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Panasonic says bigger is better with 20-inch tablet

55

While last year's Consumer Electronics Show brought a plethora of new tablets to light, 2013 is a much quieter year on the tablet front this week in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, Panasonic is showing a prototype of a 20-inch 4k (3840x2560, 230ppi) tablet on its booth which from an imaging point of view could well be one of the most interesting products at this show. The device is aimed at creative professionals such as architects, designers and photographers.

It runs Windows 8, is powered by an Intel i5 processor and comes with 4GB RAM which can be expanded to 16GB. Despite the large screen size, the battery life is listed as approximately 2 hours. Panasonic claims the color reproduction is very accurate and the tablet comes with a high-resolution digital pen (Anoto touch-pen) for precise control and data input.

Although a protoype, the device on display looks very well assembled and appears to be fully working. When we got the chance to play with it we found the IPS panel to be very responsive with a vibrant image but due to the high resolution the menus and toolbars in Photoshop (or any other application) have shrunk to a microscopic size which makes them difficult to use. In terms of computing power and screen resolution this device could easily replace a laptop in the field for image editing and viewing but we'll have to see how photographers take to the new form factor and ergonomics.

Comments

Total comments: 55
js41121

mmm, it looks like a 20 inch digital picture frame...

0 upvotes
harry cannoli

Looks good. Would have been nice when I was doing more commercial photography. Displayed images would look more vibrant than my printed portfolio. That, and a good way to show actual pixels if the client wants to check out sharpness and clipping path accuracy. This would be a great way to showcase my stuff.

Anyone have an extra three grand laying around?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1

Shouldn't it be called All-in-One PC rather than a tablet?

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr

This what Infoworld has to say --

This tablet's biggest selling point is its massive 20-inch, 4K (aka the new hi-def) screen, which would make it perfect for architects, designers, and other folks who could really benefit from the extra detail and screen space. One small problem, though: It doesn't have enough processing power to handle all that detail and real estate, so it lags like crazy even when doing basic touch manipulation. Panasonic might have wanted to address that before showing off the tablet.

https://www.infoworld.com/slideshow/81696/the-dumbest-products-of-ces-2013-210723?source=IFWNLE__2013-01-11#slide2

0 upvotes
Xentrax

I may be wrong, but I can see in the photo above that Panasonic did not enable 150% scaling in Windows 8 in this demo unit. The UI elements will still be rather small with 150% scaling but usable. What we see in the picture is not usable at all.

0 upvotes
Hawaii-geek

USB3 please, D800e? 256 SSD, and max ram.

1 upvote
Shamael

if it goes for 3000$ like wacom's big screen, it will not be a big deal. I wait for something affordable in tablets, indian companies have proven that you can sell a 10 inch-16 Gig tablet for 80$.
Why do others then sell that crap for 750$. I wait tablets to become affordable and, have a memeory that could be called with that name. A 32 gig stic k is sold 50 to 80$, so why does 16 gig more in a table go for 400$. higher in price. Seek the errors?

0 upvotes
JordanAT

If it goes for anywhere under $3k, it will be a hot seller - provided they fix some of the weirdness, like not having USB3 and putting a "real" sized SSD in it (or at least allowing user swaps). In comparison, the iPad 32GB version is 1/4 the size, 1/4 the power, 1/4 the resolution, 1/4 the storage, and runs not a single desktop app nor does it have a stylus - and it's $600. $2400 would have me whipping out the ol' credit card.

That $80 tablet is a digital toy. If you're doing anything except watching consumer videos or re-purposing it as grandma's digital picture frame (she can't see anyway, so the 16 bit color and 100:1 contrast is considered a plus), it will sorely disappoint.

0 upvotes
Domblack

HDMI input would be great too.

1 upvote
maxnimo

You think someday the geniuses at Microsoft will figure out how to display 12 point print to always appear as 12 point print regardless of screen resolution and screen DPI?

4 upvotes
JordanAT

First off...the small menus are a feature, not a bug. If you're going to be using a pixel-accurate stylus, a 24x24 pixel (which is photoshop) is more than enough. I want every tool available, and I want it to take up as little screen space as possible so I don't have to constantly pan and zoom. Now, for touch interaction...that will need bigger icons. I can see how a touch optimized icon set which allows you to manipulate the tools with one hand and the photo (via a pen) with the other could be pretty sweet.

It's gonna need a bigger SSD, no doubt, but this is a rare case where I think 2 hours on battery is okay, as you're probably going to be near some sort of power source if you're doing more work than that. You'll get a big battery and an external drive to go with this if you're going to be doing large volume on the road and don't have a local wifi network or portable power to use.

I do architecture, too, so I can't wait to mark up drawings on this thing.

0 upvotes
Goodmeme

2 hr battery and it might as well be a desktop pc as far as I'm concerned. But with a light and long power
supply, I can see this might work as a desktop replacement while also being great to show photos/plans to clients.

