Fujitsu Stylistic M532 review

Fujitsu Stylistic M532 review

Summary: This smart-looking, lightweight 10.1in. Android tablet comes with a good range of preinstalled business software. Although its lack of support for USB devices and USB charging is unfortunate, Fujitsu has made an admirable job of producing a tablet that's equally usable in the office and at home.

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  • Editors' rating:
    7.7
  • User rating:
    6.4
  • RRP:
    £392.00

Pros

  • Stylish appearance
  • Some useful bundled apps
  • Integrated mobile broadband
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Proprietary charging connector
  • No USB mouse/keyboard support
  • Chassis could be more robust

A year ago we looked at Fujitsu's Stylistic Q550, a 10.1in. Windows 7 tablet designed principally for business users. It was expensive, and despite its finger-friendly Infinity Lounge overlay didn't really wow us. The intervening 12 months has seen a lot of activity in the tablet market, and a proliferation of Android-based devices in particular. Fujitsu's response is the Stylistic M532, a £470 (inc. VAT; £392 ex. VAT) 10.1in. Android 4.0 device that the company says is "the perfect choice for business and private use by mobile professionals".

Design
To cater for both business and home environments the Stylistic M532 needs to look the part and also offer appropriate functionality. As far as looks are concerned, the thin and light Stylistic M532 can hold its own against tablets from the likes of Asus, Samsung and Apple.

Fujitsu Stylistic M532
Fujitsu's 10.1in. Stylistic M532 weighs just 560g, thanks to its use of a plastic rather than metal chassis.

The red trim running around the edge is eye catching yet subtle, and is matched by a red Android background when you switch the device on.

We like the rubbery finish to the backplate, which assists with grip and doesn't attract fingerprints as much as shiny plastic can. However, the M532 is a thin device, and we could bow it without having to apply too much pressure. Apple's iPad and the Asus Transformer Prime are both a lot more robust.

Nonetheless the plastic chassis does give the Stylistic M532 a weight advantage. The metal Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime weighs 586g, the original Eee Pad Transformer weighs 635g while the latest iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G comes in at 662g. By comparison, the 560g Stylistic M532 is a lightweight that feels comfortable to hold for extended periods.

There's another plus point for the build. That red edge strip is made from metal and ought to provide some protection from drops that could otherwise damage the sides or corners of the device.

Fujitsu could have done better on the ports and connectors front. The battery is charged via a proprietary port that can also be used to connect the unit to a cradle dock. That dock — which we'll take a look at when it becomes available in a few weeks' time — will add support for things like Ethernet and HDMI.

We much prefer charging via USB, but the Micro-USB port on the M532 is purely for data exchange. We'd also like to see HDMI on the tablet itself rather than a docking unit option.

The top edge of the chassis has a headphone jack and the on/off switch. On the right there's a volume rocker, the Micro-USB connector and a cover protecting a microSD card slot and a standard-size SIM card slot.

There's an ambient light sensor on the screen bezel, along with a battery charge light (we do wish more tablets incorporated one of those). The back of the chassis carries a pair of speakers, one either side at the bottom.

The clear, bright 10.1in. screen has a resolution of 1,280 by 800 pixels. It's responsive to finger touches and viewing angles are good. We'd like a button to disable automatic screen rotation, which can kick in at annoying moments — but that criticism can be levelled at many tablets.

Features
Fujitsu has equipped the Stylistic M532 with a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 T30S processor running at 1.4GHz, supported by 1GB of RAM. This puts it at the top of the tablet tree as far as raw computing power is concerned.

The M532 runs Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and has 32GB of internal storage. On our review sample, fresh out of the box, the available capacity was reported as 26.2GB. You can use a microSD card to augment this if need be.

It's a pity that Fujitsu has not been able to integrate the support for USB devices that's a key plus point of the Asus Transformer range. We'd have loved the ability to use USB sticks or even attach an external USB mouse and keyboard. Such capabilities would certainly boost the M532's utility as a business tool.

Still, the Stylistic M532 does have a SIM card slot (conspicuous by its absence on the Asus Transformers) to go with its dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) support. DLNA support is also provided, via CyberLink's PowerDVD Mobile application. This is remarkably easy to use and can stream music, video and photos from remote devices.

Business users need a different array of applications and support to consumers, and Fujitsu has made an effort to tweak Android 4.0 appropriately.

