The Gadgeteer: Hands On Review: Sharp Zaurus SL-5000D

[ Thanks to Jason
for this link. ]

“The OS as it is on this developers unit is still
rough. It doesn’t feel as polished as the Pocket PC or Palm. The
main PIM apps just aren’t ready for the masses as far as I’m
concerned. They seem flat and sorely lacking in advanced features.
However, I do like the style of the interface. For Linux users, it
has that KDE look to it and is called Qtopia from Trolltech. Qtopia
is the GUI and a core set of applications which include: an Address
book, To-Do List, Appointment Calendar, E-Mail client, Opera Web
Browser, a multimedia player capable of playing MPEG1, MPEG2, and
MP3 format files, image viewer, Command Line Terminal and File
Manager, Text Editor, Calculator, City Time app, and several games,
including Asteroids, Go, Mindbreaker, Mine Hunt, Patience, Snake,
Tux and Word Game (Judie and I both loved this Scrabble clone!).

Below are some screenshots that I lifted from Trolltech’s
website. Visit it to see more.

It’s always fun to play with a new PDA, and this one was no
different in that respect. But after playing with it for several
hours, I realized that it couldn’t be my main PDA until the
software becomes a little more robust. Sure, if this device takes
off, there is going to be a large community of developers that will
rally behind it and create better applications. Right now, it has a
big appeal for hackers and Unix geeks which is great, but it
doesn’t feel like a consumer device for the average person. If this
device were running Pocket PC 2002, I would say that Sharp might
have created the next golden child of the PDA world. But since they
decided to go with Linux and Java, it makes me wonder if they will
be able to succeed. The Pocket PC is only just now gaining on Palm
in the battle of the PDA OS’s after being on the frontline for
several years now. Bringing yet another OS into the fray seems like
a mistake to me. But I will withhold my judgment until I see the
actual consumer version. I will be anxiously waiting to get my
hands on one to review.”


Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Developer Insider for top news, trends, & analysis