Sharp to unveil new Linux PDAs next week

Sharp Corp. will unveil at least two new PDAs based on the Linux operating system next week, the company said Thursday.

One of the new devices will be a commercial version of a model that was on show at the recent Ceatec and World PC Expo shows as a prototype, said Masaaki Takeda, a spokesperson for Sharp in Tokyo.

That device was styled similar to a notebook computer and featured a landscape display on the upper half of the body and a keyboard on the lower half. The display could also be swiveled around through 180 degrees and the case shut so that it resembles a conventional PDA. It also featured a 640 pixel by 480 pixel resolution (VGA) CG Silicon display. The latter is a Sharp-developed display technology that enables the company to double the pixel count on an LCD (liquid crystal display) over a conventional TFT (thin film transistor) LCD.

At the time, Sharp said it was targeting the PDA for launch by the end of the year.

Sharp declined to give away any additional details prior to its announcement, which is scheduled for Tuesday, however the company did say that it will be announcing at least one more PDA at the same time. “I can’t give you any details but there will be more than one (PDA),” said Takeda.

The company last launched a PDA in June this year when it unveiled the SL-A300 Zaurus for the domestic market. Equipped with the ability to run Java applets, the device is based on a 200MHz Intel Corp. XScale processor and is targeted at business users.