Aren't there any lower power cpus that might be suitable?

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze

How close must one's nose be to the screen to perceive the additional resolution? Will a magnifying glass help? The 4k resolution must be for photos only. How could an i5 processor drive 4k video? Is there a dedicated graphics chip too?

There is an obvious trade-off between battery life, on the one hand, and processor speed, RAM, screen size, and resolution, on the other. 2 hour battery life is not a lot.

0 upvotes
M Jesper

You have 4k video ?

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

Of course there is a dedicated graphics chip, an NVIDIA GeForce as in many computers. This is PC hardware in a tablet form factor, obviously a your average iPad/Galaxy processor would struggle to power this thing.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze

A $400 GoPro or a $5,000 JVC shoot 4k video of sorts. Some expensive devices do too. More important, though, is the question whether the human eye could notice the difference on a 20" screen at a 5' viewing distance. Or maybe the higher resolution is mainly for eagle-eyes who like to see the entire IRS 1040 instructions on a single screen. i7 machines with NVIDIA cards render 4k video very slowly, so I don't imagine a tablet would have a very easy time. 500mbps is a lot to handle.

0 upvotes
Slynky

Got my attention. Will have to keep an eye on this project.

No mention of any kind of time frame for production...

0 upvotes
migus

Nice if it comes as a monitor, too. This seems the primary target, more than a digital frame called 'tablet' :-).

However, i was fortunate to use its ancestor (10% larger) ca. 14 yrs ago in my lab. This display class was invented by IBM, before being unfortunately 'divested' outside. Mitch
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_T220/T221_LCD_monitors

0 upvotes
jhinkey

If it's aimed at photographers then it needs a lot of fast storage, either internally or connected externally. It also needs a fast connection to memory cards (micro SD really? Come on at least put an SD slot in the thing it's more than large enough). Have an add-on battery and storage capability so it can be used for longer than 2 hours and not just have a single storage drive.

This would be really attractive to me if you could have an external drive, but powered by the tablet attach directly to it as well as an additional batter. it would be thicker, but a whole lot more useful.

Since this is in the prototype stage hopefully they will get this thing sorted out and properly configured and thought out . . .

Comment edited 60 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Murdey

20-inch 4k (3840x2560, 230ppi)

Screw tablets! I want this as my desktop monitor, now!

12 upvotes
OvinceZ

I have wanted something much bigger than the iPad for years. 20" screen with that resolution sounds like a dream. Would be perfect for showing photos and doing other stuff. The 4-3 size is exactly what I want. Can be used plugged in. More or less do that when using the iPad for a long time. More memory, fast and has connectivity via USB. Great.

A big Yes, Please! from me.

2 upvotes
r o n o

I guess no levels of pressure.
Wake up, Wacom!

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Joe Ogiba

Eizo RadiForce RX840: A 36.4-inch Monitor with an Insane 4096×2160 Resolution :
http://www.geeks3d.com/20111208/eizo-radiforce-rx840-a-36-4-inch-monitor-with-an-insane-4096x2160-resolution/

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm

Yes, a monitor, what is the connection to the tablet in this story?

3 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr

Joe,

Thanks for the URL.

The price is really high at 21,000 euros.

I would use the Panny under discussion for presenting and viewing photos. Storage too. Not editing.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
encosion

Nice. 2 hours is unfortunately not really good enough to be properly mobile. That and editing photos in the field without some sort of calibration is just asking for trouble... Maybe the first and second round of picks and discards though!

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

In theory you should be able to calibrate this with any standard monitor calibration device. We;ll try that out if/when we get a sample.

1 upvote
Superka

I'll waiting for tablet from Wacom for retouching and digital painting.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
kevinthom

I've got an Asus EP-121 tablet that I bought last year. It's got a pressure sensitive Wacom digitizer built in. The resolution isn't anything like this Panasonic, but the screen is IPS and is even viewable in direct sunlight. I upgraded it to a 256GB SSD and Windows 8 and it works great. I'm a professional photographer and find that the Asus serves me very well while traveling.

1 upvote
Superka

Thanks, kevinthom!

0 upvotes
wkay

So TV's (ie The Boob Tube) are DPReview's new focus?

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler

Devices that look really promising for viewing and editing photos (i.e not TVs), are of interest to Connect, dpreview's mobile photography site, yes.

11 upvotes
chrisnfolsom

Any time you look at a display on your computer/camera/phone it is essentially the "Boob Tube" and show what will trickle down soon to other media. Thanks to apple who pushed high res into phones we can stand the images, and the retina technology for their laptop and tablets are superb - not only in resolution, but color and brightness - so yes, and technology is helpful - also, if you are into film, having a good and cheaper monitor for 4k at a consumer level would be great - even Red's $3500 9" monitor is only 1280x784.

