Panasonic Toughpad 4K tablet wows at IFA, but 20-incher just for professionals

Panasonic used the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin as the ideal venue to launch its 20-inch behemoth of a tablet for sales, marketing and media professionals. The Toughpad 4K UT-MB5 has a pixel resolution of 3840 x 2560 and is rugged and more businesslike than many of the other super-slim devices shown at the conference.

It is really designed to display large images or for architects and the like to draw A3-sized sketches and detailed schematics. Because of the resolution, images can also be zoomed in and out of with little loss of detail.

The tablet comes with a proprietary Panasonic Electronic Touch Pen which the Japanese manufacturer claims provides paper-like feel for freehand drawing. It uses infrared signals to read every pixel on screen and communicates it by Bluetooth for maximum responsiveness. It can even memorise and record the pen tilt and recognises 2,048 levels of pressure.

Suprisingly, considering its size, the 20-inch Toughpad 4K weighs just over two kilos, and is 12.5mm thick. It is powered by an Intel Core i5 Pro processor, has 8GB of RAM and separate Nvidia Geforce graphics. It also comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1. Storage capacity is 256GB through an SSD.

There's a 720p camera on the front, a USB 3.0 port, SD card slot, and it can be connected to the internet through an Ethernet port or Wi-Fi. Bluetooth is also supported.

The Panasonic Toughpad 4K tablet will retail from 4,509 euros plus VAT. That's around £3,794. With UK VAT we make that just shy of £4,500. It will be available from November.

Another version, called Toughpad 4K Performance will be more powerful still and is due for the first half of 2014. No pricing details for that are available as yet.