We're going to try hard not to rag on Sharp too much for continuing to pump out electronic dictionaries; we get that these are destined mainly for Asian markets, where customers (and language schools that charge extortionary fees) still have some interest in dedicated devices, rather than PDAs or smartphones that can handle dictionary software and a whole lot more. So, we have to give Sharp at least some props for adding MP3 playback functions to its FD-7000MP, SD-S90, and SD-M50 e-dictionaries, which are apparently targeted at the Korean market. The three models have the usual dictionary functions, including the ability to hold up to 31 different dictionaries at once, and the high-end FD-7000MP also includes an e-book reader. But the most important feature built into all three is the ability to play back MP3s while using the dictionary. So, now it's possible for users to listen to, say, Korean singer BoA, while looking up the translation of "lame pop music knows no borders."

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Sharp rolls out electronic dictionaries with MP3 playback