By RONALD BYRNEbytz@thestar.com.my
LAS VEGAS: Panasonic pulled the covers off a shiny new tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show here.
If you aren't blown away by the size of the device and its 20in screen, you will be by how vibrant the 3,840 x 2,560-pixel display makes high-res pictures and graphics look. Aspect ratio is 15:10.
This is not a tablet that's going to be spending time inside a handbag or backpack because of its size; and you can carry the 5lb device tucked comfortably under an arm, if you need to move it around the home, office or to a car.
We think the tablet is suited to be a desktop PC replacement. It runs on Microsoft's Windows 8 Pro operating system, has a touchscreen instead of a keyboard and mouse, while a high-resolution digital pen enables natural handwriting input.
Panasonic president Kazuhiro Tsuga said he prefers a 20in screen for consuming online content, such as news portals and pictures. "Desktop PCs are unwieldy for this; I am thinking photo wall and newspaper wall," he laughed.
The tablet is also aimed at photographers and videographers who would want to review their work on a large, high-res display. And it would also be suitable for use in the medical, architecture and advertising fields.
Also, its Microsoft operating system would allow companies to leverage off existing Windows applications for business use, according to the Japanese manufacturer.
Despite the tablet's size, Panasonic points out that it is the lightest and thinnest in its product category.
The heart of the device is an Intel Core i5 3427U (1.8GHz) processor, coupled with an nVidia GeForce graphics chip.
Onboard memory is 4GB, with a maximum of 16GB; and 128GB of SSD (solid state storage) storage.
The is also a slot for a micro SD/SDXC card on the righthand edge of the tablet, where the on/off switch and other controls are located. That is where you will also find a single USB 2.0 port.
Panasonic's tablet supports WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless connectivity.
Embedded on the front of the 18.7 x 13.1 x 0.4in device, near the top edge, is a camera that captures high-resolution 720p images.
Plus, you can connect a digital camera to the tablet, using the WiFi feature. The pictures you shoot on the camera will then be stored directly to the tablet.
Battery life is up to two hours on a single charge. Not an issue if the tablet is used as a desktop replacement, or nearby to an electrical socket.