Motion Computing J3500 review
Undoubtedly well-designed, with a quality touchscreen and many neat features, but battery life could be better
Review Date: 7 Jul 2010
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £2,253 (£2,647 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
There aren't many circumstances under which we can see ourselves putting a touch screen on a PC to much use. But in some industries and for some applications, devices such as Motion Computing's J3500 will certainly fit the bill.
Targeted principally at medical environments, where keyboards and mice are viewed as bacteria-harbouring nasties, the J3500 certainly seems up to the job. Not only is it equipped with a touchscreen capable of being operated with both finger and digitizer pen, but our model was also supplied with a rather ingenious drop-in docking station, complete with its very own stand, and hygienic, rubber membrane-covered keyboard and touchpad.
That means harassed medical professionals could equally use the J3500 as a desktop computer, but also on the rounds as a high-tech clipboard. But it clearly isn't just for doctors. Couple it with Microsoft OneNote's excellent handwriting recognition, for instance, and you have yourself a top quality, multipurpose office workhorse. Plus, to further cement its all-things-to-all-businesses pedigree, there's a fingerprint reader, a TPM chip, Intel's top-end dual-band Ultimate-N 6300agn Wi-Fi, mobile broadband and even a GPS chip.
Squeezing that lot in is an impressive feat given the svelte dimensions and light weight. The J3500 measures just 23mm thick and weighs a mere 1.9kg without its charger. But it's even more remarkable when you consider how rugged this tablet is. Everywhere you look there are features that make the J3500 ideally suited to life in a warehouse, on the road or in the field. Take the touchscreen, for instance. Not only is it dual-multitouch capable and pretty sensitive at that, but it feels tough too. We really had to press down hard to cause even the slightest rippling effect on the display behind, plus it's shock mounted to prevent it shattering when knocked against hard surfaces. And if that's not enough for you, there's a "Gorilla Glass" version that's even more breakage and scratch resistant (note that this version is pen digitiser only, not multitouch).
The rest of the J3500 feels just as solid. The chassis is made from unyielding plastics, with a non-slip textured rubber rear and it has an endoskeleton of lightweight magnesium alloy. There are sealed flaps covering the two USB 2 ports, D-SUB out, Gigabit Ethernet and audio ports on the left, and the whole thing has been tested and rated to the MIL-STD-810G (a test used by the US military to ensure ruggedness) and IP52 standards, which means it's dust and very slightly water resistant. Inside, our review model also had a 128GB SSD, and even if you choose to go with the cheaper 160GB mechanical disk option, you still get drop-sensing technology and more shock-protection for your money.
Touch vs Gorilla Glass Model
I'll assume that you were using the touch + digitizer model of the J3500. You'll find that the colouring that you refer to in your verdict not present on the Gorilla Glass model. It's unfortunate, but the extra convenience of touch will be worth the drawback of the yellowish tinge for many...
The battery figures that you quote are very suprising though. I have worked on my J3400 for 6 hours straight on it's two batteries. The worst I have experienced is 3.5 - 4 hours (3G active, lots of pen input, disk access etc.)
I can't imagine that the J3500 would be that much different. It sounds like your test was only using one of the 2 batteries to me.
By TabletPC on 13 Jul 2010
TabletPC - The J3500 was definitely using both batteries. It was one of the first things we checked! The shorter life is probably down to the more powerful processor in the J3500. Can I ask what CPU your J3400 has?
And yes, the J3500 we tested uses the non-Gorilla Glass version (see paragraph four).
By JonBray on 13 Jul 2010
- Nvidia to license graphics tech to smartphone makers
- Microsoft frees two million PCs from botnet
- Huawei considers Nokia buyout
- Child abuse showdown "hijacked by ignorant MPs"
- Government wheedles more funding for online child protection from ISPs
- AMD’s "Seattle" ARM chips set for 2014 release
- Microsoft offloads cheap Surface RT tablets to schools
- Outlook.com to ditch linked accounts over security fears
- Adobe’s subscription-only Creative Cloud goes live
- Skype rolls out free video voicemail
- Adobe Dreamweaver CC review: first look
- Huawei Ascend P6 review: first look
- Adobe Illustrator CC review: first look
- Let MPs tell us what they really want ISPs to block
- Adobe Photoshop CC review: first look
- WWDC 2013 and iOS 7 launch: live blog
- Sony VAIO Pro review: first look
- Want child porn blocked? Meet the IWF
- Is it worth upgrading a media centre to Windows 8?
- Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?
- Manage a mailing list with MailChimp
- Best Linux distros for 2013
- 36 best Android apps
- How to track a stolen phone, laptop or tablet
- The man who teaches the world to Google
- 38 best iPad apps
- Moving PC made easy
- 35 best web apps
- Software subscriptions return us to a life of servitude
- Dropbox: everything you need to know
- Facebook "click on the photo" scams: how they work
- Three alternatives to Word's spelling and grammar checker
- Google two-step verification: a must for business email
- Microsoft Office and the death of upgrades
- The ICO's shame-faced u-turn on cookies
- Start8 and ModernMix: making Windows 8 work on a desktop
- How to boost your mobile reception
- How to fix Facebook: Social Fixer
- Taking the stress out of WordPress updates
- Where to download free web fonts
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW