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Panasonic shows FZ-M1 ToughPad, 4K sports cam, Life+Screen TVs, more

updated 03:25 pm EST, Mon January 6, 2014

ToughPad, 4K sports cam, Life+Screen HDTVs to headline Panasonic CES booth

At its CES press conference on Monday, Panasonic made a number of brief product introductions, including the FZ-M1 Toughpad tablet and a number of other interesting consumer electronics. The company also promised to bring out a wearable action sports camcorder based on its current HX-A100. The future model will capture video in 4K resolution.

The workhorse seven-inch Toughpad tablet will sport an Intel Core i5 vPro CPU, Windows 8.1 Pro, an MIL-STD-810G rating for ruggedness, and IP65 certification for water resistance. This last feature was clearly demonstrated when Panasonic executive Rance Poehler side-armed it off the stage and onto the floor in front of the other execs, much to the enjoyment of the audience. The FZ-M1 was then also touted to be the thinnest and lightest tablet of its kind.

Otherwise, it gets a multi-touch display that can read gloved fingers, along with a USB 3.0 port, microSDXC slot, and a plethora of expandability options. Integrated are Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, RFID, and Bluetooth 4.0 radios, while LTE is optional. The battery is said to be hot-swappable.

Pricing and release dates haven't been released, but we look forward to checking one out in person soon.

When it comes to its HDTVs for 2014, the Japanese electronics giant promised it will achieve Plasma-level picture quality from its LED-backlit HDTVs. What's more, all of Panasonic's 2014 1080p and 4K TVs will come with what the maker calls Life+Screen tech. It will basically recognize users and custom-tailor content to them, as well as allow for voice commands through the mic-equipped remote control. The custom content will be dubbed "My Stream," and group content into Recommended, Popular, and Favorite categories. It's said to recognize users walking by, and bring up customized web content in an Info Bar that sits along the bottom of the screen. The first TVs with Life+Screen will comprise the AX800 series, ranging in sizes from 58 to 65 inches. Also promised is an 85-inch 4K LED model.

In other 4K news, the company also introduced a 4K VariCam that will be an affordable production solution, though more information on this is expected to come at the NAB show later on in the year. Also due out are 4K projectors that are said to sport the first pixel-quadrupling technology in the industry.

The wearable sports camcorder will also launch sometime this year, though not many other specs were yet revealed. As for the Lumix G line of digital cameras for 2014, the company promises to bring hybrid photography, somehow allowing for the creation of "moving photos" that likely comprise very short, Vine-like video clips. This is to be accomplished thanks to the camera(s) 4K capability, which was officially revealed.

We'll bring you more on these upcoming products from Panasonic's booth on the show floor later this week.

by MacNN Staff



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