Small handheld computer device by Sharp thus far available only in Japan, competing with Palm, Casiopeia and other Handhelds.
The cheap price of its introductory level model MI-P10-S (more advanced models sport addons like color displays, keyboards, etc.), expandable CF memory and adequate software supply allowed me to make it my very own perfect little organizer, complete with Kanjilookup, dictionary, text reader (making it the ideal replacement of the waste of paper usually known as books), day planner and notepad. There also is an optional docking station and a MP3-Player.
As an added bonus, the Zaurus features no MicroSoft (no node here) software whatsoever ;-). Instead, the Zaurus has it's own OS.
There also is a lot of free software on the web, such as additional and more extensive dictionaries, games, etc. In fact, one of the created programs is the one that made me buy the Zaurus in the first place: A program that allows you to implement your own dictionary files. For more info on that see the link below. I almost filled up my 256 MB CF card with additional dictionaries such as Jim Breen's Edict, Ulrich Apel's Wadoku and many more by now, all viewed with ZPDView, and am quite happy with the result. Without CF card, it costs 10.000 Y, so it is quite cheap as well. I recommend it to all those looking for a decent word tank and cheap handheld notepad. However, production pf the P10 was halted recently, and only limited stocks are remaining.
UPDATE: There is now also a european version, which runs on linux, but features none of the japanese character recognition software, which made it so useful to me. It's design is based on the japanese E-21 series. The just released Japanese Linux Zaurus has gotten a lot smaller and nicer (It's really cute), but seems to be lacking power.
UPDATE Again: OK, one can't stop progress. After a visit to Akihabara's Used PDA Sofmap store, I am now the proud owner of the Japanese Zaurus model E-21, equipped with backlight, a keyboard, and an additional SD-Card slot to complement the CF-Slot. I also got myself a new 512 MB CF-Card to accomodate my expanding memory needs. This little thing also has a built in MP3-Player and earphone plug, so I can use it to read and hear music at the same time while on the road. And the use of the dictionary has improved greatly with the keyboard. One thing that does everything. I love it and recommend it fully... I will therefore probably never switch to the Linux model, especially as I want to keep on using the dictionary software.
A link for more information, especially on the new dictionary:
These models are or were available in Japan:
- Zaurus MI-P1 out of stock (OOS)
- Zaurus MI-P2 conventional dry cell batteries: No worries about recharging. OOS.
- Zaurus MI-P10 Tiny but powerful, yet cheap - unfortunately running out of stock quickly.
- Zaurus MI-J1 Large native Sharp dictionary but less working memory.
- Zaurus MI-L1 Color, keyboard, current model. Additional SD card slot.
- Zaurus MI-E1 as L1, also display backlight, multimedia (MP3 and MPEG player).
- Zaurus MI-E21 as L1, but improved user friendlyness and multimedia functions.>
- Zaurus MI-E25DC as MI-21, but with digital camera included. Latest model in the MI-Line.
- Zaurus SL-A300, Japanese Linux Zaurus, tiny, light, nice, but no keyboard.
- Zaurus SL-5000 and Zaurus SL-5500. International Linux models only available outside of Japan, thus no built in Kanji input.