Talking tech since 2003

In Panisonictopia, bigger is always better. The company knows there’s a market out there for tablet users who just aren’t satisfied with the portability of 7 and 10-inch devices; folks who always have a friend available to help them carry a much larger tablet around. Panasonic hasn’t quite hit my target size yet — I’m still waiting for that 60-inch tablet that will really put your iPad to shame — but it’s working its way up the megatablet ladder by introducing a 20-inch, 4K resolution Windows 8 tablet. For those who aren’t familiar with 4K, it’s a resolution of 3840 by 2160, or 4096 by 2160. To contrast, your puny fourth-generation iPad’s resolution is only 2048 by 1536. I’m sorry, Retina what?

Of course, a tablet is nothing if it isn’t thick and heavy. This one is 10.8 mm thick and weighs 5.3 pounds, or a little bit heavier than some bowling balls. Compare that to the weight of an iPad mini for example, which is 7.2 mm thick and comes in at 0.68 pounds. Be honest with yourself: do you want to get a little bit of a workout, maybe wear a sleeveless shirt and let the pythons breathe while you hold your tablet? Or do you want to be a wuss and go for something much lighter? That’s what I thought.

Panasonic is touting this monster tablet’s ability to show some types of publications, like A3 newspapers, at nearly full size. Of course, you won’t be able to fold up the 20-inch giant like you would a newspaper, nor will you be able to use it for hamster cage bedding after you’re done reading today’s edition. But knowing that newspapers will have a way to go digital without abandoning their centuries-old layouts will help me sleep better. I’ve always been a big fan of turning to A10 to finish a story instead of just reading the whole thing in one piece.

In all seriousness, business is where I see this tablet being its most useful, with artists and architects making use of the large screen size and high resolution. I’m sure companies will find other uses for them. But I can’t see grandma or grandpa sitting out on the front porch reading the newspaper on one of these anytime soon. As far as I’m concerned, this is a section of the tablet market some people think is “ripe,” but not one I’m completely sold on. I see the case for larger phones, because ultimately, they can still fit into your pocket. But larger tablets? When a tablet is so large it won’t even fit into your laptop bag anymore, that’s probably too big.

No word yet on pricing or a release date from Panasonic. We’ll keep you filled in as we get more information.

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