Sharp unveils Zaurus PDA with video player

Like several other PDAs on the market, the new Zaurus MI-E1 includes an MP3 player, but Sharp has gone one step further by also including an MPEG4 video player in the device.

A companion digital video recorder allows users to store up to 2 hours of MPEG4 video onto a 64MB memory card. Once recording is done, the card can be removed and inserted into the Zaurus for viewing. The technology is still in its early days -- at 10 frames per second the picture will appear jerky and the maximum resolution supported is only a quarter than of conventional television -- but this new application provides a tantalising glimpse into what future PDAs may offer users.

The new Zaurus is also the first in Sharp's line to include a keyboard. Hidden under a sliding panel beneath the machine's 3.5 inch LCD (liquid crystal display), the Qwerty keyboard is around 7cms wide, which means it needs a little practice and small fingers in order to be truly useful.

The keyboard was included to make it easier to type e-mail messages, Sharp said. Another new addition to the PDA for e-mail use is a timer that allows e-mail messages to be received automatically when the main power is switched off. An audible tone and an indicator light lets users know when new messages have been received.

The device also includes dual memory card slots -- a Secure Digital (SD) card slot for video and music data files and a Compact Flash (CF) card slot for adapters such as those needed to connect to a cellphone. It features a 3.5 inch reflective LCD with 240 x 320 pixel resolution and support for 65,536 colours.

Sharp says the built in battery provides enough power for 10 hours of normal use or 1 hour, 40 minutes of video playing when the display frontlight is switched off. This falls to around 4 hours of normal use and 85 minutes of video playing when the frontlight is switched on. The frontlight is needed to illuminate the LCD when light conditions are not sufficient to allow the screen to be seen.

The Zaurus MI-E1 will go on sale in Japan from Dec. 15 at around 50,000 yen (around $800), while the companion digital video recorder will hit the street at around the same time and carry a retail price of 35,000 yen (around $560). Sharp said it is currently studying plans for sale of the PDA outside of Japan.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?