Motion Computing J3500 review

7 Jul 2010

Undoubtedly well-designed, with a quality touchscreen and many neat features, but battery life could be better

Price when reviewed 
2,647
4

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.

[IMG ID=150193F]Motion Computing J3500 with mobile keyboard[/IMG]

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £2,253
Price inc VAT £2,647
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 3
Performance 4

Warranty

Warranty 1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 323 x 231 x 23mm (WDH)
Weight 1.630kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i7-640UM
Motherboard chipset QM57
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 12.1in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Intel HD graphics
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 0
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 128GB
Hard disk usable capacity 118GB
Spindle speed N/A
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Hard disk Samsung MMCRE28G8MXP-0VB
Optical disc technology N/A
Optical drive N/A
Battery capacity 4,000mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support no
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter yes
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch no
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 1
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 2
FireWire ports 0
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader no
Memory Stick reader no
MMC (multimedia card) reader no
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type touchpad
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Speaker location Above screen
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? no
Camera megapixel rating N/A
TPM yes
Fingerprint reader yes
Smartcard reader yes
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 4hr 39min
Battery life, heavy use 1hr 44min
Overall application benchmark score 1.14
Office application benchmark score 0.97
2D graphics application benchmark score 1.25
Encoding application benchmark score 1.16
Multitasking application benchmark score 1.19

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Professional 32-bit
OS family Windows 7