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Reviews

Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 review

Fujitsu's latest Windows 7 tablet has some useful hardware features, but unfortunately the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

Price
£540

Public attention may be focussed on the Apple iPad and other finger-operated touchscreen tablets, but there are still manufacturers dutifully making stylus-driven Windows tablets. The Stylistic Q550 is the latest Windows 7 tablet from Fujitsu and it's the first Windows computer of any kind we've seen to come with a new Oak Trail-class Intel Atom processor.

At 872g the Q550 is heavy for a modern tablet so you wouldn't want to hold it up for long periods of time. It does feel well made though with its robust plastic build and rubberised rear. We wouldn't want to drop any tablet, but we'd have fewer concerns about accidentally dropping the Q550. There are numerous hardware features aimed at business users. There are smartcard and fingerprint readers aimed at security-conscious users, while frequent presentation givers will appreciate the full-sized HDMI port for connecting TVs and projectors.

The full-sized USB2 and HDMI ports are found on the left-hand side of the Stylistic Q550.

There's also a full-size USB2 port for connecting USB storage and other peripherals, as well as a SDHC slot, although there's no option in the BIOS to restrict the usage of these in especially security-conscious workplaces. There's also a socket for connecting a proprietary port replicator.

Unfortunately, battery life is disappointing. It lasted just over four hours in our light usage web browsing test, which is less than most netbooks, so you'll need to keep an eye out for wall sockets. This is partially offset by the fact that the Q550's battery is easily user-replaceable, but Fujitsu has yet to confirm pricing for replacement batteries.

Unusually, the Stylistic Q550's battery is designed to be user replaceable.

While a stylus is used to operate Windows, there's no place to store it when travelling although it is at least attached to the Q550 using a string. Windows has never been well-suited for touchscreen use and that's still the case here. Although Windows 7 is better than its predecessors with reasonably accurate handwriting recognition, it's all ruined by the responsiveness and accuracy of the Q550's touchscreen which is frustratingly bad.

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