- Good display
- Fairly portable
- Lack of power trips up touchscreen at times
Review Price £679.00
Design and Form Factor
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.
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.
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.