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Ultra-high expectations for Panasonic tablet
AFP
November 08, 2013
First Published: 15:22 IST(8/11/2013)
Last Updated: 15:30 IST(8/11/2013)

Panasonic has become the world's first company to offer a tablet with a 4K, ultra-high-resolution display, but that ultra-high quality comes at an ultra-high price.


The Panasonic Toughpad 4K UT-MB5 may not have the catchiest name, but there's a good chance that what it has to offer -- a 20-inch screen -- will catch on, especially with the architectural and creative industries plus tech-obsessed early adopters with big bags and even bigger pockets -- it will retail for $6000.

The first commercially available tablet with a 4K, ultra-high-definition display, the Toughpad 4K UT-MB5 makes using an iPad Air like trying to watch an old black and white television with bad reception, such is the jump in pixel density and image sharpness -- and when it comes to image clarity, Apple is no slouch itself.

As well as being crystal clear, the screen supports stylus input and can recognize 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, perfect for free hand sketching and illustration effects.

Usually, when a company announces a piece of technological kit as being a world-first it's usually because it's nothing more than a gimmick, but this is a serious tablet with a serious processor -- a next-generation Intel Haswell no less -- and it comes with the full pro edition of Windows 8.1 installed, meaning it's just as powerful as a notebook.

Then there's the design and attention to detail. Panasonic has gone for a magnesium alloy chassis for its combination of strength and lightness, and the company claims it can survive a 2.5-foot (75cm) drop.

Inside, keeping the Intel processor company is 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state drive. It even comes with a carrying case although at 47.5 x 33cm (18.7 x 13.1 inches) it might be difficult to whip it out on the train. Still, at 2.4KG (5.3lb) it is only 200g heavier than a 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Aware that this is going be slightly less portable than other tablets on the market, the Toughpad also comes with a docking cradle so that it can be propped up and used like a desktop, but when mobility is required, it should manage to perform for two hours before the battery needs recharging.
The Toughpad 4K UT-MB5 will launch in the US in January, priced at $6000.


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