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[] Sharp Zaurus Deal Discovered!!!!!

On Tuesday 18 March 2003 08:30 am, Mark J. Dulcey wrote:
> Duane Morin wrote:
> > I would be seriously leery of that deal.  Note that it does not say that
> > they're referring to the 5600 anyplace, and the one in the picture looks
> > almost exactly like a 5500 with some sort of adapter on the bottom.  The

Not true.  See this page:,1151,1027,00.html?:0:1

The button in the middle of the joypad on the 5600 is black, and silver on the 
5500.  So the HSN ad is the 5500.  It's a steal, in my book.  I shopped 
around for weeks and bought mine months ago for $320.  The adapter on the 
bottom is the docking station.

> > only distinguishing feature that I could tell is when they kept saying
> > 64M memory -- but you could argue that the original Zaurus had 64, too,
> > it was just partitioned differently.

In fact, the 5500 has 96MB total (32MB SDRAM + 64MB flash), to 80MB total 
(64MB SDRAM + 16MB Flash) in the 5600.

> > I think the 5600 runs significantly faster than the 5500, but there's no
> > mention of that selling point on the page.

That's because it's the 5500.  But keep in mind that in the high-end PDA 
world, more processing power is not always good.  Faster chips burn more 
power and create more heat.

> So far as I can tell, the 5500 and the 5600 look exactly alike - the
> changes are all internal. The 5600 has the new 400 MHz XScale processor in
> place of the 206 MHz StrongARM in the 5500, so it should be about twice as
> fast. You can't tell which model HSN is offering just by looking at the
> picture.

The 5600 has a battery that has almost twice the capacity, but the runtime is 
about the same from what I hear.  So now you're carrying around a heavier 
hotter PDA, just so apps launch a little faster.  

The battery pack is very small (a little bigger than a matchbook).  So for 
$50, get a second battery pack and get the best of both worlds for $150 or so 

Another consideration is that Linux on the StrongARM is a much more proven 
pairing than Linux on the XScale, so apps may port easier to the 5500.

> The amount of memory isn't all that important, since the thing has CF and
> SD memory slots. Flash memory is cheap; you can buy a 256MB CF card for $50
> (after rebate) from Tiger right now. The 5500 specs claim 64MB SDRAM and
> 16MB flash ROM. The 5600 claims 32MB SDRAM and 64MB "protected flash".

It's better than that.  One of the killer hardware features that sold me on 
the Zaurus is that it has both an SD slot and a CF slot.  That means you can 
buy a big honkin' SD card and load up all your programs and data on it, 
leaving the CF slot free for network cards, the camera, removable memory, 
GPS, whatever.  To get an IPAQ model with that you have to drop about $650.

If you use the ROM, you can change the partitioning 
of the Flash ROM in the 5500.  There's one setting to use ALL 64MB for 
running programs, and you use your SD card for all storage.

> The "adapter" in the picture on HSN appears to be the docking cradle. They
> show it with the keyboard closed.

Yup.  You cannot open the keyboard with the unit in the cradle.

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