News Analysis: The Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 will offer the typical tablet features along with security in a new Windows device that looks ready to do effective service in the enterprise.
HANNOVER, Germany-Fujitsu will be offering an iPad
competitor that includes the features that nearly everyone wants in a tablet,
plus features that business IT departments wish were already available in
The new tablet, dubbed the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550, will
run Windows 7 Professional, but will offer a radically different interface that
allows full touch-screen capability, multitouch operations, multimedia, and
necessities such as WiFi and Bluetooth. But in addition to these tablet
features, the Q550 includes a smartcard reader slot, a fingerprint reader,
advanced theft protection and a trusted platform module.
A Fujitsu executive demonstrated a prototype of the new
tablet for eWEEK during a visit to the company's booth at CeBIT, in advance of
the public announcement that will take place on March 1 when the show
officially opens. The new tablet is similar to the Apple iPad in appearance,
but the screen, at 10.3 inches, is slightly larger. It's about the same weight
and thickness of the iPad. The tablet is designed to be integrated into a
company's existing enterprise IT infrastructure, according to Fujitsu.
The 10.3-inch screen has an anti-glare finish and, in the
harsh lighting of the pre-trade-show construction phase, this appeared to be
the case. The Q550 is unique in offering both a pen interface and a touch
interface. The device is able to detect when the pen is being used, and will
automatically change to pen input, while at the same time turning on
handwriting recognition to convert the stylus input to text. When users switch
to finger inputs, the device instantly switches to a touch-screen
The Q550 offers two user interface formats, one of which
resembles the typical Windows interface, but at a touch it can switch to a
screen with colored icons on a black background like the interfaces displayed
by the iPad and its competitors. In the brief tests we were allowed, the screen
appeared to work well in both modes of operations.
The Fujitsu Q550 will run Windows 7-compatible applications.
However, Fujitsu is also setting up an app store designed specifically for its
tablet computers. The company representative said Fujitsu will be publishing
the APIs so that anyone can develop apps or update their existing Windows
applications to take advantage of the dual-mode touch screen.
Fujitsu told eWEEK that the expected retail price of the
new tablet will be $699.00. Fujitsu is providing 3G UMTS (Universal Mobile
Telecommunications System) as an option on the Q550. However, the company was
unable to provide a price for this option. It will also include WiFi and
Bluetooth. The Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 will be available around the end of