Rob Bushway | 41 Comments
GBM’s Sumocat has reviewed the Fujitsu Q550 and found the experience to be quite bitter tasting.
Check it out.
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Well, I think that Sumo is hitting on the same issues that we’ve been discussing for the last couple of weeks.
I generally think with his take on the Q aligns pretty closely with the assessments made here, but I don’t think that the situation with Oak Trail is as black-and-white as he appears to paint it. I believe that the situation can be improved, but Fujitsu has to get behind the idea and prod Intel into being responsive.
Paul, If you are reading this, I hope you’ll try to do something…
Steve, if you can convince me that Oak Trail shouldn’t take a major hit on this mess, I’m all ears, but as far as I can tell, it’s the processor gumming up the works. If my view is black-and-white, it’s because I love everything else about this slate and hate that I can’t enjoy it due to the performance.
Mark: I contend that Oak Trail may not be performing well now, but that driver updates could significantly improve matters. Clearly, that task is in Intel’s court, but given their track record, I’m not overly optimistic that much will happen unless the OEMs prod Intel to react. My thought is that the hardware probably has more to offer, so it’s not like Q owners are permanently stuck with sluggish performance… but Intel has to step up…
BTW, I liked your review and I certainly agree with most of your thoughts; the Q is something of a mixed bag, and it’s a shame that it didn’t come together better (not that Fujitsu probably isn’t trying)…
Steve, okay, let’s say I agree that Intel *could* fix the problem. What can I do with that? It’s not fixed now. I can’t tell people to imagine that everything I show in the video is going more smoothly than actually shown. I can’t tell them they won’t be permanently stuck with that performance because I don’t know and neither do you.
If the problem is fixable, and Intel needs to step up, and Fujitsu and others need to prod them them to do it, then count me on the prodding side with a big sharp stick drawing blood. I hope they shove that stick back in my face with a huge performance boost for the Q. Until then, “poke”.
To those at Intel and Fujitsu who are reading this… (I hope?)
So, how long is it going to take to get the Q550 up to Sumocat’s standards or to hear what Steve is saying and take action?
I do like most all of what I see/read about the Q550 and I have almost committed to the purchase.
BUT, I think I will continue to wait…
I find it curious that you said it didn’t come with a PDF reader. My Q550 came pre-installed with Acrobat Reader and a shortcut for it (and another for Acrobat.com) on the desktop.
You could never call it fast, but after a few weeks of use I wouldn’t describe it nearly as slow as you did. That said, I’m upgrading from a 2005-era P1610 (1.2 Ghz Core Solo, 1GB RAM, 4200rpm HDD) running Windows 7, which is substantially slower (mainly due to the slow HDD), so maybe my expectations are lower.
Aren’t you guys (Steve and Sumo)beating Intel alone instead of giving MS too their fair share of stick? They could have at least pared down and tweaked W7 to be more amenable to tablet use.
Anyone know if CL900 is any better given the same wintel combination?
I am tending to keep back and not blow $1-1.5 K for now. Wait for W8 and an improved processor next year.
FlyingShawn: It’s not on this one. Freeze my video on the desktop if you want visual confirmation. It’s possible I got a borked unit but like I told Steve, I can only evaluate what’s in front of me.
kivalur: Click through to my review. I poked MS for claiming Oak Trail would make tablet happen for them, and I have poked them plenty over the years, since XP, for not trimming the fat for the tablet form factor. They just won’t do it.
Sumocat: I believe you that it’s not there, I just find it perplexing.
“…I just find it perplexing…”
Flying: Not perplexing at all; if Mark is looking at a demo machine, just about anything could have happened to it before it came into his hands. Another possibility is that it’s a pre-production unit and was loaded with a slightly different software load than the production units. Such things are not unusual in the reviewing world…
“…Aren’t you guys…beating Intel alone instead of giving MS too their fair share…?..”
kiv: A good question. In my opinion, the ability to run Win7 with some reasonable degree of speed was the given here, and Intel was perfectly aware of what the Win7 parameters were.