There's a competent file manager in the shape of ES File Explorer, while ThinkFree Office Mobile allows you to create Microsoft Word-, Excel- and PowerPoint-compatible documents. TouchDown for Tablets provides synchronisation facilities for corporate Outlook. Norton Tablet Security is also preinstalled as are Citrix, VMware and iTap mobile RDP clients for virtual desktop scenarios. All of these apps are available from Google Play, but it's nice to see Fujitsu thinking about what apps might be useful right out of the box, saving you or your IT staff the time and bother of locating and installing them.

The Stylistic M532 also includes an app for Absolute Computrace, for remote device tracking and management. However, you need to subscribe to use the service so in this case the app is little more than a glorified advertisement.

There's a front facing 2-megapixel camera for those wanting to make video calls, and an arguably overspecified 8-megapixel camera on the back of the chassis, complete with flash. We'd like to see some preinstalled video call software to help you make the most of the front camera immediately.

Performance
The Stylistic M532's quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM mean that it performs well. Web pages rendered quickly and video played smoothly, for example.

According to Fujitsu, the M532's non-removable 3,170mAh battery will play video for 8.4 hours. During the review period it regularly saw us through a full day without needing a recharge, and it's possible you could manage for a weekend without mains power — depending, of course, on your usage pattern.

Conclusion
Fujitsu's Stylistic M532 looks smart, and is light for a 10.1in. tablet. It comes with a good range of preinstalled business software, although there's nothing you can't obtain easily for any other Android tablet.

The lack of support for USB devices — storage or mouse/keyboard — is a missed opportunity. It's also a pity that you can't charge via USB: by forcing you to use the proprietary dock connector, which is hardwired to the power cable, Fujitsu effectively requires you to carry a special charge cable for this device.

Despite these niggles, we think Fujitsu has made an admirable job of producing a tablet that's equally usable in the office and at home.

 

Editor's note, 2/8/2012

Fujitsu informs us that the latest software update includes the following enhancements:
• Support for external USB keyboards
• Support for device unlocking using face recognition
• Ethernet support via Fujitsu's (currently available) USB-LAN adapter
• New battery-life-extending power management option

Specifications

General
Manufacturer's specification http://www.fujitsu.com/fts/products/computing/pc/notebooks-tablets/all-round/stylistic-m532/
Dimensions (W x H x D) 262.6x8.6x175.4 mm
Weight 560 g
OS & software
Operating system Android 4.0
Software included ES File Explorer, ThinkFree Office Mobile, TouchDown for Tablets, Norton Tablet Security, mobile RDP clients (Citrix, VMware and iTap), Absolute Computrace, PowerDVD Mobile
Processor & memory
Clock speed 1.4 GHz
Processor model Nvidia Tegra 3
RAM 1024 MB
Storage
Internal 32000 MB
Display
Display technology TFT (active matrix)
Display size 10.1 in
Native resolution 1280x800 pixels
Connections
Docking cradle Yes
Ports Micro-USB 2.0, audio line-in/out
Slots MicroSD
Networks
2.xG GPRS, EDGE
2G GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
3.xG UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA, HSPA+
Wireless
Wi-Fi 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n
GPS receiver Yes
Short range Bluetooth 3.0+HS
GPS technology
Antenna built in
GPS receiver yes
Input devices
Touchscreen Yes
Camera
2nd camera front
Flash Yes
Main camera rear
2nd camera resolution 2 megapixels
Main camera resolution 8 megapixels
Power
Battery type Li-ion
Removable battery No
Battery capacity 3170 mAh
Claimed battery life 8.4 h
Number of batteries 1
Miscellaneous
Accessories AC adapter
Service & support
Standard warranty 1 year
Expand

Prices

There are currently no prices available for this product.

Topics: Tablets, Android, Hardware, Reviews

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8 comments
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  • Opinion on this tablet

    5.0

    It's a good tablet, but why would I buy this instead of the nexus 7 which is less than half the price, and has the same performance? besides, this tablet has proprietary plugs
    Elbarhoum
    • Very Pleased With This Tablet

      9.0

      I have had the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 Tablet for nearly a month now, and the longer I use it the more I am liking it. It is one of the most versatile tablets I've ever used. After trying other tablets, like the IPAD, IPAD 2, ASUS Transformer with Android and docking keyboard, I began seeking a Windows 7 tablet. I found the IPAD to be primarily good for consuming media, but not real functional when it came to getting work done. Android isn't quite ready for primetime in my book, attempting to do so many things without excelling at any one of them, including functionality with business and office software (like Word, Excel, or Adobe Standard Pro).

