Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 review
A rugged Windows 7 tablet with good connectivity and a non-reflective screen – but performance is sluggish
Review Date: 17 Jun 2012
Reviewed By: Chris Drage
Price when reviewed: £468 (£562 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
With the ever-increasing popularity of Android tablets, it might seem strange that Fujitsu should release the Windows 7-based Stylistic Q550, but the company is targeting its new tablet squarely at the business and education markets. Normally, this kind of device would come at a high cost, but with some compromises Fujitsu has brought the Q550 in at a price designed to attract schools.
Although compact, at 870g, the Q550 is no light-weight and can be tiring to hold in one hand. The chassis is robust and well engineered, but we’d still recommend getting a protective case if the tablet is to be used in the wild. Fujitsu offers three, with the Portfolio Case most ideal, snuggly holding the tablet and maintaining it in a tilted position when placed on a desk. This particular case also provides a docking point for the tethered stylus, which otherwise is left dangling without a home; a design oversight that Fujitsu really should have caught, especially since a replacement costs an eye- watering £40.
Whether you’re using the stylus or a finger, the 10.1in screen’s multitouch sensitivity is good. Of course, within Windows 7 and standard Windows applications this isn’t of much use. The menus and toolbars clearly aren’t designed with touch in mind, and while the stylus offers greater precision, it still isn’t particularly intuitive. Luckily, Fujitsu provides an overlay for Windows 7 called “Infinity Lounge”, which offers an Android-like array of three screens that you can populate with widgets and flick though with finger gestures. This includes a toolbox area to manage Wi-Fi, mobile broadband, webcam software, and access to all installed applications. Windows isn’t bereft of education-ready software that supports touch, but there isn’t an awful lot about.
With the more touch-focused Windows 8 this should change, but here the Q550 presents other problems. There’s nothing much wrong with its LED-backlit screen: it’s bright and clear and, with an anti-glare coating, it’s viewable outdoors. However, while the 1,280 x 800 resolution is fine for Windows 7, it’s some way off the 1,366 x 768 resolution that’s optimal for using Windows 8. As a result, the Q550 isn’t a great bet for anyone planning to buy now and upgrade later.
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