Sharp has pre-announced a new tablet, which will incorporate two interesting screen technologies: Sharp’s own IGZO display, and Qualcomm’s Mirasol technology, referred to here as a MEMS display. By incorporating both these features, Sharp’s tablet will be the first of its kind. The Japanese firm has outlined its plans in a press release, but hasn’t given the device a name or an exact launch date.
IGZO panels are known for being energy efficient, and Sharp says they can reduce power consumption by up to ten times that of standard displays. Thanks to their unique design, IGZO screens are also highly sensitive and capable of producing strikingly colorful images. IGZO screens have been developed to work with MEMS (that’s micro-electro-mechanical systems, by the way) technology, and the two complement each other well.
The MEMS technology is incorporated into Qualcomm’s Mirasol screens. They’re are also very energy efficient, and Sharp talks about the tablet having an unusual automatic power-saving system, where the display could alternate between a basic, low-power monochrome mode and a high-res color mode, depending on ambient conditions and usage. It’s a step beyond the user-switchable power-saving systems we’ve been seeing on smartphones such as the Galaxy S5 this year.
The screen tech makes Sharp’s tablet sound very exciting, but the rest of the specs aren’t quite as inspiring. The 7-inch display will have a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, and an aging quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor will power it. Android 4.4 KitKat will be installed, which is good news, as is the inclusion of 4G LTE connectivity. The body will have two cameras, front and rear, plus the whole device will be waterproof to IPX5 and IPX7 standards.
Sharp expects to put the IGZO/MEMS tablet on sale during the first half of 2015, and despite the Sharp Aquos Crystal phone being launched in the U.S recently, there’s no guarantee it’ll make its way out of Japan.