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Sharp to unveil latest Linux PDAs

Sharp is set to unveil at least two personal digital assistants (PDAa) based on the Linux operating system.

One of the devices will be a commercial version of a prototype that was seen at the recent Ceatec and World PC Expo shows, said Masaaki Takeda, a spokesman for Sharp in Tokyo.

The prototype was styled like a notebook computer and featured a landscape display on the upper half of the body and a keyboard on the lower half. The display could also be swivelled around through 180 degrees and the case shut so that it resembled a conventional PDA.

The model also featured a 640 pixel by 480 pixel resolution (VGA) CG Silicon display, a Sharp-developed technology that enables the company to double the pixel count on a liquid crystal display (LCD) over a conventional thin film transistor LCD.

Sharp declined to give away any other details before the announcement, which is scheduled for next week. However, the company did say that it would be announcing at least one more PDA at the same time.

The company last launched a PDA in June when it unveiled the SL-A300 Zaurus for the domestic market. Equipped with the ability to run Java applets, the device is based on a 200MHz Intel XScale processor and is aimed at business users.

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