In Depth

Panasonic Toughpad 4K: A huge price for a huge display

At £4,500, the tablet comes in at the top end of the market – but switch it on and you'll see exactly why

When buying a tablet, it's often difficult to look beyond Apple's growing iPad range – now more powerful than ever thanks to the arrival of the flagship iPad Pro line-up.

While it comes in a standard 9.7ins size, the larger 12.9ins version is the real attention-grabber. Its huge screen is a joy to draw on and the most expensive version can cost more than £1,000.

However, it's not the most exotic tablet on the market. That honour goes to Panasonic's Toughpad – a device first released three years ago.

As DigitalTrends points out, the Toughpad has been refreshed since, receiving upgrades last year to keep it at the very sharpest and most expensive end of the market: Panasonic's US store lists the standard version at $5,999.95 - roughly £4,550.

While the price may mark this tablet out as a business investment, it's hard not to be drawn in by its party piece – its incredible display.

It's an LCD panel, but running at an eye-popping 4K resolution and sizing up at a whopping 20ins, making the Toughpad one of the biggest handheld tablets you can buy – if not the biggest.

With a screen almost A3 size, the huge 4K panel is definitely "the star of the show", Alphr says, with sumptuous performance that can pick out the tiniest difference between blacks and darkest greys and serves up "rich, saturated hues".

The massive display is offered with a very particular clientele in mind, with the company targeting designers using CAD software for 3D renders. However, it's sure to appeal to marketing and media professionals with stories and presentations to deliver. If you need to draw, it can be bought with a stylus too – the Electronic Touch Pen offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity for hugely accurate scribes.

The screen totally dominates the entire product and represents the vast majority of the tablet's price, considering some of the Toughpad's other specifications. You'll almost certainly find a better camera fitted on your smartphone and tablets with 8GB RAM can be bought for much less.

The display also takes its toll on the device's battery life. The thick casing houses a small cell and you'll struggle to venture beyond two hours of screen time.

Its name is appropriate. TechRadar reports the Toughpad uses a magnesium alloy frame combined with a fibre-glass case and weighs in at 5.2lbs. This means it can take a three foot drop directly onto its back while powered on.

Overall, the Toughpad is big, expensive and has a tiny battery life. But the huge level of display hardware makes it one of the most enticing tablets around.

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