Sharp Galapagos E-Media Tablet hands-on

Sharp is just one of many companies that have announced tablet devices at CES, and we tracked down the two models for a close-up look.

The two devices - with screen sizes of 5.5 and 10.8 inches - are currently only available in Japan, but a US model is expected this year. Both versions boasts XMFD technology which adjusts content automatically to fit the screen. All content is stored on micro SD card, so you'll be able to access it even when there's no Wi-Fi signal available.

As well as enabling web browsing, the 16:9 touchscreen LCD gadget links up to the the e-bookstore service to offer you access to e-books, movies, games and music as well as newspapers and magazines. What's more, publishers will be able to send out sneak previews of new content based on your previous choices.

The 5.5-inch model is only slightly bigger that an iPhone and not too dissimilar to the Samsung Galaxy Tab in size. It's relatively comfortable to hold and easy to use but the touch screen isn't quite as responsive as that of the iPad. The same is the case for the larger 10.8-inch model, although the unclusion of multi-touch support is a nice feature. However, this is also slightly clunky and there was sometimes a considerable delay between swiping the screen and anything happening.

The UI is intuitive and logical, while the the inclusion of just two buttons on the front of the device (Back and Home), keeps things simple.

We found the 10.8-inch model to be really quite chunky and heavy. The 16:9 screen format means that the product is much longer than the iPad, making one-handed use an impossibility. Even held in one hand and using the other to navigate the screen is still quite uncomfortable thanks to its hefty design.

No specs for the US model have been confirmed, including the screen size.