Casio Shows New $2,500 Android Scanner-tablet for Businesses

The Japanese company's new device uses its front-mounted camera to read in documents, hand-written notes, and business cards

Japan's Casio is preparing to launch a new Android tablet for businesses that acts as a personal scanner.

The company's new Paper Writer line has a camera that faces downward in front of the screen, to take images of documents placed in front of the device. The tablet has special software for character recognition that works on hand-written notes, and can recognize symbols such as asterisks and dollar signs as tags for where to save digitized documents.

(See a YouTube video of the tablet in action.)

Notes to be scanned are strapped into the inside of the tablet's case, and any paper with reasonable contrast to the ink used will work. The scanning feature also works with business cards, although the character recognition was a bit off at a recent demonstration in Tokyo.

The Paper Writer is mainly meant for businesses, and a basic model will go on sale in Japan next month for AY=200,000, or US$2,500. Casio said that it expects corporate customers to buy the devices in bulk, which will bring down per-unit prices.

The tablet has a 10-inch screen, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and a rubberized case for resistance to water and shocks. It has a replaceable 7,000mAh battery, on which it will run for about 12 hours.

The tablets will launch in Japan in November, and a spokesman said the they will go on sale outside Japan soon after.

Casio is promising to support the tablets for several years, so that customers won't have keep upgrading their hardware.

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