Panasonic has announced its latest Toughpad device: a Core i5-powered pro-grade tablet computer with a 20" 4K-resolution IPS display.
The giant Toughpad 4K UT-MB5 is a tablet you're unlikely to want to stick in your bag as daily carry: with an impressive 20" diagonal, the IPS Alpha LCD screen offers a 3,840x2,560 resolution - meaning 230 pixels per inch (PPI) and a 15:10 aspect ratio. As an IPS panel, you can also expect good viewing angles - although Panasonic hasn't shared formal figures for that.
Behind the behemoth of a screen - which also boasts 10-point multi-touch tracking - the tablet features an Intel Core i5-3437U vPro processor and discrete Nvidia GeForce 745M graphics processing unit (GPU) with 2GB of dedicated video RAM (VRAM). 8GB of RAM is included as standard, along with a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) for storage with a copy of Windows 8.1 Pro pre-installed.
Connectivity is covered by an Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 Wi-Fi radio with 802.11a/b/g/n support, a Class 1 Bluetooth 4.0 radio, USB 3.0, an SDXC card slot, smart-card reader, and a proprietary connector for an optional docking station which adds three USB 3.0 ports, wired Ethernet and HDMI output. A front-facing camera offers 1,280x720 resolution still and video capture.
As an official Tough-device, Panasonic has also given the tablet a bit of ruggedisation - although not quite to the extent of its main briefcase-sized Toughbook laptops. According to the company's tests, the UT-MB5's glass fibre case and magnesium alloy frame is 'business rugged' and rated for 12" drops to twenty-six different angles when switched off and a 30" drop to its back surface while operating.
The tablet weighs 2.4kg in total, while boasting a surprisingly svelte 12.5mm thickness. That, combined with the powerful Intel chip and large display, comes at a cost to run-time: according to tests using MobileMark 2007, the best the tablet can manage is two hours per charge.
Buyers will also have the option of picking up a Panasonic Electronic Touch Pen accessory, which uses infra-red signals to interact with the display and a Bluetooth connection to communicate with the laptop. Capable of operating at various angles, the pen is claimed to include 2,000 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Panasonic has announced US availability for the Toughpad 4K UT-MB5 for January 2014, at a recommended retail price of $5,999 (around £3,730 excluding taxes.)