Pros Inking is Superb. Great viewing angles. Silent. Multi-tasks great. Switches from Pen to Touch seamlessly. Great Battery life. (plus battery is removable/replaceable)
Cons Nowhere to store the Pen. Expensive.. Some accessories on backorder.
Summary After the first poster's highly negative review, I felt the need to add this review of my own, for the record. Particularly because my experience has been 100% the opposite of his.
Actually I'm grateful to turipz for providing such a highly detailed review. You can't fault him for stating his reasons, and that's better than when someone just gives a single star (or less) without elaborating.
This is about the third week I've had my Q550, and I absolutely love it. And No, I do not work for Fujitsu! I have loved Tablet PCs (and PDAs) for more than 15 years. Since the original Newton first was announced. In my house I currently have at least five tablet PCs. I even had the original iPad for a while, but after several months of disappointment with it, I finally just gave it away.
Speaking about the iPad for a minute, it's really a beautiful device, great for web-surfing, for reading e-books and for playing games. But it was really good for little else. Granted, there are now a slew of Apps that are geared towards productivity, and for getting stuff done, but truly the iPad is more of an entertainment device, rather than a productivity tool.
I've got another great Tablet PC, a 'convertible' Tablet from HP, which is absolutely fantastic. The only problem is that it's a little heavy, tends to get a little Hot, and it also has a fan which becomes a bit of a nuisance. Actually, the heat, fan and weight really aren't that bad, and I've used it regularly when I take classes. But the genius of the iPad was that it's size, weight and usability made it something you always Wanted to use.
Enter the Q550. The form factor is almost identical to the iPad. But it's a fully functional PC, and they've paid close attention to its inking ability. BTW, I also tried to use the iPad for drawing, but unless you're already a professional artist, it soon becomes awkward because (when using a pen/stylus on the iPad) you need to make sure that your Palm never touches the screen, otherwise it will create random Vector-lines.
No such problem with the Q550. It has an Active Digitizer which automatically senses whether you're using Pen or Touch. Which makes it great for note-taking, as well as drawing.
But addressing turipz' concerns: my Q550 was also shipped alone, without any of the accessories. But my response to that was, Thank God they sent it on its own. Because if the accessories aren't ready or available as yet, Please Don't hold up my Tablet just on account of the accessories.
At least this allows me to play with it, and get used to the device while I'm waiting for the accessories.
Turipz mentions that he hasn't received the screen protector and so if he was unable to use the Tablet.
Ok, at first I was a little hesitant or cautious about using the stylus over the bare creen. But I've since been using it for pressure-sensitive drawing, and also note taking, and I'll generally press quite firmly, especially while I'm testing out a drawing program's pressure-sensitivity.
It's still pristine and unscratched, and I Never even give it a second thought anymore. So unless someone is planning to press Furiously against the screen with the pen, this is really a non-issue.
And besides, if it's so important you can pick up a cheap screen protector for maybe $10 or $15 until the OEM version arrives.
Turipz also mentions that he didn't receive the carrying case for the computer, and writes: "what are you supposed to do with the slate if you had it for 10 days but no carrying case?"
Are you kidding me??!!
I'm not even going to dignify that with an answer!
But I will point out that when I originally ordered my iPad from Apple, it also arrived without several of the accessories. Big deal!
My Q550 carrying case is also currently on backorder.
Somehow, I think I'll survive...
He talks about the stylus/pen and how it's kind of a pain to carry it around. I'll agree with him there. It IS kind of a nuisance, because I would always worry about losing the pen. So whenever my carrying case eventually arrives, it will be nice to have a little spot to store the pen. But until then, I've just used the tether cord to attach the pen to the device. End of story. It's NOT a big deal!
Yes, it may seem a little dorky having the pen attached via a tether cord. But if I'm carrying the Tablet to business meetings I simply hold the Tablet in one hand with the pen behind it.
Honestly. What is the big deal? No one even notices. And the Pen is never at a risk of getting lost.
He was also upset about the fact that he hadn't known a free tether cord was included, and so he had purchased a deluxe one. ???!!
So what? Return it! This is Ridiculous!!
