Image: Hugh Threlfall
October 19 2011
The business world is getting madder and madder for iPads. I was talking to a Wall Streeter the other day, who said, and not in a “Guess what?” kind of a way, “All our people use iPads as their primary work tool.”
I was beyond surprised. Fan of the iPad though I am (at least when I remember I have one and turn it on), I am still duty-bound to admit that it’s not a wholly suitable device for what you might, if you couldn’t think of your own expression, call content creation. The iPad and its equally quirky cousins, the zillion Android tablets and the BlackBerry PlayBook, are superlative content-consumption machines, but you need to turn gadgety somersaults to create documents and share them.
So enter a 10in tablet that – and I don’t say this often – is refreshingly a full-on Windows 7 Professional device, ideally suited for business with its native ability to deal with Microsoft Office documents. Indeed, using the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 is like stepping from a beautiful but fickle and capricious Italian sports car into a rather well-equipped Land Rover.
The Fujitsu is a solid, tough, quite chunky tablet that feels good in the hand and, with its rubbery back, isn’t as slippery as an iPad. It’s not without its fun side – it will run films and play music nicely and there are even games bundled with it – but, let me put it this way, if you want to make a lifelong enemy of a teenager, buy them a Stylistic instead of an iPad.
For work, though, and a heap of enterprise-class corporates are considering going for it in large numbers, it’s nothing short of terrific. Fujitsu knows what it’s doing as it’s been in tablets almost as long as Moses. (The company was big as long as a decade ago in the old laptops that twisted round not very successfully to be slates.)
Features I love? A non-glare screen. Yay. Good handwriting input and recognition with a stylus, albeit one sadly on a string. Yay. A USB port. Yay. Removable battery. Yay. A fingerprint reader for security, an SD card port, an HDMI output for presentations. Thrice yay. One possible boo: no Ethernet socket, which would be very useful for in-hotel internet.