Sharp intros 80-inch touch displays for businesses, ultra-lightweight TVs

Image Credit: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat

Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp debuted new smart TVs and touch displays, including an 80-inch touch-enabled display for enterprise use called the Aquos Board and ultra-light “Freestyle” HDTVs for consumers. The company debuted the products today at CES 2012 in Las Vegas.

Sharp CEo Katsuhiko Machida said the company is currently the worldwide leader in “producing TVs that are 60 inches and larger.” He reminded the CES audience that Sharp debuted a 60-inch HDTV last year.

Doug Albregts, president of Sharp USA, took the stage to show off the company’s new Aquos Board product, a huge touch-screen targeting businesses and, in a smaller capacity, education. Price wasn’t mentioned, but you’d have to be a pretty rich school to afford one of these. The Aquos Board will be available in 60-inch, 70-inch and 80-inch sizes.

The Aquos Board works with Windows 7 and Microsoft Office. With it, users can draw, take notes, print and save items to a PC. “It is poised to change the way we work and how our students learn,” Albregts said.

Albregts then showed an 80-inch Aquos Board in action to demo a new application the company had developed that shows home owners the ideal viewing distance they should sit from their TVs. That could come in handy to find that perfect viewing distance while sitting on the couch.

On the TV front, the company said it will continue to push the boundaries of plus-size TVs, and it will debut 17 new 60-inch-or-bigger HDTVs in the next 60 days. These TVs will feature new improvements to Sharp’s Quattron technology, which will improve color and picture. The company also said it would begin to offer an “ICC-4K” solution that provides “superior video processing and a natural 3D-like image.”

The most hyped of these new TVs is the 80-inch LC-80LE844U HDTV with 3D support. It will have 240 Hz refresh rate and will include Sharp’s latest SmartCentral app collection, with support for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Facebook, YouTube, Skype and more.

For general consumers, the company mentioned it has new Blu-ray players, improved sound bars for its TVs, a SunSnap A/V solution for solar appliances and a 3D DLP projector, which will all be available in the near future.

On a final note, the company showed off ultra-lightweight Aquos Freestyle TVs and had people carrying the TVs all around the room and on stage. All of these Wi-Fi-enabled TVs are designed for portability throughout the house, but we’re not entirely sure how practical the larger models would be. The 20-inch Freestyle model weighs 5.5 pounds and includes a portable battery pack.

Check out more product photos from Sharp’s press conference below:

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