Sharp Official Support: Windows PC 98, 2000, ME, XP
Unofficial Support: Mac OSX file transfers thru free 3rd party OSX
USB Driver or storage cards, possible sync support in future thru 3rd party
The recently released in Japan Sharp Zaurus SL-C760 is the current top of the
line in the Zaurus line. Sharp also released a Zaurus SL-C750 that is the same
basic design with less memory, smaller battery, and black color casing around
the display (instead of white as on the C760).
The SL-C760 has several things going for it that make this the best PDA I’ve
ever had and I’ve had lots! This includes several Newtons, some WinCE HPC’s,
several PPC’s, Palms, Handsprings, and in the past 2 years, several Sony Clies.
The SL-C760 has much more going for it than yet another PDA hitting the already
crowded PDA market. Rather, you should think of it as more of a mini-computer
than a regular PDA. It has the usual PDA functions; calendar, contacts, ToDo
List, text editor, and calculator apps. So, if all you want is to use it as a
PDA, you can do that and be fairly happy with it. Although, if all you want is a
device to store calendar and contact info, you’re probably better off buying a
PDA made for the USA market.
If you just use the C760 for basic PDA stuff, you’ll be missing out on some of
the more advanced, powerful, and unique features of the SL-C760.
What makes the SL-C760 (and its siblings the SL-C750, SL-C700, SL-5600 and
SL-5500) unique from other PDA’s on
the market is the use of Linux, the open source based OS, called Linux OpenPDA.
This is basically the same Linux that is used to run desktop and laptop
computers with some modifications to allow for the smaller display and memory
You can access or use Linux commands on the C760 by running the Terminal app.
Running Terminal you can type in Linux commands at a command line prompt. This
allows you to run your C760 from the Terminal, modify or install new custom
ROM’s, or other geeky stuff like Telneting into another computer, and even write
software code and compile it on the C760!
Also, the use of Linux means that the Zaurus has become an attractive platform
for the Linux development community. So I soon became aware there is a lot of
third party software out there for the Zaurus. Since the C7xx series is
relatively new there isn’t as much software that is specifically written with it
in mind. However, I’ve found that most of the 5500/5600 series software will run
on the C7xx series.
One of the largest third party Zaurus software developers,
theKompany.com has already released C7xx
versions of most of their apps.
Unlike previous models (5500/5600) you need to install the Terminal program from
the supplied CD. This is a must if you’re going to convert the C760 to English
yourself. See the section titled ‘Warning!’ later on in this review for more
OS Linux OpenPDA
CPU Intel Xscale PXA255, 400 Mhz
Memory 128 MB flash memory (64 MB on C750)
±65 MB available due to included Japanese Dictionary*
64 MB SDRAM (work area)
Display VGA 640 x 480 pixels, 3.75 inch, 65536 colors, transmissive LCD with
backlight and touchscreen
Connectors I/O port
Stereo headphone jack (3.5 mm)
IrDA, 115 kbps
AC power adapter jack
Card Slots (1) SD slot (memory card only) (1) CF Type II slot (memory cards and
Input Keyboard (individual keys), handwriting recognition, on-screen keyboard,
Japanese character input
Battery Removable, Lithium-ion rechargeable 3.7 V DC, 1700 mA (950 mA on C750)
AC Power 100V, 50/60 Hz, plug w/folding prongs for travel
Size Approx. 4.7” x 3.3” x 0.9” (C750 is 0.7” thick due to smaller battery)
Weight Approx. 8.8 oz. (C750 approx. 7.9 oz.)
*Should be able to reclaim that memory by modifying ROM file to delete the
What’s In The Box
Sharp Zaurus SL-C760 Personal Mobile Tool
AC Power Cord (no power brick!) with folding prongs
USB Sync Cable
Sharp Zaurus CD
Small Battery Cover
Zaurus SL-C760 & USB Cable not shown in photo
Portrait (PDA) Mode Landscape (Laptop) Mode
FORM & DESIGN
The form and design of the C760 is unique and has obviously inspired the
recently announced Sony Clie UX40/50 line. However, in my opinion, the C760
takes better advantage of its form than the new Sony’s. The C760 has a clamshell
design with a flip and twist design similar to some of the recent Tablet PC’s.
This allows you the flexibility to use the C760 in several ways.
First, you can open it up and use it like a little laptop with landscape display
and keyboard. Or you can use it like a typical Palm or Pocket PC by opening up
the C760 and doing the ‘flip and twist’ motion and then folding it back against
the keyboard half. The C760 automatically senses the change and shows a portrait
display. In this mode, the silk-screened buttons (Calendar app, Contacts app,
Email app, Home window) at the bottom of the display are useful for tapping on
with your stylus.
If you twist and flip the screen back to ‘laptop mode’ the C760 senses the
change and automatically rotates the display back to landscape mode.
In portrait mode, you can input text either using handwriting mode or by tapping
on letters on an on-screen keyboard. There’s a jog wheel and a chrome rocker
switch next to it that you can use for one-handed operation. For example, use
the jog wheel to scroll through text in an ebook or items in a list and then
click on the rocker switch to open the selected item. You can also use the
rocker switch to exit an open file or exit an app.
