Sharp brings Zaurus story to a close after 15 years

Zaurus, Sharp's long-running lineup of linux-based PDAs, is no more. Akihabara News reports that "if you happen to own one, you're now the proud owner of a collector piece." Originating in 1993–and briefly offered in the U.S. in the early 2000s–the last model had a 416MHz CPU and a 6GB hard drive. Once a hugely successful device, the market's become flooded with fiddly open-ish devices that don't quite do enough useful things to justify themselves. But I still love the "minuscule laptop" form factor: phones like the Env don't quite capture it. Bye Bye Zaurus ! Sharp officially discontinue its Linux PDA. [Akihabara News]

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8 Responses to Sharp brings Zaurus story to a close after 15 years

  1. gabrielm says:

    Very sad…

    In 2004, I was in preparation to go backpacking for 6 months and decided that I needed a super small device that could be used to write journals, edit photos, and send email.

    Now kids… this was in the days before the iphone. So, there was only one good option. I ordered a Zaurus C860 from Japan, converted it to English, and wrote a handful of drivers to make the WiFi and Cell connection work. Even with all the hacking, the little beast far exceeded my expectations.

    One of my favorite moments was surfing the web while relaxing at the summit of Mt. Whitney.

  2. Rob Beschizza says:

    I had one, too! The 5500.

  3. tetron says:

    The Zaurus was cool. I had a 5500 and later a C760. My feeling was always that the hardware was really nice but the software was immature, and I never had the time/inclination to devote to filling in the gaps. Today I have the T-Mobile G1 which is similar form factor to the clamshell Zaurii but is far more functional…

  4. 23 says:

    I still want one of these, and the price still hasn’t dropped in three or four years. Meh.

  5. mtellers says:

    I hate to be a spoiled youngling as you mourn the loss of what appears to have been a pretty cool device, but I have to admit I would be pleased if the t9 on my cell phone would stop suggesting Zaurus everytime I type Watsup.

    I’m sorry I’m so uselessly shallow.

  6. Simon Greenwood says:

    The Zaurus had a certain popularity among hackers here at least – there’s very little about a palmtop machine with a full Linux install that’s not to like. They were fairly easy to get hold of as well – about £300 to import from Japan. The Nokia N8x0 series has supplanted it a bit but there’s still an active community around it.

  7. pelrun says:

    The Z’s have been sort-of discontinued for a couple of years now, although Sharp just kept quietly churning out a new batch of C3200’s every so often regardless.

    I love mine, although I’m rarely far from a desktop so it hasn’t been used nearly as much as it deserved. It’s also somewhat underpowered for the sort of things I’d like to do these days; I’m hoping the Pandora will serve as a worthy successor.

  8. Joel Johnson says:

    I had intense, intense love for these for years. When I got my first one it was quite a disappointment, if only because I didn’t know how to write any decent applications for it. I barely used it after that.

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