Sharp In Sync With New Notebooks

By Vikki Lipset

March 10, 2003

Sharp has added two laptops with integrated Wi-Fi to their Actius line: an ultraportable that syncs with a user's primary computer; and a desktop replacement model with an advanced display.

Sharp Systems of America Monday unveiled two new notebook computers with built-in wireless LAN support, and also introduced a docking cradle that allows workers to synchronize their files between their desktop and laptop computers.

The Actius MM10 is the first Sharp laptop to ship with the Sharp Connection Cradle. Combined with the SharpSync software, jointly developed with Iomega, the cradle, which connects to the primary PC via USB and doubles as a battery recharger, allows users to synchronize data between their notebook computer and their desktop computer. Once connected, the MM10 is viewed as an external hard drive, and users can select files and folders that they would like synchronize. The synch is bi-directional.

Sharp product marketing manager Terry Hanly said the laptop is intended to be a secondary PC. "It's for anyone who needs their information outside of the office -- someone who brings work home at night, sales people, people who travel It ensures that you always have the latest files on your laptop."

While the MM10 will ship with a cradle, buyers won't find the software in the box. Instead, they will have to order it via a free mail-in rebate. Cradles can also be purchased separately; pricing was not available at press time. Hanly said the cradle and software will work with any Windows 2000 or XP machine.

The $1499 MM10 features a 10.4-inch display and is a slim 2.1 lbs and .54 inches thick. According to Sharp, it's the thinnest and lightest full-featured notebook on the market. The ultraportable is powered by a 1 GHz Transmeta Crusoe TM5800 processor and includes 256 MB of memory, a 15GB hard disk. In addition to the cradle, it ships with a PCMCIA modem card, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition and integrated Wi-Fi. Sharp even throws in a free external CD-R/RW and DVD-ROM (also a mail-in rebate).

Sharp also announced the Actius RD10, which Hanly said is powerful enough to be a user's primary computer. The $2,199 laptop features a 2.8 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor, a 60GB hard drive, and a CD-R/RW & DVD-ROM drive. Like the MM10, it runs Windows XP Home Edition.

Connectivity options include built-in 802.11b; Memory Stick; SD memory card; and Smart Media and CompactFlash card slots. The laptop also includes a 1394 port and four USB 2.0-compliant ports.

The RD10's standout feature is its display, Hanly said. Sharp used an LCD monitor panel rather than a notebook display, she said, so the laptop's 15-inch XGA screen is considerably brighter than those on most notebooks. Sharp said that the RD10 provides viewing angles comparable to those of an LCD desktop monitor -- 160 degrees horizontally and 135 degrees vertically.

To fully take advantage of the display, Sharp included Nvidia's GeForce 4 420 Go graphics card with 32MB of memory, and Sharp's DVD optimization software. Hanly called the RD10 "the ultimate notebook for users who place a premium on the visual experience."

Reprinted from allNetDevices.

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