1 upvote
Greg Gebhardt

2 hour battery life is not going to make it a favorite in the field.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
d3xmeister

This tablet will be suitable for future cyborgs, because the human eye cannot possible see the difference between this and a lower resolution one

1 upvote
tarmov

I don't know about others, but my eyes can see at least 600 ppi from 10 inches away and used to see 1000 ppi, so 230 ppi is good for viewing at 25 inches away. Contrast is another issue. And for a smooth vision I expect the ppi of a device to be at least 3 times higher than the capability of my eyes.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
d3xmeister

I very much doubd that. I consider to have pretty good vision and I cannot see the pixels on my iPhone 4s no matter from how close I stare at it

0 upvotes
tyyreaun

So you have vision that's 25% better than the theoretical maximum acuity of the human eye?! That's amazing! Get yourself to the nearest eye research institute right away!

1 upvote
tarmov

I tested it by looking on a dot on i and a dot finishing a sentence on an 8-bit LCD monitor with 0.25 mm dot size at 150 cm away. That is 100 ppi at 60 inches. I must be a superman.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
tarmov

And the 1000 ppi equivalent was a very small imperfection on a window glass against a medium bright sky. The devil is in the contrast.

2 upvotes
Paul Guba

Spec about connectivity? How am I to transfer my huge images to leverage that great display. Hard drive space?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler

It doesn't have a hard drive, as such, it has a 128Gb SSD. USB and microSD connections.

0 upvotes
smalltalk80

Didn't Lenovo just showcase a 27" table tablet "Horizon" with $1699 price tag?
http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/lenovo-ideacentre-horizon-27/4505-3118_7-35561100.html
How does this Pana thing compare to it? And where's 20" in the picture?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
wowlfie

Yes and another 18.4" tablet was revealed at CES by Asus called the Asus Transformer AiO and runs both Windows 8 and Android.

2 upvotes
Mir_ro

My next workstation !

1 upvote
rfsIII

Looks awesome, but why, why, why??!!!! won't Adobe give us control over the size of the tools? It's the most maddening thing about their whole suite of software. Why do the Knoll brothers hate us?

2 upvotes
joel avery
1 upvote
Weegee

Hopefully we will be able to download files immediately from a camera with a n Eye-fi card in it. Hope those Panasonic bozos come out with a Mac version. Don't they know that all "creative" photographers use Macs!

0 upvotes
endymion

I'm not being funny, I genuinly want to know why Pros use Macs

2 upvotes
DStudio

OS X is already doing the 2x scaling needed (to be able to see the menus at a normal size) because of the MacBook Retina models. It's possible a "hacked" OS X would do the same here. But Apple won't endorse this tablet, so it won't become "a Mac" unless Apple produces one.

What would happen is Windows would be given a similar "2x"-like scaling capability before this goes on sale.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
pmow

Final Cut? I don't know that pro photogs use Mac, it seems to be pretty split.

1 upvote
graybalanced

endymion, photography and design pros use Macs because they're not left-brain types, they're right-brain types. They want the computer to be another one of their creative tools, they don't care about it being a list of specifications that's longer than the other guy's. There is also still some residual momentum from the years (long ago now) when Windows didn't have the hardware and OS support to do graphics properly. Although today, both Macs and Windows can get the job done just as well.

3 upvotes
rfsIII

endymion
Please god don't let this turn into a Mac vs PC argument, but here's how I've seen it evolve over the last 25 years.
It's mainly an ecosystem thing—early on the ability to use fonts and graphics plus Apple's iconoclastic marketing pushed most designers to Mac. It became conventional wisdom that "creative" equaled "Mac". The first gen Mac users became the mentors of the next generation, so they naturally led the young down the Mac path. And since designers are photographers biggest customers, photographers fell in line, plus it's much easier to transfer files on the same platform.
Also the PC environment has never been user-friendly to the brains of creative people. They live with their heads in the clouds and don't do well with linearity.
With a Mac, the file structure metaphor is very similar to what we have in the real world. With PCs, if you're not careful it's very easy to lose files deep in the hard drive. That's how I saw it evolve.

2 upvotes
qstudios

Now if this has USB3 then it could replace a laptop or an iMac for tethered scenarios in studio or on location (w/ power). I can see it running C1 Pro and providing better mobility while you shoot. Web services could be run on it as well for other devices to mirror the shoot. Depending on the shoot the 128GB should do just fine. Otherwise as another poster mentioned an external drive.

In terms of using it for imaging editing for my needs, I'll still stick with a desktop to give me Max system and video RAM. I would just be missing out on that 4K screen. Perhaps if its not a final product they could add a thunderbolt port versus USB3 (not confirmed it has that either) which might allow it to act like a monitor, take storage devices and tethering!

It will be cool to see what the final product will look like. It definitely a harbinger of 4K display tech coming to the masses in one form or another.

0 upvotes
Juck

Right brain, left brain. What a tool.

1 upvote
Total comments: 55
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