For example, one of the accessories I had ordered was a protective sleeve. But when it finally arrived I decided I didn't like it, and so I called up Fujitsu and got an RA number. Again, No big deal.
It seems like Turipz has had an unfortunate purchasing experience, and so that has colored most of his opinion of the Q550. In fact, I also purchased an HP Slate 500 several months ago. And let me tell you, THAT was one of the most horrible purchasing experiences I've ever had. By comparison Fujitsu has been a breeze. Sure, I wish all the accessories were in stock. But you know what? At least I've got this wonderful Tablet to play with in the meantime. (More on that later).
btw, the reason the Slate 500 experience was so bad was because they apparently had only made a few thousand of them in the initial batch, and so they kept giving us ship dates which were always bogus. It was frustrating, but eventually I got it.
He mentions that the Q550 doesn't support auto-rotation. Oh please! Give me a break!
It absolutely does. He mentions that it was supposedly "Factory Disabled." Well, my auto-rotation was perfectly enabled from the moment I turned on the Tablet. And even if it wasn't, it's really Not That Hard to figure out how to enable or disable it. In fact, I've personally disabled my auto-rotation because I prefer to keep mine in landscape mode.
I can't imagine someone calling Tech Support for that.
If you click on the Windows button, where you select your programs, you will see a folder called Auto Rotation Utility. That's It! Problem Solved!!
There is also a PDF manual right there on the device itself. (Like with nearly EVERY computer)
If you just open that PDF and search for the word "Rotation" you'll find it.
To complain about that is Absolutely Ridiculous! It's a Computer --- Not a Toy. There WILL be some things you have to figure out.
He Mentions: "Windows7 turns out to be a lousy platform for stylus / touch interaction."
Okay, I might slightly (only slightly) agree there. But this might just be a matter of personal taste.
Yes, it's Windows, so you won't have big, giant buttons all over the screen, which are perfectly finger sized (like on Android or IOS).
But from my experience, the Q550 and Windows 7 works Excellently for Stylus interaction. And I've found it to be merely OK (or acceptable) for Touch interaction. (Tip: just run the Touch Calibration utility once and you'll be fine).
But he apparently liked the stylus interaction of his T4215. The Q550 stylus experience is more or less the same, so it's not clear why he even mentions the issue.
And for the suggestion that you can't run Windows on a Tablet like this because it's too slow: I can run Netflix, MS OneNote, a drawing program, and a browser with multiple tabs just fine on the Q550, all at once with fine performance. It performs as well as any Netbook -- meaning that while it will never replace your Desktop system, it provides perfectly respectable performance for a Traveling portable office.
I've been following Tablet PC development for a long time, and the Q550 with its Atom Z670 processor has come closer to the mark than anything before it: IMHO, It has combined the portability and usability of the iPad, with the functionality and usefulness of Windows.
And I think it is well worth defending against an unfair, unreasonable, and uninformed review! I'll defend it because I want to see Fujitsu continue moving forward, and even improving upon this current success.
The only thing I see comparable to the Q550 is the (nearly identical specs) CL900 from Motion Computing. It's another really sweet Tablet, but it's slightly heavier than the Q550, and weight was one factor in my decision making.
(However, the CL900 Does include a handy storage bay for the pen --- perhaps that might keep some users happy).
Pros small, lightweight
Cons So slow it is unusable.
Summary Ok it is really so slow it is unusable. Can't even play flash video. When you wake it up out of hibernate it takes 10 minutes sometimes to become responsive and about 50% of the time you have to reboot. It is so slow that typing with the on-screen keyboard is impossible due to the lag. I can't believe it was released, such an embarrassing piece of junk to Fujitsu, my first and last of their products.
Pros Great product quality while it works well
Cons My laptop was great before any problems; the service is terrible if you have a problem.
The customer service people are not customer friendly. The one I dealt with was outright hostile and unfriendly.
