Sharp ships Linux-based PDA for enterprises

A Linux-based handheld supporting enterprise applications and databases started shipping Thursday from Sharp, the company said.

The Zaurus SL-6000 is targeted mainly at corporate customers, said Deanna Davis, a Sharp spokeswoman. "It is designed be an enterprise piece as opposed to a PDA (personal digital assistant) that anyone would buy," she said.

The PDA is powered by an Intel XScale 400Mhz processor, with 64M bytes of SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), 64M bytes of flash memory and a lithium-polymer battery. It has a VGA (video graphics array) screen and an integrated speaker and microphone to record and play back conversations.

It has a built-in QWERTY thumb keyboard that can be protected by a sliding control panel. The PDA can withstand a one-meter drop, the company said.

The device supports Java, which is important for business application use, Davis said. It also supports IBM's WebSphere application server, she said. IBM and Sharp are working together to sell the product through the companies' respective channels, she said.

The US$699 SL-6000 has built-in 802.11b Wi-Fi networking and Compact Flash and SD/MMC (Secure Digital/MultiMediaCard) card slots.

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