Sharp's IGZO display panels have already worked their way into high-PPI notebook screens and 4K desktop monitors. Now, one has popped up in a Windows tablet of the company's own design. The Mebius Pad squeezes a 2560x1600 display resolution—the same pixel layout typical of 30" monitors—into a panel measuring just 10.1" across. The resulting pixel density works out to 300 PPI, matching Google's Nexus 10 tablet.
Unlike the Android-based Nexus 10, the Mebius Pad runs the full version of Windows 8.1. Intel's Bay Trail-based Atom Z3770 provides the necessary x86 compatibility. The quad-core SoC is currently the fastest member of the Bay Trail lineup, and it's the same chip we tested at IDF.
In an interesting twist, the Mebius Pad has robust protection against liquid and dust ingress. It passes the IPX5 waterproofing test, which sprays the device with water jets, and the IPX7 test, which submerges the thing in one meter of water for 30 minutes. The tablet also meets the IP5X standard for dust protection. There's no word on shock protection, though. The Mebius Pad appears to be weatherized rather than ruggedized.
Like other contemporary tablets, the Mebius Pad has dual cameras and 802.11n Wi-Fi. LTE connectivity is also on the menu. There's no word on the dimensions, battery life, or pricing, though.
Sharp's press release indicates that the tablet will be available in January. However, the press release and product page both appear on Sharp's Japanese site. There's no mention of the Mebius on the firm's US site, suggesting that the device may not make it to North American shelves. It would be a shame of the Mebius Pad didn't turn up stateside; the pickings are slim for high-PPI Windows 8 tablets, and hardly any modern slates can survive getting wet.