      After looking at the Nokia Tablet and the ASUS 12.1" tablet, I settled on this one (over the ASUS due to smaller, more convenient screen size, Win 7 PRO in Fujitsu, and basically same hardware functionality except that the Fujitsu has even more security features). But one of the best features I like about the Fujitsu is that it is VESA mountable (75 x 75) with the optional VESA mounting plate, available at a number of e-stores on the web. This permits easy mounting in the office and even in the car when on the job. Everything is working in my Fujitsu Q550, including Bluetooth; I also find it to be peppy for an Intel Atom Processor. Videos on YouTube run well, unless they are HD in which case it is simply a matter of scaling down the progressive scan scale from 720p to 320p or 240p, and the videos I have found run fine.

      Overall I am quite pleased with my Q550 Tablet, which is the 62GB edition. After all my software was loaded, there are still 34GB of storage remaining. Some of the software loaded includes Adobe Standard Pro, Microsoft Office 2010 with all updates, WinZip, McAfee anti-virus, and a couple of other anti-malware titles along with the Groupwise email client. Two thumbs up!!

      P.S., for best deal of this tablet PC, see at: Nettabletpcs.blogspot.com/p/fujitsu-stylistic-q550.html

      Good luck, hope this review is helpful.
      NJHancock
  • Pointless

    5.0

    Android tablets costing more than $199 are not worth it. Apart from running some media and basic email apps, these tablets are pretty much useless.
    owllnet
  • Nice...

    8.0

    Looks very nice, but it would have to sell for no more than $399.00 in the U.S. to gain any traction.

    Still, it's nice to see hardware manufacturers more or less settling on Tegra 3 as the chipset of choice. Should go a decent way towards reducing the issue of hardware fragmentation in the market. Of course, it also means that potential Android tablet manufacturers have less to distinguish themselves from the crowd.
    dsf3g
  • Looks like

    5.0

    a ipad to me. Best get one quick before the tablet police shut down any further imports.
    Little Old Man
  • Fujitsu Stylistic M532

    6.0

    I had been waiting for this to buy. In the end I'm a bit disappointed the way Fujitsu doing a bit like Apple or Sony. The CONS (especially with the USB & the charger) are put me off buying the product. I'm hoping Asus EeePad Infinity T 700 LTE doing the right things.
    pamandua2@...
  • Great

    8.0

    It's nice to see Fujitsu thinking about what apps might be useful right out of the box, saving you or your IT staff the time and bother of locating and installing them.
    gw2foto
  • Who and how conducted that review??

    5.0

    I am a week old owner of Fujitsu Stylistic 532 tablet and I do not understand, why the writer has neglected his review by simple collecting infos from other sites. The truth is, Stylistic 532 had a Micro USB input, which is able to handle usb connectivity easily. The clock of the Nvidia Tegra 3 is here 1,3GHz or 1,4Ghz running in single mode. The WIFI is quite "short" but can be adjusted by tools which are available for free via google market and it works perfectly, the sensitivity raised by at least 30% (that was a surprise for me and relieve at the same time). Coincidentaly, my friend and myself were able to put and compare together Stylistic 532 with new iPAD. Well, I can tell you, there are things, which may do iPADheads jelous:)....well, whatever... There is one bad thing about Stylistic 532 and that is its battery life. I was torturing this tablets in order to get a realistic picture how long you can play a game on it with out stopping, and I did "poor" 4hours. In other test, conducted by some other site, they reached 284minutes playing HD movies...and that is less than 5hours...so please!!!! do not trick people with false reviews like this...Be honest, it should be an advice for people willing to spend their own money...This tablets is great worker, but its a lot power, resp. the battery is not that good. The gorilla glass it makes glassy, sometimes too glassy on the daily light, nevertheless...displayed images are nice, well...iPad is better in this area....Android 4.03 is cool, but there is a chance your kids will allow installing some adware generators...and my kids are really loving it. (I mean games) It would be worthy to have a fujitsu stylistic 532 fitting cover and the docking base with usb replicator and hdmi. The internal 32Gb eMMc storage + 32 micro SD optional makes it useful. The audio quality is not bad, it has small pair of speakers (stereo) the audio output via classic jack is fine. Recharging takes only 2 hours which is fine and quick. Also the stability of the tablet (the android at work) is ok, nevertheless it makes the back side warm at peaks, the "glass" is responding properly...but....when it get hot, one can feel funny stuttering (sorry my english, I am not a native speaker). It has 3G which I had read may force you to restart or reset the tablet...well...I think, it is very nice tablet, with great performance, but it is more aimed at managers at the office than a game tablet for your kids, or a fun while driving long distances....So...
    Suchy Peter