Sharp announces Galapagos e-reading tablets, or are they just lower end tablet PCs?

by Shayne Rana

Sharp has completely skipped out on the whole Tablet PC bit and gone straight to an eBook reader. Their new Galapagos e-reading tablets are due to hit stores in December of this year and they’ve got two models available. One comes with a 5.5-inch LCD screen that sports a 1024 x 600 resolution while the second much larger with a 10.8-inch display featuring a 1366 x 800 pixel resolution. They also feature a track ball for navigation. Users can rotate the track ball like a PC mouse and can flip the pages with one hand. Both these devices are loaded with Wi-Fi and for now are heading to the Japanese market with no word on them making to any other areas. Their new e-bookstore provides an “Automatic Scheduled Delivery Service” (fee-based service) for periodical publications.

The Home model i.e. the one with the 10.8-inch display is handy for reading digital magazines and such while the smaller one is more of a mobile version. Sharp’s e-book application software for PC called the ‘GALAPAGOS Station’ enables you to organize downloaded content on your PCs. You can mark and add comments on the e-book content if you so desire. Other PC data, including documents and maps, can be converted to XMDF format, and can be viewed on the media tablet. It also has a Web browser that can display websites for PCs. Lastly, they come with pre-installed social network service application that allow you to share readers’ comments and e-book lists with friends. So far though, the prices haven’t been mentioned.

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