It’s difficult to believe that Sharp was a major player in the personal organizer business.
Heck, I can’t remember seeing Sharp’s name on anything than microwave ovens in recent years. But, this Japanese company used to own our pockets. Whether it was its Thin Man line of calculators or a wide variety of pocket organizers, they were a player…a big player.
In this story from GadgetGuru.com that also ran on MSNBC.com regarding new products from CES 1997, it shows that before the iPhone or any one of the many flavors of Android, Sharp was selling multi-function devices that did performed tasks that was for its time considered extraordinary!
LAS VEGAS — Sharp is taking its popular Zaurus pocket organizer/computer to a new level with the addition of a digital camera and an Internet web browser.
This combination of features allows users to compose and send a fax, store all your names, addresses and phone numbers, take pictures, and surf the Net all on one device. All of these can be viewed on its 5-inch color back lit screen.
The camera, which slides into the side, will enable you to capture up to 90 still images in its 2MB memory — granted, if you store that many photos, you won’t have room for anything else.
When the unit is in camera mode, the other functions temporarily disappear and allow the images to be composed and viewed on its color screen. The images can be transferred to a computer via a cable or infrared wireless transmission or e-mailed via the Internet.
This same screen also allows for full-color viewing and surfing of Internet web pages.
Although the unit has a built-in 2,400-baud data modem (9,600-baud fax transmission speed), it can accommodate a faster 33.6 PCMCIA modem ($200).
Sharp’s Color Zaurus Model No. MI-10DC is sized 6.8 inches wide by 4.1 inches high by 1.2 inches thick. It weighs 17.3 ounces and will sell for $1,200 to $1,300 when it becomes available late this year.