers that followed them (man, those manufactuers can be sheep). dry.gif
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nilch
post May 8 2007, 06:48 AM
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Again, never used a Psion, but the Zaurus keyboard is pretty good.In fact I have been able to type in largish emails and documents and it has worked perfectly. The feedback is good and the whole feel of using it is pretty good. I don't know how anyone can call it bad (or a joke), but again to everyone his opinions.

But I do agree with Kopsis there, using the SL6000 keyboard was actually equally good while I used it (its the same style as the 5500). In fact while deciding to dump either my C1000 or SL-6000 I had a hard time deciding and the keyboard wasn't one of the factors. Ulitmately the clamshell design won me over.

Only that now with the C1000, I find more keys easily than with the 6000 keyboard and the application keys do come in handy - particulrly when on the train, and you are holding the Zaurus with one hand, then having the app keys on the keyboard (where you are holding the zaurus with) is handy to start the frequently used apps. And the wider form factor is not that inhibiting for thumb typing (maybe I have large palms).
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desertrat
post May 8 2007, 07:45 AM
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QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ May 8 2007, 12:52 PM)
actually i would add more application buttons, i use them for VT switching and love them, you might want to bind them to somthnig you find better suited to your needs (eg alt+tab alt+tab+shift)
Don't get me wrong, I like the application keys, its just that they should be moved somewhere else so the main keyboard can have as much space as possible.

QUOTE(HoloVector @ May 8 2007, 02:31 PM)
This is an improvement from a few years back when we were in the no physical keyboards thanks to Palm and all the manufactuers that followed them (man, those manufactuers can be sheep).  dry.gif
If only Psion did a better job of marketing and storming the North American market and beating Palm to a pulp before it got too big for its boots. Whilst Psion had the European market wrapped up, somehow the people across the pond were entranced by the technologically backward Palm. The first Palms had like 160x160 display? Damn, even my "Game & Watch" had a better display smile.gif
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