Recently rumors have suggested that new Intel-based Windows 8 tablets might be hitting the market as early as 3rd quarter 2012.
This means new Clover Trail Intel processors and no need to update to Windows 8, of course you can also likely expect that such machines will easily run well over $1000 at launch.
If you are looking for the power of Windows apps on a tablet now, the only choice you have is Windows 7.
While it is not the best option for touch-sensitive use, it is still capable enough and can be assisted by literally thousands of peripherals out there on the market such as mice and keyboards.
Another reason to consider Windows 7 tablets now is that it will give you the opportunity to jump in on Windows 8 early by installing the Beta when it arrives in February.
Today we take a look at the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550, a very business-looking tablet option featuring an Atmo Z670 processor and a 10.1-inch display.
The Q550 utilizes the following hardware specifications:
- 10.1-inch LED-baclkit LED-backlit IPS display with a resolution of 1280×800
- Intel Atom Z670 1.50 GHz Processor
- 2GB DDR2 800 MHz RAM
- 62GB SSD
- 2-in-1 memory card reader
- Intel GMA 600 graphics
- Docking Connector (Dock not included)
- Smart Card slot
- 4-cell li-ion battery (up to 8 hours)
- Integrated front/rear webcams
- Standard Bluetooth
- 802.11a/b/g/n wireless
- Weight: 1.90 lbs
- Dimensions: 10.83×7.56x.063-in
On the outside the Q550 has a very modern styling with angled edges that make it look thinner and rounded corners that make for a pretty natural hold.
Despite the fact it is heavier than the more mobile ARM solutions (like iPad), it is designed to distribute the weight in such a way that you barely notice.
Overall it is a very attractive design, but what it most important (at least to me) is what kind of hardware and performance the Q550 has to offer.
One important offering that is certainly noteworthy, is that unlike many other tablets, the Q550 does include a removal battery, which is a nice touch.
The Q550 has several buttons and features designed to make Windows 7 more useable until you upgrade to Windows 8 or W8 Beta, such as button that opens the on-screen keyboard.
Additionally you can flip the screen if you have auto-rotate turned off and it will register to the tablet as if you pushed Ctrl-Alt-Del.
The Q550 offers Ntrig’s active digitizer and a capacitive touch screen, allowing for an experience that works well with both finger and a pen. When the pen is near the screen’s capacitive touch is disabled.
For sound buffs, the hardware in the Q550 doesn’t offer a very loud experience and so you will likely want a different tablet or some kind of add-on speaker.
I am probably most disappointed in this tablet because it offers cool features like active digitizer/capacitive touch, but is plagued by a 1.5GHz Atom Processor.
What could have been an epic tablet is instead a somewhat slow device for even the most mundane things like opening up OneNote for handwriting.
Additionally the GMA 600 does not offer any kind of hardware acceleration for the looks of it, and isn’t exactly a power house.
For the most part though, it was capable of watching HD feeds without too much issue.
Even with the added power Windows 8 on this machine down the road, I really think there are better options that can be had for much less.
If you love the fact it gets 8 hours of battery life and you need a screen that has both pen/capacitive than it might be worth it, but again with a little research you can probably find something better fitting your needs elsewhere.
The Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 is available from the Microsoft Store for $849.