Back at CES, Panasonic unleashed its gargantuan 4K tablet on the world, but like many wonderful CES concepts, there was no word if it would actually go on sale. Even though it's more like the sort of tablet you tend to find commandments written on, Panasonic's given the project the green light, and it'll be landing -- with a hefty thump -- late this year.
To accompany the 'winter 2013' release, we've also got a specs list. Within its sizeable (2.2kg) frame, there's an Intel Core i5, up to 16GB of RAM, and a discrete NVIDIA GPU to keep that 4K 20-inch screen purring along. With those internals and a small battery, though, battery life's looking to be a paltry 2 hours -- you can add a charger to the list of things you're going to have to cart around with you.
Thankfully, Windows 8 runs surprisingly well on the giant screen -- the only time I ever saw lag was when trying to deal with massive architectural documents or multi-layered Photoshops.
Seeing as this is a tablet firmly aimed at the professional market, especially architects and graphic designers, it's no surprise that they've designed a pen to work with it. Rather than doing the conventional thing and having a Wacom-style digitiser, the screen has an infrared matrix of dots that are seen by a bulbous camera protrusion on the front of the pen. As a result, it's accurate, but you have to hold the pen at a mathematically precise right-angle to the screen in order to get it to register -- you end up trying to stab the screen, and your handwriting devloves to the level of a child with a crayon, and a really expensive sheet of paper.
Speaking of price, there isn't one yet -- Panasonic reps were very cagey on the subject. You can rest assured, though, that it's going to be far more money than you can ever envisage spending. I have no doubt that 4K tablets are coming -- it's just that this particular tablet isn't going to be the one that breaks through.