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Sharp Galapagos

We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.

As of July 2011, there isn’t a lot of information on the Sharp Galapagos tablet. From what is out there the 10.8 inch LCD touchscreen tablet should be similar to most other tablets on the market. This means it should have WiFi, Bluetooth, and at least 3G connectivity. Sharp also seems to be promoting it as a high-end e-reader for books, magazines, and newspapers that happens to play music, videos, and play games. It will come with a micro SD card slot to expand the memory and add e-books to the tablet. We’ll provide more information on this tablet as it comes out.

Features List:

– 10.8 inch screen

– Mirco SD card slot

– E-reader

– E-media player

Press Release

01/06/2011

LAS VEGAS, NV, January 6, 2011

  • “Automatic Scheduled Delivery Service” (fee-based) for periodical publications allows consumers to enjoy the most updated newspapers and magazines.

  • Sharp’s proprietary XMDF (ever-eXtending Mobile Document Format) enables new e-reading experiences via its rich content and intuitive user interface.
  • Periodic software updates make E-media tablet future-proof.

Sharp Electronics Corporation is showcasing its GALAPAGOS e-media tablet and cloud-based bookstore service at CES 2011. Utilizing its proprietary XMDF (ever-eXtending Mobile Document Format), GALAPAGOS will present an enhanced e-reading experience to consumers by providing rich content, an intuitive user interface and periodic software updates. GALAPAGOS e-media tablet and e-bookstore service will offer consumers wide access to e-books, movies, games, and music. An optional Automated Scheduled Delivery Service will deliver the most updated newspapers and magazines to the user’s “door” wherever a wireless connection is available. Featuring a 16:9 format touch-screen LCD and rich graphic capabilities, Sharp’s newly-developed and optimally-adapted GALAPAGOS e-media tablet is a dynamic portal to an array of e-print and multimedia content over wireless networks.

“Sharp brings several distinct advantages to this entry into the fast-growing tablet market with GALAPAGOS, including our versatile XMDF content format and our category leadership in both LCD and smartphones,” said Bob Scaglione, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Sharp Electronics Corporation. “More than a powerful stand-alone device, GALAPAGOS’s connectivity features enhance the performance and flexibility of key products that are already a part of consumers’ digital lifestyles. GALAPAGOS extends beyond entertainment to provide consumers with information and resources they can use to better manage their lives.”

Users will have the option of browsing content free-of-charge before purchasing and having it automatically delivered to the tablet. All downloaded content is stored on the micro SD card, so users can enjoy reading e-books even in locations without Wi-Fi.

Rich Contents E-Reading Experience Powered By XMDF Format
CES visitors are invited to experience the GALAPAGOS e-media tablet and e-bookstore service currently available in Japan at Sharp’s booth (Central Hall, #11018) via hands-on demonstrations of the rich content capabilities enabled by Sharp’s proprietary XMDF format. Sharp’s XMDF enables easy viewing of digital content and allows a variety of layouts to meet users’ preferences. Additionally, Sharp will offer an extensive selection of publications in the e-Pub format, the most widely used in the U.S.

As development continues, Sharp plans to add new content categories such as video and e-commerce and enhanced connectivity between the media tablet and devices including AQUOS® LCD TVs and smartphones. All content viewed on the tablet will be able to be shared with large-size high definition AQUOS TVs, and users will be able to remotely control content from the tablet. Future plans also include home control, education, medical and e-commerce applications.

For more information on the Sharp GALAPAGOS tablet and e-bookstore, contact Sharp Electronics Corporation, Sharp Plaza, Mahwah, NJ, 07495-1163, or call 800-BE-SHARP.

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Digital Trend’s Tablet Buying Tips:

Wi-Fi or 3G?

Internet access is vital to tablets. As cool as these gadgets are, without the Internet, they can’t do much of anything.

Though Wi-Fi versions of most tablets are available, getting an always-on 3G connection is expensive. On most carriers, 3G access will run you about $30 a month for 5GB of “unlimited” data. On a tablet, it isn’t difficult to download 5GB of images, audio, and video from the Web in a month. AT&T is worse, offering only 2GB of data for $25 a month. Some carriers are even offering a $200 discount on the Samsung Galaxy Tab if you sign a two-year 3G contract. Before signing up for a plan like this, ask yourself if the $200 savings is worth the cumulative $720+ you’ll pay while locked into contract. Two years is a long time, especially in the tablet market.

What Operating System should I use?

It’s very important to choose an operating system that is easy to use and intuitive for you. Currently, the two dominant platforms are Apple iOS, which powers the iPad, and Google Android, which powers most of the non-Apple tablets. Fans from each camp could go on for pages about either OS, but the decision boils down to several key differences. Android has a number of exclusive features like Flash streaming support and home-screen widgets, but the iOS is generally a more stable and slick experience with more available apps. Mac or iTunes users will find iOS more accessible, while geeks and tinkerers will enjoy some of the freedoms Android offers.

Apps

Apple’s App Store is more robust at this point than Google’s Android Market, and has more apps customized for larger tablet screens. Before you buy, it’s a good idea to search for a few apps that you consider high priority.

Battery Life

At the moment tablet battery life ranges between 7 and 10 hours, with the iPad 2 leading the pack at over 10 hours. As a rule of thumb you’ll want to at least make sure the tablet will last you through the day, so consider what your average usage might in a day be before purchasing a tablet.

Screen Size

How portable does your tablet need to be? How large do you want your screen? The Samsung Galaxy Tab has a 7-inch screen, while the iPad has a much larger 9.7-inch screen. With tablets, the choice is more crucial, because size is the only thing that separates them from smartphones like the iPhone and Droid. Some reviewers have argued that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is too small, and isn’t usable for many tasks above those that 3- or 4-inch smartphones already perform competently. Steve Jobs made the same argument when explaining why Apple chose a 9.7-inch screen size. Our advice: The best way to settle on size is to visit a nearby AT&T or Verizon store and try out both devices for yourself.

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