Disclaimer

I have not purchased any of these devices yet, therefore all of my evaluations are based of speculations and forum posts from users. However I will probably acquire a demo unit of each soon and write another review about the devices mentioned in this article.

Case Scenario

My workload is very diverse considering all 3 of my occupations hobbies and responsibilities:

  • Full-Time Degree University Student
  • Full-Time IT Infrastructure Manager in the Banking Sector
  • Part-Time Retail Specialist for a local retail shop (Product Buyer/Brand Manager, Product Specialist)

No amount of words could accurately share my pain and frustration with keeping my notes well organized and retrievable.

Here are some caveats:

  • Often I don’t have the right notebook on me (Ever tried carrying all your note books around? Their heavy)
  • Some notes will inevitably be written on a A4 printer paper, which have a bad habit of mysteriously disappearing
  • I’ve reached a stage where I need a portable filing system, but I have a hard time actually walking around with such monstrous inventions of the middle ages
  • Organizing my paper notes in a retrievable format (PDF, Evernote, Etc) takes a massive amount a time, which I currently don’t have

So In essence its time we looked at some Tablet PC’s or Slates that can do this for me. Whenever your looking to buy something you have to set some criteria, maximizing your chances at making the right purchase. So lets get started with the selection criteria.

Selection Criteria

  1. Excellent digital pen (N-Trig or Wacom based)
  2. Long Battery Life > 6 hours
  3. As light as possible and therefore thin as well
  4. Ergonomic
  5. 10.1″ Display Matte IPS prefered
  6. Slate Only (not a convertible tablet PC as they tend to be too heavy)
  7. As silent as possible (fan noise, etc…)
  8. Windows / Android Based
  9. Sub 1,200 USD (Accessories Excluded) I’m not prepared to pay more than that
  10. 3G or faster connectivity would be cool but not a deal breaker

Best Options Available to date (imho)

Option #1 Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 (preferred)

STYLISTIC Q550 with Intel® Atom™ Z690 (1.7GHz)
SSD SATA, 62 GB, 2.5-inch, full disk encryption
UMTS/GPS Sierra Wireless Gobi 3000 with GPS functionality GPS module
Lithium polymer battery 4-cell, 5240 mAh, 38 Wh

And its accessories

STYLISTIC Q550 Cradle Order Code: S26391-F917-L100
Folio Case TPU Cradle Order Code: S26391-F119-L300
Protective Sleeve for STYLISTIC Q550 Order Code: S26391-F119-L304
Fujitsu Pen Tether Kit Extra Pen: S26391-F796-L810

Pros

  • Pretty much nails my requirements (see above)
  • One review mentions that the matte display actually offers some resistance to the pen so that it actually feels like your writing on paper and not gliding a pointy object on a glass surface
  • Gorilla Glass
  •  Fingerprint Scanner, full disk encryption, and Anti-Theft Protection (Remote Wipe)
  • Its quiet, no fan noise, something that’s important in a high profile meeting at the office or in a silent class room
Ever tried logging into a tablet without a fingerprint reader? Painful ….

Cons

  • I have concerns about the Atom Z690 processor (Oak-Trail) I’ve seen a lot of posts (forums, Amazon Reviews) that touch on this subject. Some YouTube videos highlight this issue as well. However I believe those tablets have  not been tweaked for optimal performance. However the Q550 community states that Windows 8 CP (Consumer Preview) alleviates this considerably. Though to date there are not official upgrade paths available
  • it doesn’t have a built in recess or compartment for its Digital Pen (n-trig based) however this can be remedied with a Folio Case TPU Cradle
  • The Q550 is clearly marketed towards corporate users, which is not a bad thing in itself, however the price tag reflects this quite accurately retailing at Euro 840 (KD 310)

Summary

Assuming that the Z690 chip is sufficient for primarily my note taking needs, and that the pen works as well as people on the forums claim it does, I believe this slate fits the bill. With windows 8 around the corner I wont have to worry much about using a windows tablet as opposed to android. (I’m a big fan of the Android OS) I guess well just have to see once I get a test unit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *