Fujitsu ICS tablet: Cheaper, thinner, lighter than iPad

Fujitsu ICS tablet: Cheaper, thinner, lighter than iPad

Summary: Fujitsu may have accidentally stumbled across the ideal tablet for consumers that brings the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android, a quad-core processor and good connectivity, but is pitching it primarily for business use

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  • Fujistu Stylistic angled

    The last time I had a look at a Fujitsu tablet — the Stylistic Q550 — it was running an almost standard version of Windows 7 and provided an example of exactly what you don't want in a tablet. It was heavy, large and had the most unresponsive operating system on a mobile device that I'd ever seen.

    So when Dave Shaw, a senior manager in Fujitsu's tablet business, promised to bring in the latest and greatest from the company recently, I didn't have high expectations.

    The not-very-catchily named Stylistic M532 [shown above] is due to arrive in the UK in June. It isn't designed to be a follow-up to the Q550, which will eventually have its own Windows 8-based successor. Instead, the M532 uses the Ice Cream Software version of the Android platform, which is about as current as any tablet could be and a sure-fire win in appealing to consumers. The same goes for the M532's processor, the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3, which should have enough oomph to keep customers happy.

    Shaw was quick to point out — and did so repeatedly — that the Q550 and the M532 are separate product lines, with different aims. Looking at the two, the Q550 line is more of a traditional enterprise device, while the M532 is seen as "Fujitsu's response to the BYOD trend", with all the support for personal use that implies.

    Credit: Ben Woods

  • Fujistu Stylistic ports

    At first glance, Fujitsu's M532 could seem a little vanilla. It has 32GB of internal storage, Wi-Fi and data connectivity, and comes with a virtually unmodified version of Android 4.0. It also has no proprietary Fujitsu user interface, making it ripe for quick upgrades in the future.

    Its Corning Gorilla Glass-equipped 10.1-inch screen also seemed bright enough, even if the resolution does max out at 1280 x 800 pixels. There's always the option of connecting to an external display for full 1080p video playback via the dock (sold separately) or via an HDMI-to-microUSB converter cable, just as the HTC One X does. So far, so good. But here's the kicker: it has one thing that so many other tablets haven't managed to achieve — simplicity.

    There's just one variant, which makes it easy to choose and buy. Plus, it comes with a price tag of just £476. Apple, which has done extraordinarily well in the pricing of its tablets and exercising command over economies of scale in manufacturing, can offer its 32GB new iPad with Wi-Fi and data for £579. But Fujitsu has managed to bring the M532 to market for more than £100 less.

    Credit: Ben Woods 

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Topics: Mobility, Smartphones

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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