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O'Reilly: The Sharp Zaurus -- A Lovely Little Computer

May 30, 2002, 03:00 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Simson Garfinkel)

" With its GNU/Linux-based operating system and applications, Sharp's new Zaurus SL-5500 palmtop computer is turning heads in the open source community. Powered by the Qtopia desktop from Trolltech (the makers of Qt), this is a handheld that's equally at home viewing Web pages with its Opera Web browser, running enterprise C++ and Java applications, or managing your contacts. For people and companies who are used to programming desktop computers, the SL-5500 provides an easy way to get those programs into your pocket and on the road.

"But while it's tempting to focus on the SL-5500's open source roots, doing so actually does a disservice to this machine. The SL-5500 is completely usable by folks who don't care that they can get at this computer's source code. For them, the real strength of the SL-5500 is not its software, but its hardware.

"The SL-5500 is the sort of PDA that James Bond would use: although it looks small and unassuming at first, each side opens up, slides away, or unfolds to reveal capabilities that are both unique and useful..."

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