Look at it this way: XX Engine company says that they have developed a motor that will let a car go 100 miles on a gallon of gas. YY Auto company builds a car using the motor. At the grand debut, the car is fueled up with one gallon of gas for a demo but only goes 54 miles. Now, do we fault the gas for not having enough energy per gallon to get the car 100 miles, or do we blame XX company for being maybe a little too boastful about its new engine? (…and notice that YY Auto got caught in the middle…)
Why is it fujitsu, in all of its documentation, utterly fails to detail all the buttons on the device and whether or not they can be programmed? Performance aside, this just goes to show how incompetent these companies really are at knowing their own products much less their suppliers.
Oh, and the reviewers are no better, you told us how the screen looks and whether or not it can run windows. Why dont you include some info on the unit itself, or on its ability to run android. Yeah, thanks for nothing.
Intel just need to do this. it’s really worth the read
“…Why dont you include some info on the unit itself, or on its ability to run android. Yeah, thanks for nothing…”
…Wow. Somebody needs a hug, here.
Laura: You do know that this is just a hobby for most of us, don’t you? Gathering information and writing reviews takes time, and all of us have lives outside the tablet blogosphere.
In my own approach to reviewing, I try to focus on the stuff that a person CAN’T get from simply reading a company’s product literature. So that’s why I spend very little time talking about the obvious product features; companies play this up in their advertising, and they do a much better job on it than I can with the time that I have.
Instead, I tell you what the screen looks like subjectively, because pixels and nits aren’t always the whole story. I discuss the responsiveness because “Oak Trail” apparently doesn’t tell the whole story either. I don’t talk about dual booting with Android because, quite frankly, I don’t have the time and I don’t consider myself an Android expert anyway.
Finally, I believe that prospective customers have an obligation to do their own homework before making a purchase. That includes being proactive about finding out whatever you think might be important about a product. Reviews are just a piece of this process, and most of us who review are just trying to be helpful.
i just realized that link has already been oosted on here, oops haha
Great reply Steve!
I ordered my Q550 today after testing the Motion for 2 days now. And that ‘s because of the great reviews and info I found on this site and other (GBM, tabletpcreview,…)
Thanks anyone who contributed, hope I made the right decision…
Is it possible to put the MeeGo UI/App on the Fujitsu Q550 like it is on the CL900? After start using it for some days it looks and feels pretty nice.
I am sorry to see Laura’s negative comments. My view is the opposite. Hats off to Steve s, Rob, Sumo and others who take the trouble to share their expertise and offer views, tips and other help. I wouldn’t know a fraction of what I know (and even that would be painfully acquired)but for their generous contributions on this and other sites.
I recieved my Q550 this morning. I am very happy with it so far. It exceeded my expectations. (Maybe I am easy) or my other netbook is just that much slower.
For the record, I did explain the buttons in my review. Will be sure to point out the programmable one next time.
Um, Bios anyone? I’d like to think the thing that makes the whole computer run would have some relevancy. Try getting BIOS info on a computer, doesnt exist. Once again, dont tell me how windows runs because chances are you’re using some stock install which runs like crap and is loaded with every piece of bloatware fujitsu could cram down its faultline. Yeah adobe’s photoshop not working so swell, also adobe’s flash isnt quite up to speed, and of course, adobe’s acrobat is taking up alot of memory, oh wait, maybe the problem is ______.
@ Tuur, Thanks for sharing your order info. Hope it has a positive result. Maybe you can keep us posted?
@ Regel, Thanks for sharing your purchase experience.
@ Kivalur, I do agree! Your comments are supported!
@ Steve, Your (June 30, 2011-1250pm) was very professionally done!
@ Laura, Your [FLAMES!]
@ Laura, Your [FLAMES!] have little technical merit. “who are you” and what is your agenda?
Wow! I am aside myself with Laura. Page 6 on the getting started guide explains the buttons very well. It gives you the primary press, the press and hold and the press at start up spash screen on all three buttons.
