They were an evolution from the preceding Myōkō class, with heavier torpedo armament and had an almost battleship-like, large bridge structure.
United States Navy recognition drawings of Takao and Atago
Their main gun armament was ten 20.3-centimetre (8.0 in) guns in twin mounts and they were also armed with sixteen 24 inch Long Lancetorpedoes (carrying more than the Myōkō or Mogami-class ships), making the Takaos the most heavily armed cruisers of the IJN. The only flaw was that they were considered top-heavy and thus prone to capsizing, while Turret #3 had a poor firing arc. These two problems were rectified in the follow-up Mogamis; nonetheless the Takaos were considered the best cruisers that the IJN ever built.
Takao class midship with armour thickness in millimetres