Sharp Intros Intel Medfield-Powered Slate

For some time, Intel had been trying to convince manufacturers to choose the Medfield chipset over the ARM-branded one.

Intel Medfield, released in 2011, is the company’s fourth-generation Mobile Internet Device platform. It has a 32 nm Intel atom processor and wireless radio. Some manufacturers of Android-based smartphones have already said yes to Intel’s aggressive push, including Lenovo, Orange, and Lava. All of these companies have released Intel Medfield-powered Android phones. Tablet manufacturers, meanwhile, seem to be taking more time to mull over the usefulness of Intel Medfield on their products.

Sharp, however, has recently revealed an Intel Medfield-powered education tablet that will be able to run either Android OS or the new Windows 8. Given this capability, it is expected to come in two flavors, Android and Windows.

Sharp has showcased a prototype of the tablet that features a 10.1-inch display with a screen resolution of 1280 x 800. This screen has a six-point multitouch capability with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. The accuracy level is 0.4 millimeters. It will also carry a 32 GB Solid State Disk and promises 12 hours of battery life in optimal conditions. It will likewise have an 8 megapixel rear camera, VGA front camera, and an RFID alarm system. Also onboard are a biometric sensor and wireless charging capability. A built-in microphone, speakers, HDMI, USB, and a reader for SD cards are also available. Pen and touch input are both supported by the device.

Sharp has disclosed neither its expected price range nor when the education tablet will be available. It is, however, expected to hit the market during the latter part of this year.

With this product, Sharp is expecting to penetrate the lucrative tablet market by targeting a specific niche: education users. Its first attempts, the 5.5-inch and 10.8-inch Galapagos tablets had been discontinued for being a failure in terms of sales in the Japanese market.