Summary I would say if you want a premium product buy Apple or Sony
Pros Small, light, high-security features (TPM, finger print, smartcard reader), excellent battery life
Cons More than enough to make this device not worth the money - Read the summary
Summary I got mine 10 days ago. None of the accessories I ordered arrived with it (or anytime since then - I still don't have any of the accessories I ordered). When you buy a stylus and touch screen device, and Fujitsu is selling a screen protector for it - you want to put that screen protector on before you start using the device, right? But you can't - because they don't have the accessories in stcok? so (to quote 1 of the 5 service people I spoke with since) - it's your choice whether or not to use the device without a screen protector (and they couldn't even tell me what kind of glass the device has so I could at least be less worried about it getting scratched from the stylus - I have owned a Fujitsu T4215 for 4 years now, and I deeply regret not putting a screen protector on it - as there are visible scratch marks on it from the stylus - and there is nothing that can be done about that now). Same issue with the protective carrying case I ordered (computer + all accessories ordered at the same time in a single order) - what are you supposed to do with the slate if you had it for 10 days but no carrying case? You have to go buy one from another source - now you paid for two - one that never arrives, and one that is not designed for this computer, but is better than carrying it unprotected - right? Why should that happen with a "Business-grade" company as Fujitsu like to present themselves?
The device is ridiculously slow - open more than 2-3 applications (IE, word, outlook - for example) and you're doomed to hung screens, unresponsive input and graphics, inability to do anything until you either close applications or resources free up if and when they do.
For a device that costs more than any alternative offered by other manufacturers (Acer's window slate sells for around $600 - Q550 starts at $800) - you would expect to get better EVERYTHING, right? But the Iconia is bundled at that price with a BT keyboard - the Q550? Nothing. You would AT LEAST expect it to come with even the most rudimentary protective sleeve - just to prevent surface scuffs and damage, for that price - but no.
If you like carrying the stylus in your hands all the time - this is the device for you. The only other option - tie it to the device with the tethering string (2 come with the device - but if you order the Q550 from Fujitsu you would never know that, and end-up like me - buying another "Deluxe tethering cord" only to find out that you already get two - why can't they simply have a "What's in the box" list so you don't order things you don't need?). If you tie it like that - see how you like walking around with a 30cm tail dangling from your device, carrying an expensive active stylus at its end - swinging all over the place. Would it not make sense to either have a space in the device to store the stylus in - or, if space is not available - manufacture a little plastic sleeve that the user can glue or otherwise attach to the device which would house the stylus in it so it does not just dangle from the tether (or require you to hold it separately all the time). That is simply stupid and frustrating.
You need to have a very suspicious or detail oriented mind, to note the astronomically tiny print in the device page on Fujitsu's web site, to realize that while your slate costs more than any other in the market - it doesn't even support screen auto-rotation ("Factory Disabled" reads the nano-print, as it turns out) - why is that? And why - when I called their tech support to ask about enabling it - did they promise to have a Level-2 support engineer call me within 4-5 hours - now 96 hours since then - nobody ever called me back? Can this feature work - or can't it? If their own technical support can't answer that simple question - what will happen when I have a really complex problem requiring support?
And finally - Windows7 turns out to be a lousy platform for stylus / touch interaction. Nothing in it is optimized or even designed to facilitate this interfacing. The built-in software keyboard from MS is a joke (you get NO feedback when pressing its "keys" - not sound, nor seeing any of the keys react to your touch) - you need to hope you clicked the right square - and if you're typing a password which does not show the characters you type - too bad for you. There is another software keyboard that apparently Fujitsu put there - which is somewhat better (you can have it make clicking sounds) - but it competes in the OS with the one from MS - you cannot set the device to only invoke the Fujitsu software keyboard and will have to again and again manually close the MS one so the Fujitsu one is the only keyboard on the screen. Speaking of which - you would expect Windows to realize you have a software keyboard open (even its own), and resize and reposition the window you are typing in so that you can see both the window and the keyboard - right? Wrong. Do it yourself, manually, each time again and again.
Bottom line - this product is an expensive joke. And just so you understand how bad of a joke it is - although my employer would pay me back what I paid for the device, so it would have cost me nothing to use it at work - I told them that I am returning it within my refund time, since there is nothing useful I can do with it that can justify the price tag (no matter who pays for it). I don't know what happened to Fujitsu - the T4215 I've had for 4 years is an amazing device - and other than the battery life - I love it. The Q550? Worthless.