Panasonic readies 4K Toughpad tablet for launch

4K tablet computers

Panasonic 4K Toughpad UT-MB5.
Portable power: Panasonic’s 4K resolution, Toughpad UT-MB5. Picture: Panasonic.

Panasonic’s PC division has confirmed that it will launch a 4K tablet computer in January.

First shown at the International CES show in Las Vegas, Panasonic has spent almost a year fine-tuning the design for the UT-MB5. None the less, it is set to be the first 4K tablet to market.

The Toughpad UT-MB5 is based around Windows 8.1, an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The hardware is in line with that of a medium-spec Ultrabook laptop, except of course, for the screen.

Panasonic quotes a display resolution of 3840×2560. This puts it slightly below “full” 4K, as defined by the Digital Cinema Initiative, but exceeds the consumer Ultra HD resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. However, the screen comes closer to 4K viewing than even Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro, which reaches 2880×1800 pixels.

The new Panasonic tablet will be marketed under the company’s professional computer range of Toughbooks and Toughpads, with a focus on applications in business, industry, or sectors such as healthcare.

This could make the tablet suitable for use by production crews on set or in the  field: Panasonic says that the tablet should survive a 12-inch drop on a corner when it is not operating, or a 30-inch drop to its back when running. As the machine uses a full version of Windows, it should be able to run full versions of production software, such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, too.

Such performance does, though, come at a price: Panasonic expects the UT-MB5 to go on sale at $6,000 in the new year.