Oh, for the person that could not find out how to turn on the auto rotate. It is toggled by holding the rotate button. Press to rotate and press and hold to toggle auto rotate on and off. Rather a convient use of the button.
My Q550 is running quite well,very responsive touch screen now. I did turn off some setting in the screen drivers, turned the settings on the processor to min at 75 and max at 100 in both battery and plugged in.
I went into the n-trig driver and changed the gesture settings and the sensitivity settings. And I turned off the noise feed back on the pen. The inking is as quiet as a mouse. The only thing you will hear is if you tab the glass to hard. I have been inking all my emails through outlook 2007. Works great! I am not a user of onenote but I did load it and played on it for a while. It inks very well. NO PEN NOISE. In most screens my touch is quite quick. I open up documents form attachment, adobe documents from attachment, photos and they all open fairly quickly. The use of touch in adobe scrolls up and down as well as an Ipad.
I suspect most most people should read the quick start guides before they complain about buttons.
When all else fails read the instructions!
I have office 2007 enterprise loaded and I am recieving and sending my work emails, writing letters, attaching and sending as if I were at my desk top.
I unfortunetly can’t use an Ipad or Android, I really have to do real work. I chose the venue of the Q550 so I could do actual work. I work in the financial industry and there are just way to many companies that have propietary windows based programs that I have to use. I keep about 50 different companies software on my system to be able to contol my practice. I am in the process of loading these software packages now, it takes a very long time, I have to download almost all of them and intall them.
This is as they say the enterprize use of the tablet and I am extremely happy as I can run my programs and transact business.
I also have a netflix account. I went into the netflix and set the down load of data to good from best. Really, I do not have a HD screen on this tablet. I watched Iron Man II almost flawlessly while doing some work. It ran very well. I guess what it boils down too is you must tweak the system to what it is meant for. I am having no concerns or problems. I did not experience what Sumocat did, but again I set all my setting in the system to run appropriately and it does.
Now for the speaker, It just sucks for sound loudness. I have had no problems with the sound quality, just the very low volume.
That is my quick update and my personal experience so far on my new business appliance (Q550).
Guys, I am having a blast with the tablet.
Great info Dave! Thanks for sharing this with us.
I got the feeling I made the right choice by ordering the Fujitsu
Dave, thanks for the very positive post! I’m sure there are several others who find your work most helpful!
I have just posted my formal User Review of the Q550 at TabletPCBuzz.
I’ll be adding a few images as time permits.
Steve, I read your review. I find it a fair assessment. It does take time to figure out all the quirks.
“…It does take time to figure out all the quirks…”
David: You said it!
Sometimes, it’s a relief to be done with these reviews…!
Rob, Steve, Turr, Regel, Kivalur, David, et al., thanks for all the info. Especially Rob and Steve for their hard work.
For me, the ‘final answer’ is the Fujitsu Q550.
Rob, your original assesment of price is at the top of the list and second is the docking station. The Fujitsu docking device better addresses my needs.
Maybe Turr and I can be like David and ‘have a blast with this tablet!’
Regards to you all.
A question please for any Q550 owners.
When looking at your device in landscape, is there a big gap on the left hand side between the frame and the glass of the screen and a similar but narrower gap at the top?
I just received one and that is the way the screen is. I called Fujitsu about it and they said they would issue and RMA to me via email to ship it back for replacement.
The email just came from Mitch, a sales supervisor at Fujitsu and it says: “This is the way the machines are designed. The unit and camera should function just fine. Replacing the unit will not make a difference in the alignment”.
Now they don’t want to replace it????
Is this really the way they all are? The glass doesn’t fit the frame and is off-center and partially blocking the web cam.
Thanks for any feedback.
Steve: My Q does not exhibit this issue. There is a small (a bit less than 1mm) gap between the black frame and the glass which is reasonably uniform all the way around. The camera window is reasonably centered over the camera lens.
I can see that if the glass was installed all the way to the right that might produce a “large” gap on the opposite side and it would look off-center relative to the camera lense.
