CES 2014: Panasonic unveils shockproof Toughpad tablet

Panasonic has introduced a pair of Toughpad tablets, manufactured for those who work in mission-critical environments, or just don't want their kids' clumsy hands cracking their favourite gadgets.

Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Panasonic's 7in FZ-M1 slate (pictured) is the thinnest and lightest in its class, while the 4K UT-MA6 tablet takes the crown as the world's first 20in tablet with an ultra-HD resolution display.

Both devices will be available this spring. A Toughpad 4K standard edition, announced last year, is expected to hit shelves in February.

"Most tablets on the market today are designed to be 'good enough' to meet most users' needs. But 'good enough' won't cut it for a large portion of the mobile workforce, who need tools they can depend on in challenging conditions to get the job done without compromise," Panasonic President Rance Poehler said in a statement.

The fan-less FZ-M1 runs a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 vPro processor, and includes a user-replaceable battery that promises up to eight hours of uninterrupted work, and a full charge in less than 2.5 hours.

Only 0.7in thin, the Toughpad FZ-M1 has been tested against military-grade standards for drops (up to 5 feet), shock, vibration, altitude, humidity, and extreme temperatures.

"The Toughpad FZ-M1 is built for those workers," Poehler said. "Its highly portable and compact size, power, connectivity, and configuration options, and sheer toughness, make it the deal tablet to connect mission-critical workers of all types with the data they need to do their jobs at any time."

Even with thick industrial-style gloves. The Toughpad's 500-nit, daylight-readable WXGA display sports an anti-reflective screen, plus a high-sensitivity capacitive, 10-point multi-touch screen so you won't have to de-glove first. An optional stylus is also available for certain applications.

The 20in performance model Toughpad features an Intel Core i7-3687U vPro processor with an Nvidia Quadro K1000M GPU, and an advanced Ultra HD 4K display, aimed at professionals working in visual-intensive fields like computer-aided design (CAD) and video editing.

"As a lightweight 20-inch tablet PC with beyond UltraHD resolution and high-performance processing power, the Toughpad 4K performance model enables these workers to get things done in the field that previously were only practical at a desktop workstation, greatly expanding productivity, creativity and efficiency in a number of areas," Kyp Walls, director of product management at Panasonic, said.

Sporting the same 10-point multi-touch input, the Toughpad 4K also comes with the optional Panasonic Electronic Touch Pen.

Both slates come pre-loaded with Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit, with the option to downgrade to Windows 7 Professional.

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