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Sharp to update Zaurus PDA line this month

Adds Japanese-to-English translation code

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Sharp will release a third member of its series of Linux-based, clamshell-cased Zaurus PDAs later this month.

The SL-C860's unique selling point is integrated English-to-Japanese (and back again) translation software, which appears to operate across all applications. Receive a Japanese e-mail and the Zaurus will convert the text to English.

When connected to a host PC via USB, the SL-C860 acts like a memory card reader, providing the PC access to data held on CompactFlash and SD cards inserted into the PDA, Sharp said. The Zaurus can also take grabs of what's appearing on the host PC's screen.

The new model also provides MPEG 4 video playback, and has been designed to hook up to Sharp's Galileo personal video recorder.

The SL-860 is based on a 400MHz Intel XScale PXA255 processor running Metrowerks' OpenPDA embedded Linux. It contains 128MB of Flash memory - 65MB of which is available for user data - and 64MB of SDRAM. The device sports a 3.6in 640 x 480 screen which rotates so that the closed clamshell can be used like a classic pen-based PDA.

The device measures 12 x 8.3 x 2.3cm (4.7 x 3.3 x 0.9in) and weighs 250g (8.8oz) with the rechargeable 1700mAh Lithium Ion in place. Sharp claims the device will run for up to eight and a half hours on a single charge.

The SL-860 goes on sale in Japan on 27 November. Pricing information was not provided. Sharp didn't say when - or even if - the device will ship in the UK and US. ®

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