The Panasonic Toughpad 4K-A Better Idea than Another iPad Clone

Posted by Rob Enderle

Much of what goes into our attraction to one tablet or other has to do with status and the perception that if you have a certain product you have arrived.   The iPad Air is an impressive product if you value physical design and number of apps over all else but there are products that better target particularl uses.   While the Panasonic Toughpad 4K is hardly in the iPad’s weight or size class it is ideal for those that want to create on something that is still very portable.   In a world awash with iPad clones it is nice to see a vendor try to create something very different.

The ToughPad 4K

Calling the Toughpad a tablet is really not accurate, this is a very specialized portable all-in-one and it is targeted at professionals that need to do work on the road, particularly those that are working with images.   Artists, engineers, architects, chemists, biologists, crime scene investigators, criminal attorneys, plastic surgeons, and photographers who have to manipulate and demonstrate images are on a list of potential customers that also included teachers.  

The keystone of this product is the 4K 20” 3840x2560 screen that goes beyond Ultra HD resolution which would be critical to seeing both the detail and creating the complete image that specialists need for their respective jobs.   This is a full 10 point touch screen but it comes with a unique infrared pen which provides pixel level precision critical to those that are using the tablet for artistic creation or precise design activities.  

 

While heavy at a tad over 5 pounds its magnesium alloy frame keeps it well within laptop weight range and that is pretty amazing for something that has a screen as large or larger than most have on a desktop computer.   

As you would expect the named advocates for this product are Architect Thomas A. Heinz one of the leading experts on Frank Lloyd Wright, and Don Kempf of Giant Screen Films which is famous for educational films like Titans of the Ice Age, Great White Shark, Last Reef, and BBC Earth which explore man’s interaction with nature.   Both indicate that this product better addresses their mobile needs than any affordable alternative currently in market.  

Wrapping Up:  Learning From Apple

So many firms seem to fixate on trying to create a better version of an Apple product and then wonder why they aren’t successful.  Apple really didn’t copy some other success, their success have largely been because they created a need folks didn’t know they had and fulfilled it.   I generally think this is a better path and the Panasonic Toughpad 4K is an example of that thinking.   Folks that want an iPad won’t really be interested in this product and those that have a unique need that the Toughpad meets would find an iPad inadequate much like those that need to seat 6 aren’t going to find a Miata, as popular as it is, to be a viable solution.

With the Toughpad 4K Panasonic has created something that appeals to a unique class of buyers who are largely ignored by a market focused on building toys for adults and children and while that path has proven lucrative, it has left many professionals without good choices.   It is nice to see companies like Panasonic stay focused on professionals because they need product love too.