Despite what Mitch says, if you are unhappy you should work with Fujitsu customer service to arrive at a satisfactory compromise. (However, I suspect that Mitch’s statement about function is, in fact, correct.)
Thanks for the info. I was quite surprised that was Fujitsu’s response. I didn’t think it should be that way.
Sounds like they have no confidence in the build quality of a replacement either.
“…Sounds like they have no confidence in the build quality of a replacement either…”
Steve: Like it or not, everything is designed with assembly / alignment tolerances. If the tolerances are set too tightly, finished products may all look uniformly good, but they can’t be assembled easily, thereby defeating the economies of mass production.
What you are seeing, and what Fujitsu is telling you, is that the Q reflects the realities of building a tablet at an $800 price point. Most of the money goes into the innerds, not into the case…
Again, if you are unhappy, don’t settle, at least not yet; but also be aware of the realities…
I have had my Q550 now for a couple of weeks and find it actually quite fun to use. I have been able to get 2.2 on the experience index, of course this is the CPU as the week link.
I do find that if you keep the ntrig Property settings in the task bar pop-up and calibrate it when it seems not to be very responsive it brings it back to a light touch. I did have to go down load these new drivers from Ntrig and they actually show the q550 on their sight. Ntrig explains the drivers and software as they have three drivers to use for different controls.
I am quite pleased with this unit, I know it is not a speed demon but it does quite well. I am running Office enterprize 2007 and have no problems with the software. Everything seems to work very well. Would be nice if Microsoft would accomodate the buttons better for touch. But, I did calibrate the finger touch and pen touch also and it seems as accurate as you can be with a finger on a small button. I have had a great experience using this tablet. I would recommend it to anybody using windows in there business. This unit is by far the best windows tablet on the market at the moment. Yes more power would be nice, but it does the job and does it well.
I would caution everybody that does purchase this unit and expect it to perform right out of the box to rethink their expectations. You will need to adjust the CPU performance. It has a min and max setting I run the min. at 70/80 battery/AC respectively and the max at 90/100 battery/AC respectively. Also the is a cooling setting and you can set it at passive or active. I chose active on both battery and AC. I average about 6 hours on the battery setting. I used the tablet to watch a 2 1/2 hour movie and emails and some office work and internet surfing. I use my logitech keyboard that I bought for my PS3 play station. I bought it at a best buy in the play station area. It is pretty neat as it has a small touch pad on the right side and works really well with the tablet. It sync really quick and if not in use it will go to sleep to conserve the battery. So, use it with my tablet if is have a lot of typing to do and bring it up stairs to the media room when using the PS3 to surf the net on the big screen. Nice to have a dual use item these days. Anyway the q550 has fan and I love using it. Remember to be patient and set it up and every week or so you may have to calibrate the touch of the screen. It takes no effort, you just open up the settings click on the calibrate and it runs a short routine on its own for about 30 seconds and then the screen is very responsive again. I have done this twice now and it has already seen several thousand miles on the airplane gone through customs spent time in a foreign land and came home. During its time traveling it kept my busines current and up to date. I was able to maintain my client accounts and entertain myself as well. It never ran low on the airplane or in the terminal. I had about 12 hours of travel each way and it performed well as often as I brought it to life while I was going on and off several connections and layovers. I could not ask more for this tablet, It has lasted longer than any laptop I have had and is so much easier to carrier. I cant tell you how nice it was to take this instead of my small 13″ toshiba laptop that is quite light. There is just no comparison on the tablet. I have never owned one but I can tell you I will not be going back to a laptop. I am now a tablet convert.
Rob, just want to thank you for your comments and your interest and allowing the comments of others to help give a more complete view of all of these items. I have enjoyed reading a lot of your comments and comments of others on many different categories.
someone can help me? i should buy the q550 full optional (UMTS GPS ecc…) at 899 € (1268,4 $,) it’s the best offer in italy, the slate is arrived today in Italy! But i need to know if the slate work with autocad, adobe acrobat ecc…
i will use to open a files (500 kB, 1 Mb, no 3d, no rendering ecc…), print on pdf with adobe acrobat, paint some line and so on
Could you try it please?
thank you very much
Ieio: I’ve noticed your posts at other tablet sites. Unfortunately, I think it’s unlikely that you will get much (if any) feedback on your questions because they are so specialized. Unless someone happens to have AutoCAD or Adobe Acrobat, they won’t be able to comment, and I don’t see these apps mentioned very much in the forums… leading to the suspicion that not many Tablet bloggers use them.
