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Fujitsu Q550 review

Andrew Williams

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Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Pros

  • Good display
  • Fairly portable

Cons

  • Underpowered
  • Lack of power trips up touchscreen at times

Key Features

  • n-trig digitizer
  • Capacitive touchscreen
  • 1.5GHz dual-core Oak Trail Atom CPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • Windows 7 OS
  • Manufacturer: Fujitsu
  • Review Price: £679.00

It's sometimes easy to forget that there are tablets out there apart from iPads and Android-powered devices. The Fujitsu Q550 is an enterprise-focused Windows tablet, but one with specs to make it attractive to buyers not concerned with how many spreadsheets it can crunch before the end of play. With a good display, a touchscreen and a graphics tablet-like digitizer to boot, its feature list is impressive, but with Windows 7 on-board, it's not going to convert millions of dedicated Apple fans.

Labelling the Q550 an enterprise device was a smart move on Fujitsu's part. Although reasonably light and compact given its specs, it can't compete with ultra-desirable tablets like the Apple iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the eyes of many tablet buyers. This isn't a tablet that has thrown out all aesthetic and portability concerns in favour of features, but where style has butted-heads with practicality, the latter has won out almost every time.

Take the back for instance - it uses a nice soft-touch finish, but this is interrupted for the battery, which carves a great big line into this side. This means you can swap the battery in seconds, a vital feature for some. However, it's a design sacrifice that we could never, ever imagine the likes of Samsung and Apple making in its top-end consumer-focused tabs.

Fujitsu Q550 4

Function takes precedence in the built-in hardware security measures too. On the Q550's back and side are a fingerprint reader and smartcard slot, to top up on any software security measures you might adopt. These are larger and more conspicuous that most other tablet connectivity sockets and ports. They're hard to miss, in other words.

Style is a lesser priority here than in other tablets, but the form factor remains reasonably compact. Weighing-up the Windows 7 OS - generally the preserve of chunky tabs - the inclusion of a 30GB internal solid state hard drive and the thoroughly respectable "up to 8 hour" battery life, we can't help but be impressed that the Q550 isn't much bigger or heavier than its weight-watching consumer rivals. It's 860g in weight with the extra-capacity 4-cell battery and 16.2mm thick - not a leviathan compared with the 760g, 13.2mm Acer Iconia A500.

Fujitsu Q550

To keep these figures down, the Q550 is largely made of plastic, with little metal outer bodywork to weigh it down. As such, it doesn't have the luxury airs you'll feel between your fingers when holding some metal-bodied tablets. Build quality is good though. The soft touch back finish makes it pleasant to grasp, even if your digits are never too far away from touching a seam or battery release clip, and there's very little creaking to be heard in the high-quality plastics used throughout.

evan fotis

July 28, 2011, 4:20 pm

TR may need to correct the display dimensions in the spec tab from 15.6 in to 10.1...as there is no 15.6 tablet to day.
Other than that, I'm surprised there is no mention of the Q550 direct rival, no else than the Asus EEE Slate EP121 reviewd by TR here:
http://www.trustedreviews.com/asus-eee-slate-ep121_Laptop_review
The latter offers 2 more inches, a wacom digitizer, far more powerful hardware with an i5 and 4Gb RAM comes with keyboard and case. Although larger it has the same height with the Q550.
On the downside it has a glossy screen and no fingerprint reader and no removable battery. On a whole it is a far better package considering price/performance and what you get.
If nothing else, for artists these 2" are important..

Andrew_TR

July 28, 2011, 6:10 pm

We found the Q550 a little more comfortable to draw on, thanks to the slightly different screen surface. That i5/Atom gap makes a big difference though. Neither feels quite like the killer combination of features and usability yet, but both have their place.

Thanks for the tip about the screen size in the specs - we've been adding too many sets of laptop specs recently, clearly!

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