Sharp have legged it up the platform and managed to get onboard the Android tablet train in time to announce two new devices, regaling under the daft name, “Galapagos.”
Announced in in Tokyo today, the smaller tablet packs a 5.5 inch LCD screen (1,024 × 600 resolution) that’s primed for book reading, comes in black or red and sports a trackball for zipping through pages.
The second Galapagos device does away with the trackball, but beefs the LCD screen size up to 10.8 inches (1,366 × 800), with magazines formatted as a double page spread.
Both devices have Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b/g) connectivity, and just like with the Kindle, magazines can be delivered wirelessly:
This new e-bookstore provides an “Automatic Scheduled Delivery Service” (fee-based service) for periodical publications. The most recent editions of newspapers and magazines a user has subscribed to 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.
Games, “PC document” viewing and “social apps” are apparently all headed to the Galapagos devices, with Sharp promising a total of 30,000 newspapers, magazines, and books by the launch date.
We’re still waiting for details on the pricing and availability, but here’s a promo video in Japanese to whet your appetite.
The crap name explained
According to Sharp’s press release, here’s why they christened their new device with its daft name:
“GALAPAGOS” was chosen as the name for Sharp’s cloud-based media service business, as a symbol of the “evolution” of services and terminal devices that constantly bring fresh, new experiences to the user. The name comes from the famous Galapagos Islands, which were visited by Charles Darwin (1809–1882), a British geologist and biologist. The observations he made while on the islands played a key role in the formulation of his “theory of evolution”.