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Panasonic shows off giant 20in rugged Toughpad 4K tablet for professionals

As expected, Panasonic today showed off its 20in, Windows-based tablet, the Toughpad 4K, which is expected to be commercially available by November.

Panasonic first showed off the Toughpad at this year's CES, but it was just a proof of concept at the time. Now, you can actually get your hands on it - for $6,000 (£3,850).

But lest you think Panasonic wants you to cart around a 20in tablet, the Toughpad 4K is aimed at creative types like engineers, architects, and designers, as well as sales, marketing, and media professionals. According to Panasonic, it can withstand drops of up to 76cm.

The oversized gadget is pen-enabled and sports a 3,840 x 2,560 display, or 4K, with a 15:10 aspect ratio and 230 pixels per inch. It weighs 2.3kg. There's also a 1,280 x 720 pixel built-in front camera.

The tablet includes a USB 3.0 and SD card slot, headphone jack and optional smart card reader. The cradle also offers Ethernet and HDMI connectivity.

The Toughpad 4K runs an Intel Core i5 vPro processor and Nvidia GeForce GT 745M graphics. There's 8GB of RAM and the option of a 128GB or 156GB SSD. It will also feature Windows 8.1, the first major update to Microsoft's latest operating system.

"Panasonic is calling the Toughpad 4K 'business rugged,' which means it's capable of exceeding traditional consumer tablet durability expectations," Microsoft said on its Windows blog.

For those who need a more traditional workstation, a few accessories can turn the Toughpad 4K into a desktop PC. One of those optional accessories is the Panasonic Electronic Touch Pen.

It "provides paper-like feel for freehand sketching, annotation or handwriting," Panasonic said. It uses infrared signals to read every single pixel on the screen, communicating with the tablet via Bluetooth.

Panasonic also has a high-performance version of the Toughpad 4K planned for the first quarter of 2014. It has been designed for CAD design and 3D simulation and will include a more powerful Intel Core CPU and Nvidia graphics.

"This new Performance model, which can replace the traditonal CAD workstation, has received positive first impressions from CAD and 3D design software specialists Dassault Systemes," Panasonic said.