Sharp has announced that it would launch Two Android based eBook Readers / Tablet PCs along with a new cloud-based media service business, dubbed as “GALAPAGOS”, that would provide a new user experience, while evolving to meet each customer’s changing needs with a network service and device specifically designed for the Japanese market, for now.
The first effort in this area will be an e-bookstore service that is planned to begin in December 2010 and for this two compatible tablet devices have been developed specifically as e-book readers and will be introduced at the same time.
This new e-bookstore provides an “Automatic Scheduled Delivery Service” for periodical publications that would offer most recent editions of newspapers and magazines subscribed by users, which can be delivered and read by the user’s e-book readers.
In addition, free trial versions of recommended e-book content can also be delivered to the e-book reader, letting users immediately purchase content of their favor.
Two models of the Sharp e-book readers includes: a mobile type featuring a 5.5-inch LCD screen with 1,024 × 600 pixels resolution that reads like a paperback book, and a iPad type tablet device featuring a 10.8-inch high-resolution HD LCD with 1,366 x 800 pixel resolution that allows users to enjoy magazines formatted across a two-page spread.
The GALAPAGOS Mobile type 5.5-inch eBook reader is powered by Google Android mobile operating system and would come in Red and Silver colors. The Tablet/e-Book reader also features Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g (not N) wireless LAN connectivity, web browsing and social networking capabilities in addition to potentially host of stuff Android offers.
The GALAPAGOS Mobile type 10.8-inch eBook reader model also features Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g (not N) wireless LAN connectivity along with Social networking and web browing capabilities and would be available in only Black color.
There is no option for cellular network access in both the eBook reader devices.
The cloud-based media service business, dubbed as “GALAPAGOS” is expected to go online in December 2010 and it would allow some 30,000 newspapers, magazines and ebooks for download on the Sharp e-Book reader.
Automatic Scheduled Delivery Service – for periodical publications, including newspapers and magazines. Content from the most recent editions can be read whenever desired.
- Users can receive and enjoy the most recent editions of newspapers and magazines, automatically delivered at a pre-arranged time. (Prior service registration subject to fees is required)
- The users can categorize and organize the downloaded content by categories, including “unread / recommended”, “most recently read”, “favorite”, and “scheduled delivery”.
- The free trial version of e-book content will be automatically delivered from the e-book store. Contents that the users find interesting can be purchased immediately.
- The downloaded content will be stored on an e-book, and users can enjoy the e-book content even in a place without wireless network services.
Rich graphic capabilities and easy-to-use interface that give full consideration to the book culture of Japan.
- Complies with XMDF e-book format, to support Japanese expressions such as vertical writing and ruby. When users enlarged content on previous mobile terminals, the display needed to be scrolled to see the content fully. Content complying with XMDF format enables adapting to a change of font sizes without altering the content and picture layout.
Evolution of the terminal devices with periodic software updates.
- Automatic software updates of the media tablet will enable users to enjoy not just XMDF format content, but other e-book content services also, including various software applications. Users can enjoy the evolution of terminal devices with periodic software updates.
GALAPAGOS e-Book Reader Features
- Track ball feature in the mobile type with 5.5-inch screen. Users can rotate the track ball like a PC mouse and can flip the pages with one hand.
- Sharp’s e-book application software for PC “GALAPAGOS Station” enables users to organize downloaded content on PCs. Users can mark and add comments on the e-book content.
- PC data, including documents and maps, can be converted to XMDF format, and can be viewed on the media tablet.
- Web browser will display websites for PCs on a high resolution LCD screen.
- Pre-installed social network service application enables sharing readers’ comments and e-book list with friends.
Price and Availability
The Sharp cloud-based media service business, dubbed as “GALAPAGOS” would be fee-based service and both the media service and two Android based tablet devices – the Mobile type with 5.5-inch display and a Home type featuring 10.8-inch LCD display – would be available sometime in December 2010 in Japan market. Sharp has not revealed any details on pricing of devices and service as yet.