Panasonic's 20-inch Windows 8.1 4K tablet may finally start shipping next week

The upcoming Panasonic 20-inch Windows 8.1 tablet, with a display resolution of 3840x2560, is definitely one of the most unique hardware products to use Microsoft's OS. The tablet has been delayed more than once since it was first announced in January 2013 but now Neowin has learned that it could start finally shipping to select retailers as early as next week.

Neowin contacted Panasonic's PR reps earlier this week to get an update on the Toughpad 4K UT-MB5 model, but were told over the phone that the product had started shipments in February, as previously announced. However, when we searched the Internet we found no signs that the tablet was being sold.

We contacted a number of known resellers of Panasonic Toughpad and Toughbook products and got a response this weekend from Rugged Mobile Computing, who directed us to their webpage for the Toughpad 4K UT-MB5. As you can see, the page shows that it will start taking orders on Monday, March 10th. A rep for the reseller told us that the estimated ship dates for the tablet are between March 10th and April 3rd. By the way, the company is selling the product for $5,215, which is actually a discount compared to Panasonic's suggested price of $5,999.

Keep in mind this is the Toughpad 4K UT-MB5 version that may start shipments next week. This is the model with an Intel Core i5 processor with a 1.9 GHz clock speed, along with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. It also will have a NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M graphics chip with 2GB of VRAM and a 720p webcam.

Panasonic's Performance model of the Toughpad 4K tablet is supposed to ship later this spring for a suggested price of $6,999. It will have an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and an NVIDIA Quadro K1000 graphics processor, among other additions.

Image via Microsoft

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When is someone going to get a clue and just put out a large touch screen with Wacom like drawing capabilities like this but without all the non replaceable internal computer components inside. I have a fine desktop machine that kicks ass next to me yet NO company will put out a decent screen that lays flat on the desk to draw and game on. And no Wacoms over priced monitor isn't what I'm looking for. This tablet is so close to what I want as a screen but please GUT it to reduce costs and add a usb 3 and hdmi port. All the large desktop touch screens on the market come with a useless stand. none lay flat on the desk with maybe a riser in the back to angle a few degrees. Very frustrating waiting for this. Why is the market so hell bent on making screens with the computer embedded.

EasilyAmused said,
When is someone going to get a clue and just put out a large touch screen with Wacom like drawing capabilities like this but without all the non replaceable internal computer components inside.

You do realize that this is being sold as a Windows tablet and not a monitor yea? That said, there are 4K touch monitors coming that lay flat with similar specs and ports. (And if you don't need 4K, you can get it now.)

Yes I do realize that. Your missing my point. This is a niche device that is overly to expensive for what it does. and to use it properly and comfortably it would likely lay flat on the table. It'll have to be constantly plugged in to recharge, It may as well be part of the desktop complimenting ones workspace. As for 4k, its a work in progress and until software takes advantage of it, then the most this device will do is display movies well. Any game out there running at the resolution would most likely just drain the battery more and cause more heat. As for your monitors your referring to show me something that doesn't have a massive rear end on it and losses the stand. I haven't come across anything for sale that can lay very flat on the desk and provides compatibility with a digitizing pen, besides Wacoms cintiq, which isn't for casual gaming and browsing.

EasilyAmused said,
Yes I do realize that. Your missing my point. This is a niche device that is overly to expensive for what it does.

Well for starters something like this isn't designed for the consumer market.. don't expect it to be cheap, and it certainly won't be ideal for gaming. It's in line with stuff like the PixelSense, etc.. most definitely not for the home user, and certainly not gaming oriented.

EasilyAmused said,
I haven't come across anything for sale that can lay very flat on the desk and provides compatibility with a digitizing pen, besides Wacoms cintiq, which isn't for casual gaming and browsing.

Touch screens and digitizing tablets are two different things.. touch monitors for the home user, yes I can show you several that lay flat, took all of a few seconds to find with a search. Wacom compatible digitizing tablets, that's a different animal entirely, and of course they're not designed for casual gaming and browsing. Could you? Sure, but kind of a waste of hardware..

I must admit I have been searching wrongly for this. And your reply got me looking harder. One really has to add the word "Thin" into the search field as it does present more results. I kept coming across unappealing monitors.
The PQ Labs G4S, and the Igzo lcd 4k (removable stand ?) which are very nice indeed.
Cheers Max... Thanks for pushing me in the other direction.

EasilyAmused said,
Yes I do realize that. Your missing my point. This is a niche device that is overly to expensive for what it does. and to use it properly and comfortably it would likely lay flat on the table. It'll have to be constantly plugged in to recharge, It may as well be part of the desktop complimenting ones workspace. As for 4k, its a work in progress and until software takes advantage of it, then the most this device will do is display movies well. Any game out there running at the resolution would most likely just drain the battery more and cause more heat. As for your monitors your referring to show me something that doesn't have a massive rear end on it and losses the stand. I haven't come across anything for sale that can lay very flat on the desk and provides compatibility with a digitizing pen, besides Wacoms cintiq, which isn't for casual gaming and browsing.

HP has the Z1 G2 ( http://www8.hp.com/us/en/campaigns/workstations/z1-g2.html ) which pretty does what you want.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

HP has the Z1 G2 ( http://www8.hp.com/us/en/campaigns/workstations/z1-g2.html ) which pretty does what you want.

That's a computer again. Like me the guy is looking for a touch-screen only that connects up to a PC that you can lie down almost flat on a desk like the WACOM devices. They simply don't exist and I don't know why, after simply putting a touchscreen on a table on top of some books it makes ergonomic sense, and for an artist is simply perfection itself.

I want this so bad but first off $6,000 what the F??? And how about 1080p I would be happy with 2k at 1080p... my god. and the only reason why Panasonic is doing this is because people refuse to make devices with PENS because of Wacom.

That looks sweet but it's obviously meant for certain business applications. I can't imagine why you'd need 4k in only a 20" display though. Is it analogous with the original iPhone screen to retina?

LOL! I can just see you holding it up over your head like people hold up their iPads and take video... Just no VVS (Vertical Video Syndrome) ok? =)

Funny... I am blown away over and over how many people take vertical video, all the time it seems. I feel like I want to approach and say "OK, take it easy now... flip the phone on it's side. It will still work!!"

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