SL-C760 Closed and Backside view with large battery cover, battery cover
release switch, CF card slot at top
In comparison, from what I’ve read online, the new Clie UX40/50 you can flip the
screen back to use a table style PDA but unlike the C760 the screen stays in
One of the nice things with this type of design is that when the C760 is closed
the display and keyboard are protected.
The size, shape, and weight is very good and the C760 feels just right in my
hands (not real big). Also, it fits in most of my shirt pockets if you want to
carry it without a case.
The C760 has a simple elegant look about it due the use of the crisp white color
with silver hinge and band around the keyboard.
Left Side, Right Side
The right side of the C760 has the stylus slot, the CF card slot (with
plastic removable plug), and the headphone/mic jack. The left side has the
connector slot with plastic removable plug) for the USB cable.
The back side (where the hinge is) has the chrome On/Off button, the black
plastic jog wheel, the OK/Cancel rocker switch above the jog wheel, Irda port,
SD card slot, and the AC power jack.
The stylus that comes with the C760 is a typical plastic stylus. Nothing to
write home about.
So instead I’m using a metal barrelled Pilot Pentopia collapsing stylus with
ballpoint pen hidden under the top cap. It fits perfectly in the stylus slot.
One of the great features of the C760 is that it has both CF and SD card slots.
This allows you the flexibility to use either CF or SD storage cards or a CF
WiFi card and a SD storage card at the same time.
One interesting aspect to the C760 design is that since its form is like a
laptop that sits on your desk there is no need for a cradle. The USB cable just
plugs into the C760 and the other end into your computer. So one less thing to
take or lose on a trip!
SL-C760 with Sync cable-WiFi Card – CF Card Slot Plug – Optional CF Card
Some other good things about the design is that the AC power cord has no bulky
‘power brick’ on it and the end that plugs into the power outlet has folding
metal prongs. Both of these design features make the C760 that much better in
Another plus is the use of a removable battery. The C760 comes with a fairly
beefy (power-wise) 1700 mA battery while the C50 comes with a slightly smaller
950 mA battery. Either battery may be used on each of the C760/750.
If you use the smaller battery on the C760 then you remove the white plastic
bottom cover and just use the included smaller battery cover. This reduces the
thickness of the C760 a bit.
While I haven’t done any specific tests on the battery, I can say that the large
battery feels like it has adequate power to last through a day or two of fairly
heavy use before needing recharging.
Recharging goes pretty quickly, maybe an hour or two to top off the battery.
The C760 comes with plenty of memory, 128 MB flash memory, with about 65 MB
available due to Japanese dictionary, and another 64MB of user accessible RAM.
On top of all this you can have more memory with CF and SD cards, You can even
run apps from the cards if you format the cards properly.
The 400 Mhz Xscale processor is quite peppy in normal use. It takes about a
second or two for apps to open up after tapping on their icon.
One great feature is the ability to have multiple programs open at the same
time. This can be a real productivity booster.
One of the most pleasing things about the C760 is the wonderful, bright, clear,
sharp, and colorful display. The resolution is extremely good and looking at
photos on the C760 is a real joy.
The only downside to the display is that is dim if you are out in the sun. Other
than this, it is about the best PDA display I’ve had.
The touchscreen works very well and easy to write on. The display is smooth like
clear glass. You do feel the screen depress just a tiny bit when you tap on it.
The keyboard is surprisingly good for such a little device. The individual
keys are nicely spaced apart and have a good tactile feel to them with a little
click sound when pressed.
There is a row along the top for number keys and a backspace key. In the
lower right area there is an inverted ‘T’ grouping of arrow keys. In the lower
left area there 4 keys; one for the Calendar, Address, Mail apps, and the Home
window. In the middle under the spacebar key are ‘Cancel’ and ‘OK’ keys.
Since the keyboard is small there is a function ‘Fn’ key that when pressed in
combination with other keys gives you other symbols, characters, and functions
like ‘cut’, ‘copy’, and ‘paste’.
The keyboard is too small for real touch-typing unless you really have tiny
fingers, I’ve found that you can either do the old ‘hunt & peck’ approach with
your 2 index fingers or if you hold the C760 in your hands you can use the
keyboard as a thumb-board, typing with your 2 thumbs.
As the C760 was designed for the Japanese market there are a few keys that have
Japanese characters on them. But all in all, it looks like a English keyboard.
The exterior of the C760 is nicely finished and looks and feels like a quality
unit. The casing around the display half appears to be a painted metal (white)
and the other half with the keyboard/battery/slots appears to be a combination
of silver (painted?) plastic with a white plastic on the bottom that covers the
battery. The white plastic cover has a sliding lock/unlock switch on the bottom
that allows you remove the cover to get to the battery or used as part of the
soft or hard reset process if needed.
The display half of the unit feels very sturdy and I’ve not noticed any creaking
noises in opening or doing the ‘flip & twist’ motion.
