The Apple’s iPad is selling as well in Japan as it is anywhere else. But that hasn’t deterred the domestic electronics industry to come up with their own tablet devices. Like electronics giant NEC who are propping a tablet they have named LifeTouch and is likely to hit markets during October of this year.
The first thing that hits you with the LifeTouch is that it break away from the usual conventional tablet design of any size where the entire front end is almost entirely made up of the screen. Instead, what you have with the LifeTouch is a 7 inch WVGA TFT LCD touchscreen that’s relegated to the right edge of the tablet while the left edge is taken up by buttons which includes a D-Pad that make navigation through the menus and other apps like the browser a breeze. Looks wise, the LifeTouch may look like a mobile gaming console like the Nintendo DS though the entire design balances out nicely. The screen has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels and is housed in a case that measures just 219 x 119 x 13.9mm while weighing merely 400 grams. The screen is receptive to both finger or stylus inputs.
Behind the screen lies an ARM Cortex-A8 processor though it hasn’t been revealed if the processor is from Freescale, Texas Instruments or Samsung. Coupled to the processor will be a 256MB Mobile DDR RAM and will come pre-installed with the Google’s Android operating system, version 2.1. A SDHC slot allows for expanding the on board storage further in case more space is needed while the two USB port (one full and another mini) will let users to attach more gadgets to the LifeTouch.
Other features of the LifeTouch include an integrated 3MP camera and an accelerometer. Then there’s also a magnetic as well as a light sensor. Connectivity options with the LifeTouch include wireless LAN module 802.11b/g, Bluetooth along with even GPS. These apart, the LifeTouch also includes a built-in mono mic as well as internal stereo speakers. Battery life of the LifeTouch is pegged at 8 hours, which is pretty impressive and compares favorably with the iPad. Another good thing with the LifeTouch is that it comes included with a charging cradle so that the tablet can also double up as a digital battery frame while it recharges its battery.
However, for all the impressive array of features that the LifeTouch incorporates, the lack of a 3G chip is glaring, something that can deprive the tablet from making the best out of the Android Marketplace.
The LifeTouch may look like a device for kids but NEC also plans to position the LifeTouch as a tool that one can do some serious business with. And for that, it intends to provide users access to the NEC servers so that cloud computing applications are able to operate without a glitch. In fact, NEC is also named the LifeTouch as a “Cloud Communicator” in order to cash in on its business potential.
No pricing details have been revealed so far apart from that it is going to be available in Japan from this October onwards. When it is going to be launched internationally is also anybody’s guess.
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