Re: NTLK OT: Sharp Zaurus site (was: Re: NTLK Opinions wanted about (non-Newton) PDA site)

From: NewtonMP (
Date: Thu Aug 17 2000 - 12:44:57 CDT

> Very intriguing as well as disappointing (the section on using it with
> romaji).
> I was passingly interested in the hardware specs (CPU, clock, size and kind of
> memory, ...), which neither your site nor Sharp USA provided, though.
> Comparatively, the US Zaurus models really pale relative to your 24MB machine
> (heck, like _toys_ and _tools_!), which makes for a relatively disinterested
> picture of SHARP marketing outside Japan.
> All in all: nice website, made appetite for more info.

I did mention about the CPU a bit (it's a 120mhz RISC processor). I don't
know anything beyond that, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't use the same CPU
as any other PDA out there.

Sharp USA is, apparently, a completely different animal to Sharp Japan.
Sharp in Japan has been doing some pretty amazing things with PDAs and other
electronics (and as you no doubt know, were the manufacturers of the first
Newtons -- did they do the 2X00's as well?) Of course, most Japanese
companies have much more advanced (and expensive) products for sale in
Japan, and foreign countries often only get relatively backward, if cheaper,
technology. At least in the case of the US, I think this is partially due
to the reluctance of Americans to pay a lot for these kinds of things. Most
people won't spend more than maybe $50 on a walkman, or $99 on a portable CD
player, no matter how nice it is. That might be one reason the Newton
didn't do as well as it could have.

Some of the earlier color Zaurus models were priced similarly to the Newton
(or were more expensive) but have sold very well. Many corporations equip
large numbers of their employees with them.

The ironic thing is that, although the Zaurus has sold many times as many
machines as the Newton, there is very little in the way of third-party
software (shareware, freeware or commercial software) and few third-party
accessories. Sharp is pretty protective of their software specs, I guess,
but has fairly recently opened up and released a developers kit. Still, I
would venture to say that there might be more active developers for the
Newton than there are for the Zaurus. The flip-side of this, is that the
Zaurus comes standard with almost all of the software most people will ever

Actually, the Zaurus and the Newton are connected in many ways -- they both
came out at almost the same time (produced by the same people), and
incorporated handwriting recognition, etc. Sharp seemed to go after the
business market much more vigorously than Apple did, and that might be what
kept it alive.

I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone has, and I may add the answers
to the site as well.

NewtonTalk brought to you by:

EVOTE.COM -- the ESPN of politics on the Internet! All the players, all the news, and the hottest analysis and features (plus 'toons!) anywhere.... visit today!

Need Subscribe/Unsubscribe info?

Visit the NewtonTalk section at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Sep 01 2000 - 00:00:13 CDT