Sharp has announced that it will be launching a tablet with an advanced MEMS-IGZO display in 2015.
The new tablet will sport a 7-inch 1,280 x 800 display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, and will run on Android 4.4 out of the box.
It sounds like a pretty unremarkable tablet, but it's the screen technology itself that's special here. Sharp's own IGZO screen technology has already made its way into the company's high-end TVs and smartphones, but this will be the first we'll have seen it in a tablet.
IGZO stands for Indium gallium zinc oxide, which is a special semiconducting material that can be used in the thin film that drives such displays. It facilitates an improved flow of electrons, meaning that as well as being highly energy efficient, it also allows for smaller pixels.
Ultimately, IGZO technology allows for much higher resolutions in much smaller form factors.
Qualcomm's MEMS technology, meanwhile, is a whole lot newer. It's been seen fleetingly in the Qualcomm Toq smartwatch, and that's about it. MEMS (which stands for micro-electro-mechanical system) makes for a display that's around six times more energy efficient than LCD panels.
When combined, then, MEMS-IGZO technology has the potential to produce an incredibly thin, bright, sharp display - and one with exemplary battery life.
Sharp had previously announced that we'd see the first MEMS-IGZO devices in 2017, so the fact that this new tablet will be available in the first half of 2015 is quite a surprise.
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