Tablets are all the rage at the moment, but there’s a big difference between a tablet for the everyday consumer such as the Apple iPad 2, and one that’s aimed at the business community. Presently, Windows is the operating system of choice for business-focused tablets, and the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 offers just that. With a twist.
The Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 runs Windows 7 Professional (32-bit). One of the problems with putting Windows 7 into a tablet is that Microsoft’s current operating system – unlike its successor, Windows 8 – was not really designed for finger-based use. Its icons are a bit small, and they’re difficult to hit accurately with a fingertip on the 10.1in, 1280×800-pixel screen.
To get over that, the Stylistic Q550 is supplied with a digital stylus. Its pointed tip provides the accuracy required, but unfortunately there’s no slot for it on the chassis. Instead, on our review sample it dangled from a rather long lanyard. The alternative would be to put it in a bag or pocket – whatever you do you’ll have to remember to carry the stylus. And you’d better make sure you don’t lose it, either.
The Infinity Lounge
Fujitsu’s other way of getting over what we’re calling ‘the Windows problem’ is to use a software overlay that’s a bit like the sort of thing you find on a smartphone. Called Infinity Lounge, you call this up from within Windows (rather than it being part of a dual-boot system).
Infinity Lounge offers three screens that you can flick between with a finger sweep. Each can be populated with a few app shortcuts such as calculator, calendar, email, notes and RSS reader. It also enables you to use the built-in camera, search the Stylistic Q550, and perform one or two other functions too. It’s not a substitute for Windows in any comprehensive sense, but it does help.
An all-new processor
One of the star features of the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 is its brand new processor. The Intel Atom Z670 runs at 1.5GHz and is supported by 2GB of RAM.
The processor is designed for small devices that need long battery life, though we didn’t feel the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 did brilliantly in that regard. From a full charge, we played video in a continuous loop from a USB stick and managed just under five hours. That’s good, but not stunning. Still, you can swap out the battery. Carrying a spare ought to give most people a realistic shot at all day computing.
The Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 is a bit on the heavy side at 870g. Some people might find holding it for extended periods a challenge. There is a fingerprint scanner for security purposes, and two cameras, a 1.3-megapixel one on the back, a 0.3-megapixel one at the front. A USB and an HDMI port sit on the edges, and connectivity options run to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi but not Ethernet or 3G. Storage is better than the average tablet, with 62GB or 30GB SSD options available – but it’s a little limited when compared to most standard laptops.
- Infinity Lounge is a nice touch; good battery life.
- No slot to store the digital stylus; slightly heavy.
The Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 looks fine, but it's a bit heavy - and we'd have liked to see some sort of housing in the chassis for its stylus. Infinity Lounge has potential, though, and we'd like to see it expanded. The storage quota definitely needs a boost too.