Panasonic's 20-inch Toughpad 4K Windows 8.1 tablet gets better specs, much lower price

Back in late 2013, Panasonic unveiled the Toughpad 4K, a gigantic 20-inch tablet with ruggedized construction, impressive specs and an ultra-high resolution display. The company has now rolled out a new version of the Windows 8.1 Pro tablet with some welcome spec bumps, including a new Intel Broadwell processor.

The new entry-level Toughpad 4K features an Intel Core i5 vPro, along with a HDMI 2.0 input for the first time, allowing you to connect 4K sources to watch them on the device's display. Key specs of the Toughpad 4K Standard include:

  • 20-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD with 3840x2560px resolution and 10-point multi-touch (3:2 aspect ratio)
  • 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-5300U vPro (Broadwell) processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD (plus SD card slot)
  • HD (720p) webcam
  • USB 3.0
  • HDMI 2.0 input
  • Mini DisplayPort output
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Sensors: Ambient light, magnetic, gyroscope, accelerometer
  • 475 x 333 x 12.7mm; 2.5kg

A second model is also listed on Panasonic's website, called the Toughpad 4K Performance, which offers even more impressive specs, including an Intel Core i7 vPro (Broadwell) processor, 16GB of RAM, 2GB dedicated VRAM, NVIDIA Quadro K1000M GPU and a 5-megapixel rear camera.

But in addition to the spec sheet - and their immense size - what also makes the Toughpad 4K tablets interesting is their 'ruggedness', which makes them ideal for use in industries and scenarios where devices are likely to get knocked around a bit. Each tablet features a magnesium alloy frame, with a reinforced glass fiber case, and is able to withstand a drop from a height of 30 inches onto its back; or a drop from 12 inches from 26 different angles.

An optional optical pen will be available for both models, and various other accessories will also be on offer, including a desktop cradle that "easily converts into a tilted stand to allow the tablet to be use in drafting table mode". A VESA-compatible mounting adaptor plate will also be available at launch.

The new Toughpad 4K Standard will go on sale in July for around $2,999. That's certainly a significant sum, but it's a whole lot less than the first-gen model, which went on sale in November 2013 for $5,999. Panasonic has not yet revealed pricing or availability details for the more powerful Toughpad 4K Performance.

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