While last year's Consumer Electronics Show brought a plethora of new tablets to light, 2013 is a much quieter year on the tablet front this week in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, Panasonic is showing a prototype of a 20-inch 4k (3840x2560, 230ppi) tablet on its booth which from an imaging point of view could well be one of the most interesting products at this show. The device is aimed at creative professionals such as architects, designers and photographers.
It runs Windows 8, is powered by an Intel i5 processor and comes with 4GB RAM which can be expanded to 16GB. Despite the large screen size, the battery life is listed as approximately 2 hours. Panasonic claims the color reproduction is very accurate and the tablet comes with a high-resolution digital pen (Anoto touch-pen) for precise control and data input.
Although a protoype, the device on display looks very well assembled and appears to be fully working. When we got the chance to play with it we found the IPS panel to be very responsive with a vibrant image but due to the high resolution the menus and toolbars in Photoshop (or any other application) have shrunk to a microscopic size which makes them difficult to use. In terms of computing power and screen resolution this device could easily replace a laptop in the field for image editing and viewing but we'll have to see how photographers take to the new form factor and ergonomics.
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