The screen hinge is very good, smooth acting and feels very solid. Unlike most
full-size laptops that latch shut, the C760 has a spring-loaded hinge and closes
securely that way.
There are 2 LED indicator lights near one end of the hinge. One LED lights when
the AC power cord is plugged in to show that the battery is charging. Not 100%
sure about the other light, but it has an envelope icon next to it, so it might
relate to email?
One very pleasant surprise compared to some other PDA platforms I’ve had is the
ease of setting up for WiFi use. According to some of the Zaurus websites that
are tracking compatibility of WiFi and storage cards, a lot of the commonly
available WiFi cards will work out of the box with the C760.
I found that the D-Link Air DCF-660W CF WiFi card was automatically recognized
by my C760. I did not need to install any software drivers!
In the Network app there is a network connection ‘setup wizard’ button, but
unfortunately, that opened up a window in Japanese. So, instead I used the setup
a ‘New’ connection button and filled in the needed info and soon I was connected
to my Apple AirPort wireless network and surfing away!
Well, enough about hardware, onto software…..
Software Included In ROM
The included software is organized into several groupings using tabs. I think
most of you PDA users reading this will be able to figure out what most of the
apps listed below do. So I’ll only add some notes to those you might not know.
One interesting thing is that when I’ve added new programs they put themselves
in the right tab automatically.
In the Applications tab there are the following apps:
NetFront v3.0 (web browser)
HancomSheet (spreadsheet/MS Excel )
HancomWord (word processing/MS Word)
Presentation (MS PowerPoint files)
ImagePad (photo viewer)
In the Settings tab there are the following apps:
Light & Power
3rd Party AddressBook by theKompany.com replaces Contacts program
The photo above shows the Contacts replacement app by theKompany.com. Since it
replaces the Contacts app I can’t show you a photo of that app.
Likewise, I use the theKompany.com’s Calendar program so the photo below is of
that instead of Sharp’s Calendar app.
Week view shown – Other views available
Another way to access programs is similar to the Start pop-up menu in Windows
Hancom MobileSheet – Excel compatible spreadsheet program included
Terminal app for the Linux geeks out there
Optional Programs Installed by User from CD
Qtopia Desktop (Windows PC sync app – Japanese – sync w/ Outlook or Palm
BackupRestore (Windows PC backup & restore app- English version available*)
FileManager (Windows Pc file transfer app – English version available*)
*English version available by downloading apps for US market Zaurus models
SL5500-5600 from Sharp.
This is not your typical PDA!
The SL-C760 (& C750) are NOT manufactured for sale outside of Japan. This a
JAPANESE MARKET unit! Therefore, one needs to understand and accept what this
means if you’re going to be a happy camper with the C760.
Since this is a JAPANESE MARKET model, it operates out of the box in JAPANESE!
So unless you want a Japanese language PDA, you need to either convert it to run
in English or buy one already converted for you.
Fortunately, it is possible to buy a SL-C760 already converted to English
The other non-recommended option for most users is to buy it directly from Japan
(Conics.net is where I got mine) and convert it your self. However, unless you
have advanced computer skills, preferably knowledge of Unix/Linux, config files,
and using a terminal app, I’d strongly recommend that you pay the extra dollars
and buy it already converted from Dynamism.
While it is tempting to try and save some money, I can tell you from personal
experience it isn’t worth the hassle or potential of creating a very expensive
doorstop if you screw it up badly!
Also, you if you buy one from overseas, you need to verify the warranty
situation. For example, if I need warranty service, I’ll need to send my C760
back to Conics.net in Japan. While with Dynamism, they will try to service at
their US facility first, if needed they will ship to Japan for you and send it
back to you.
All in all, this is great PDA or mini computer depending on how you want to look
at it or use it!
The C760 does pretty much everything you’d want to do with a PDA. There is also
a surprising amount of good 3rd party apps if you want more features than what
comes with the Zaurus. Although as noted, it comes with a pretty extensive set
Also, there is a fairly large Zaurus user community out there (due to the US
market models SL5500/5600), once you start looking around for it. While they’re
different designs, there’s still a lot of similarity so I’ve gotten a lot of
good input from various Zaurus users. Check out zaurususergroup.com if you are
interested for starters.
For me the ability to use it like a little laptop or a traditional ‘palm-like’
PDA is great and I’ve really enjoyed using my C760 for the past month and a
half. Like any PDA there’s a few issues with it but nothing that critical for
There has been talk that Sharp may release models like this in the US but
nothing definite has ever been announced. One can only hope that Sharp will
realize that there is a market in the US for a powerful device like this and
release an English version soon!
In the meantime, if you want a powerful little mini-computer that will fit in
most shirt pockets this is the one!
$799.00 C760 (Dynamism, converted to English)
$699.00 C750 (Dynamism, converted to English)
$599.00 C700 (Dynamism, converted to English)
Very good performance
Lots of internal memory
SD and CF slots
Great vivid color screen indoors
Lots of included programs
User replaceable battery
Linux based, so can be used like laptop computer
Multiple apps can be open at one time
Japanese Market Model
Screen dim outdoors
No official Mac support