Panasonic's gigantic 4K tablet will make your wallet weep in January

A full year after making its debut at CES 2013, Panasonic's jaw-dropping 20-inch, 4K-resolution Windows tablet will finally land on U.S. store shelves in January. Panasonic has yet to release a specific debut date, but don't get too excited—you probably can't afford one anyway. With a $6,000 price tag, the Toughpad 4K UT-MB5 slate is squarely targeted at the professional market.

(The hands-on video above comes from our time with the slate at IFA 2013 in September.)

The 20-inch slab will come loaded with Microsoft's touch-centric Windows 8.1 Pro, but the biggest selling point is naturally its IPS Alpha display, which sports a 3840-by-2560 (commonly dubbed "4K") resolution at 230 pixels per inch and a 15:10 aspect ratio.

Under the hood, the tablet features a dual-core 1.9GHz Intel “Ivy Bridge” Core i5-3437U vPro processor, an Nvidia GeForce 745M GPU with 2GB VRAM, 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0, SDXC card slot, a 720p front-facing camera, and the Toughpad's iconic punishment-proof design. Panasonic also plans to offer a cradle for users who want to use the tablet as an all-in-one.

On a workhorse this size, you might expect Panasonic to include a heftier processor, but the company apparently wanted to preserve at least some battery life for the slate. Out of the box, this monster Toughpad will offer just 2 hours of wire-free computing time. Panasonic is working on an even more souped-up variant for use with 3D modeling or CAD applications, however.

Panasonic envisions the UT-MB5 as an ideal display console for museums, galleries, training centers, and sales floors. The Windows 8.1 slate is also targeting graphics-intensive professions including architecture, design, and video production and comes with an electronic pen for sketching and handwriting.

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