Yenra : Handhelds : Zaurus Handheld : Portable Linux-based data terminal with full VGA screen, extensive wireless options, and remote connectivity to applications and databases

Zaurus Handheld

Companies challenged with increasing mobile employee productivity will welcome the new Sharp Zaurus model SL-6000, the first handheld mobile data terminal that features the industry's first four-inch full native VGA screen allowing mobile users to view crystal clear data and images, previously limited to PCs, a powerful yet flexible Linux operating system and Java environment easily tailored for business application use, and a stylish yet durable case that can withstand a drop from one meter above the ground - without sustaining damage.

"The Zaurus SL-6000 has been designed specifically to help corporations connect mobile users seamlessly to critical data," said Steve Petix, associate vice president, Sharp Solutions Division. "It can be easily customized to fit any business' needs with its expandable, flexible hardware and software. The Zaurus mobile data terminal is the only business tool with a full VGA (640 x 480) screen that is portable like a PDA but can display business critical applications with the clarity you would normally expect from a device the size of a laptop."

Corporate users will find the SL-6000 can easily support enterprise applications and databases, making it practical to not only collect data remotely but to also view critical information locked into back-end corporate servers. For fast wireless access to corporate data, the Zaurus SL-6000 has built-in 802.11b network capability. It includes extensive protected flash memory, a built-in, sliding QWERTY keyboard and is readily expandable with both Compact Flash and SD expansion slots. The SL-6000 also has an optional expansion jacket, with additional battery and CF slot giving customers the flexibility to tailor the device to a company's specific needs.

A business that has been able to realize a significant return on investment by using the Zaurus personal mobile terminal is CSX Transportation, which provides rail transportation services over the largest rail network in the eastern United States. The company needed a mobile solution to eliminate the massive amount of paperwork and manual labor required for documenting ongoing federally mandated signal tests. CSXT worked with leading transportation application service provider, 10East, to develop a solution to keep the trains moving safely and efficiently.

"We found that our employees were spending a significant amount of time filling out and filing paperwork with a dated paper-based system. To help our signal maintenance forces file reports as they inspect the signal system, we wanted to implement a mobile solution that was simple and intuitive," said Craig King, Assistant Chief Engineer of Signal Maintenance, CSXT. "With the 10East Mobile Business Platform, the RailDOCS business application suite, and Sharp's Zaurus handheld, we now report electronically. This enables system-wide automated management reporting to support timely, fact-based decision-making. Text messaging enables better communication with and among our signal maintenance forces. The Zaurus is also the perfect tool for interrogating and troubleshooting the vital electronic signaling equipment that keeps our railroad safe and operating efficiently. We can now see the Zaurus has the capability to do much, much more. We are already working to expand its role in providing material logistics, labor reporting, asset management, and numerous other applications. And the beauty of it is, as we leverage our investment in the hardware through adding new features, we continue to increase the ROI of our mobile business strategy."

10East is building a complete business intelligence suite for the rail industry, built upon their powerful Mobile Business Platform. "We have found the Zaurus products to be tough and dependable. They meet the rigors of our demanding environment," said Mike Wilson, Vice President, 10East. "It's not practical for our customers to lug around a bulky, bloated laptop to get their work done. The SL-6000's form factor, durable case, bright screen, expandability, and built in wireless capabilities make it ideal for our railroad customers. It is simply the most capable mobile tool we have found."

Sharp is working with IBM to develop mobile field-force solutions for the Zaurus customizable, mobile data terminal. These solutions take advantage of the growing industry movement supporting the product's Linux and Java platform, which offers a robust yet flexible development environment for businesses to port their software to the Zaurus and connect mobile workers to the corporate network.

The Zaurus enterprise handheld, running WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager software, will allow mobile employees to securely roam, enjoying high-speed access to information seamlessly across multiple networks without interrupting Web connections or losing an existing session. Running WebSphere Everyplace Access software on the Linux-based device, remote workers will be able to access Web applications like Lotus Notes or Outlook based PIM and e-mail, and also be able to retrieve information from IBM's DB2 database software. The Sharp Zaurus also supports IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Multimodal Environment for Embedix, which allows end users to run voice command based applications.

Connecting the Zaurus wirelessly to the corporate network is now easier than ever with a built-in 802.11b connection. Users can also choose to maintain their connection outside a corporate LAN by using an optional high-speed 1xRTT service through a Compact Flash card solution offered by Sprint.

In addition to a Compact Flash slot, the Zaurus SL-6000 has a SD/MMC slot and an expandability jacket with an additional Compact Flash slot and battery. By using an expansion jacket, corporate users can actively update a server through a wireless connection over 1xRTT network service while scanning barcodes with an optional barcode module plugged into the expansion jacket. These innovative features can help make mobile workers more productive then their colleagues who are hardwired to a network.

Mobile enterprise workers - and CIOs - will appreciate the heavy-duty Zaurus SL-6000. It withstands rigorous field force use because its durable case design protects the unit and its screen, which has been designed to survive a drop from up to a meter above the ground.

The SL-6000 is one of the first products to include Sharp's proprietary CG Silicon view screen. This unique display provides the user with extremely high resolution viewing of both moving and still images. In addition, CG Silicon screens optimize the properties of both transmissive and reflective modes, providing outstanding resolution and clarity under virtually any lighting condition, even bright sunlight.

Users will appreciate the larger screen to quickly view content on the go. The SL-6000 makes Web page and spreadsheet viewing easier by switching from portrait to "VGA landscape" view at the touch of a button. It has a crystal-clear four-inch transmissive and reflective high-density TFT LCD screen. This larger CG Silicon VGA display with 640x480 resolution shows up to four times the information the average handheld product with a 320x240 resolution can display.

The feature-packed Zaurus SL-6000 can be used as a laptop replacement to access corporate applications. It has 64MB of protected flash memory and 64MB of SDRAM, a high-powered Intel XScale 400MHz processor and extra long battery life with a rechargeable, replaceable 1500 mAh Lithium polymer battery, supporting typical business use. Power users with needs spanning more than the average business day can use the supplemental battery-equipped expansion jacket.

The enterprise user with a data intense workload will appreciate the Zaurus' effortless typing capability, thanks to a built-in QWERTY keyboard with an innovative sliding protective control panel cover. Corporate customers can customize the SL-6000 to include a 10-key number pad sliding cover. Like laptops, it can run several applications simultaneously with a true multi-tasking 32-bit operating system. For example, a user can view mission-critical data while e-mailing or while Web pages are being downloaded. It also has an integrated speaker and microphone to record and play back conversations.

The corporate-solutions-ready unit is available now for a manufacturer's suggested list price of $699.99 through select value added and corporate resellers.