Sharp is reportedly getting ready to launch the "Digital Note", a 6-inch digital notepad with a low-power monochrome touchscreen, a pen-shaped stylus, and a battery boasting 60 hours of continuous use.
Sharp said that it plans to build 8,000 units per month once the Digital Note goes on sale in Japan next month. Users will be able to scribble notes on a blank screen using the stylus, but eventually the company will release a series of downloadable background templates including lined paper, tables for entering figures, resume forms and more to liven things up.
The Digital Note will reportedly land in Japan first, selling for around ¥15,000, and compete with foreign rivals like the black-screened 8.5-inch Boogie Board which is already on sale (shown right). There's also a 9.5-inch version of the Boogie Board that runs on a single battery charge for around 40 hours, and costs ¥14,800.
According to PC Advisor, Sharp's gadget will focus on the digital stationary sector rather than the tablet business, and may even be marketed to companies and storefronts for basic data entry. It will also be marketed as a personal organizer, allowing users to flip through a calendar, organize notes into different notepads and more.
Sharp said the Digital Note will save and transfer digital notes as 600 x 700 bitmap images (16 colors of gray scale). It will have enough internal capacity to store 1,000 pages of hand-written notes, and a microUSB connector for transferring the files to a desktop or laptop. Its overall weight will be 210 grams on its own, and 315 grams with its case and stylus intact. It will also measure just 11.1-cm wide, 15.5-cm tall and 9.9-mm thick.
Despite its potential audience, Sharp's Digital Note may see heavy competition from tablets with similar functions like the basic full-color Kindle Fire which retails for around ¥12,800 in Japan. Currently the company hasn't announced plans to bring the gadget overseas, but that doesn't mean we won't see it sitting next to the Boogie Board on Amazon in the near future.
We expect to see this gadget show its note-taking capabilities during CES 2013 in a few weeks, so stay tuned for further fondling.