Based on my experience to date with the Q, I would guess that the Q can host both apps, but you will probably be disappointed in the graphic performance with AutoCAD. I can’t comment on Acrobat performance. If it’s similar to MS Word, it should be adequate, but not what I would call “speedy.”
Overall, I would encourage you to look at the Asus EP121. I suspect that you will find the EP121 more satisfying overall.
PS: Sorry that it took so long to respond to your comment. I only just noticed it now…
Steven: Thank you very much for your answer.
unfortunately the Ep121 has not yet arrived in Italy. I konw ASUS, very good brand, but i don’t like to have a slate without a removable battery. i have notebook/netbook since 1997, i still use them (toshiba S3000, P20…) but i replaced the battery once,twice.
For this reason i like more the Q550 than EP121.
It’s obvious that the best slate (for me) is the motion J3500, but in italy, this slate cost about 2300€, to be more precise, 3220 $ instead of 2300$. So:
or i will wait the end of 2011 for the EP121 or the EB121 and i will inform about the cost to change the battery
or i will buy now the q550
or i will come in USA and i will buy the J3500 a 2200$ (1600€ instead of 2300) :)!
i think that the Q is not to work with Autocad ecc…but i hope that with it (if i will buy it) i will be able to open a small file with Autocad, i will print a file in pdf ecc…but i’m AFRAID that i won’t be able to install the program because of incompatibility, driver ecc…i don’t know!
Thank you very much for all,
i think that i will wait to see a good man with Q550 try this tablet with Autocad and so on….if possibile, before on 10 August
Ieio: A couple of additional comments:
“…i don’t like to have a slate without a removable battery…For this reason i like more the Q550 than EP121…”
…I understand your concern, but the performance differences between the Q and the EP121 are so dramatic that the lack of a removable battery is almost not a consideration at all! An external battery can be used to extend your operating time, if needed, and I’m sure that Asus can replace your battery when the time comes.
“…i think that the Q is not to work with Autocad…i’m AFRAID that i won’t be able to install the program because of incompatibility, driver ecc…”
…Although I believe that you will see significant performance issues trying to run AutoCAD on the Q, I don’t think there would be any problems installing it. The Q runs a normal Windows installation with all of its features and capabilities. If AutoCad can be installed under Windows, then you will be able to install it on the Q.
“…It’s obvious that the best slate (for me) is the motion J3500…”
…There’s no doubt that MotionComputing’s J3500 is a capable tablet and that it will run the applications that you have mentioned. If that’s what you REALLY want, then I urge you to focus on getting one and not to settle on a lesser tablet!
I’ve just got my Q550 delivered.
It also includes the Fujitsu folio case. The folio case has a rubber cas which fits the Q550 perfectly. THe only problem is that the rubber case is so narrow and hard the I can’t get the device in it.
I’m afraid that when I put the Q550 in it I won’t be able to get it out easily.
Does anyone has this problem as too? And what to do about it?
thanks for any tips or advice.
It’s for sure the worst device I’ve ever bought.
You can duell all you like if it’s Intel or Microsoft’s fault (I’m sure that they have their share of guilt)… But it’s clear to me that Fujitsu shouldn’t have put this sore excuse of a pad to the market, specially not with this deadly combination of hardware and operating system (OS).
I had some hopes with Android or Meego OS’s but… same ol’, same ol’… Big driver’s issues. Well, it’s more like… NO DRIVERS at all!!
So… If you’re loaded and like to waste money… Buy Fujitsu Stylistic Q550. But, to be on the safe side, get some Xanax as well.