Panasonic's 4K Toughpad tablet initially debuted at CES in January, but here at IFA in Berlin, the company is finally ready to shed some light on availability. Speaking at a press conference focused on the device, GM Jan Kampfer detailed the giant slate, which includes a fiberglass housing and sports a 3,840 x 2,560 (230 ppi) power-efficient IPS display with 176-degree viewing angles. The UT-MB5 supports 10-finger touch and includes a Bluetooth-enabled optical Anoto Live Pen with a six-hour battery life and palm rejection. The Toughpad was designed with creative types in mind, such as artists and architects -- though we wouldn't mind having one around as a fantastic (albeit pricey) portable 4K movie viewer.
There will be two models: a Standard flavor that weighs in 2.3kg and includes 4GB (expandable to 8GB) of RAM and a 128GB SSD, and a 2.7kg Performance model with 8GB RAM (expandable to 16GB) and a 256GB SSD. The company is targeting design pros with that latter version, such as those working with 3D modeling tools, while the lower-powered spec would be a better fit for healthcare users, retail or sales professionals. Panasonic aimed for workstation performance here, so both devices include Intel Core i5 processors and run on Windows 8.1. There are three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, an SD card slot and an optional desktop cradle and mounting point adapter. They're also quite durable, and are reinforced to survive 76 cm (2.5 ft) drops. The Standard model will ship in November, while the Performance slate is expected in early 2014.
Update: Microsoft is reporting that the device will ship in the US and Europe beginning this Saturday, September 7th, but Panasonic executives at the IFA event are confirming a November timeframe. The Toughpad on stage is being described as a "prototype," further reinforcing that the slate is not ready to ship.
Update 2: Panasonic reps quoted pricing for the standard version at €4,508 (about $6,000), with the Performance version MSRP to be announced. The optional pen will retail for €280 (about $370).
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