Panasonic Announces Super-High-End 20” Windows 8 Tablet
Tablets are generally known as consumer entertainment devices. So, what makes a tablet designed for business professionals? Indeed, that's the audience Panasonic is targeting with its new Toughpad 4K UT-MA6. The first big difference is the sheer size of the thing – a 20” IPS panel serves as the touchscreen – and, when you look a little deeper, you'll find that the specs are rather similar to that of an expensive laptop PC.
With an Intel Core i7-3687U processor (four threads at up to 3.3Ghz), up to 16GB of RAM, up to 256GB of solid-state storage, and an NVIDIA Quadro K1000M graphics chip with 2GB of its own RAM, Panny suggests mobile CAD and video editing as two potential usage scenarios. 4K video is doable, in fact, what with the aforementioned screen serving up a compatible 3840x2560-pixel resolution.
All of this leads to a decidedly un-tablet-like 2.5 hours of battery runtime, though, along with an arm-and-shoulder-unfriendly weight of 5.6 lbs. Professionals may still appreciate the ability to show clients their work-in-progress without scaling down the resolution, though. A 24-pin connector for an optional “Desktop Two Position Cradle” is present as well.
Speaking of connectors, the Toughpad 4K has Mini DisplayPort, a USB 3.0 slot, a Gigabit wired LAN port, and a headphone jack. WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, an SDXC memory card slot and a SmartCard reader are also onboard. Amusingly, Panasonic installed a 720p HD front webcam and a 5MP one on the back. What are you going to take photos of with your 20” tablet?
Compounding that are the business-related features. Intel's vPro management suite is supported, along with things like Computrace and TPM v1.2. The whole thing is encased in a mix of glass fibre and magnesium, with which Panasonic boasts survival of a 30-inch drop to the device's rear. An optional Touch Pen with 2,000 levels of pressure can be had by graphic artists, and 3-years of warranty coverage are available if something goes wrong.
Of course, as you may have expected, Panasonic wants a cool $7,000 per Toughpad 4K. Folks can save $1,000 by opting for the “Standard” UT-MB5 model, which downgrades the CPU to an i5 and the GPU to a GeForce GT 745M, while halving the main RAM and cutting a few ports. That's still really expensive, but those who really need a device like this probably won't complain too much.