Sharp Shows 10-Inch Education Tablet Prototype

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Sharp has been showing off a 10.1” prototype of a tablet aimed at the education market, according to NetBookNews. With Apple making a strong play for moving its iPad into more education settings, Sharp’s not-yet-released offering for that same market bears examination.

Sharp Prototype

Sharp Education Tablet Prototype - More Photos Below the Fold
(All images via NetBookNews)

The device features a 1280 x 800 resolution and will be available with either Windows 8 or Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). It also has a rear-facing 8 megapixel camera on a VGA camera on the front. Sharp is claiming 12 hours of battery life, though such claims have yet to be tested.

According to NetBookNews writer Sascha Pallenberg, who originally posted the pictures on his Google+ site, the Sharp device will have optional biometric sensors, wireless charging, pen-based input, and an RFID alarm system. For ports, you’ll find HDMI, USB, and an SD card reader.

The screen is a six-point touch-sensitive display with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity and an accuracy level of 0.4 millimeters.

What wasn’t included was price or expected availability. It was presented as a prototype, however, rather than an early production model. In addition, Windows 8 isn’t expected to ship until later in 2012. Accordingly, if the device gets the nod for commercial release, it’s likely to also be later in 2012.

[Via The Digital Reader]

Sharp Prototype

Sharp Tablet Prototype

Sharp Prototype

The Back

Sharp Prototype

Turned Off

Sharp Prototype

One Side

Sharp Prototype

The Other Side

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Hmm, sounds like some neat features. 
- Pressure sensitive input.  Artists would love that, and it would help with letting students take better notes with styluses. (Targeted at education market after all, not artist market.)
- RFID alarm.  Sounds cool, but of course schools would have to install RFID sensors all over to actually take advantage of this.  You could probably do the same thing with Find my iPad and/or geofencing. (If Apple would allow it.)
- Wireless charging.  Inductive, I assume.  That stuff’s just plain cool.
- Connectors (USB, SD, HDMI), now why do you go to all the trouble of adding wireless charging and then fill the thing up with all these ports?  You only need just one USB port to allow connecting extra things, though I can see uses for each.

No word yet on dimensions or benchmarking vs. iPad 3rd gen?  I imagine if it has better battery life then it’s either larger for a larger battery or has less powerful CPU/GPU.  Education markets often trade away speed for lower cost, so I can imagine them liking a trade of processing power for longer battery life.  But doesn’t the iPad 2 give that same trade right now? (iPad 2 was modified internally post new iPad).

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