Fujitsu Stylistic Q704 review
A fine business tablet: tough and quick, and with plenty of optional extras, but it's expensive
Manufacturers have been producing Windows tablets for years for specific industries, but it's only since the dawn of Windows 8 that touchscreen devices have really become mainstream business tools. It's this world that Fujitsu wants to break into with its rough and tough Q704, a hybrid designed to be able to handle the abuse of a life on the road and still come back asking for more.
Fujitsu Stylistic Q704 review: design
The Q704 is available in two packages: a waterproof version and a non-waterproof version that squeezes in a smart card reader. We were sent the latter model for review; however, both models share the same DNA in every other respect, and that is of a straight-laced, no-nonsense business device.
There's no concession to aesthetics at all in the Stylistic's design. Its tough aluminium frame is covered in textured black plastics with grilles and ports seemingly randomly dotted around. It's frumpy and heavy at 1.05kg, and yet there's a purposeful feel to this tablet; the screen is protected with toughened glass; and general build quality is rock-solid.
Fujitsu Stylistic Q704 review: accessories
As with the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix hybrid we reviewed last year, the Stylistic Q704 comes with a host of sensible accessories. We were sent the keyboard dock, which complements the tablet not only with a physical keyboard and extra ports, but also adds an extra battery. Ergonomically, the Q704's keyboard dock is sound. We enjoyed using the Scrabble-tile keyboard, which boasts well-spaced keys and a sensible layout. The touchpad is responsive and, although the buttons are integrated into the pad, they work reasonably well. The Q704 slots in and out of the dock easily, and we were also pleased to note the generous amount of backwards tilt: the tablet can be pushed right back to a relaxed 45-degree angle without toppling over. The unit is heavy, however, adding an additional 1.2kg to the package.
As you'd expect from a business device, there's a choice of internal componentry. The model we tested had a Core i5-4200U running at 1.6GHz alongside 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, but it's also possible to go for a Core i3-4200U or Core-i7 4600U, and you can opt for 64GB or 256GB SSD as well. You get cameras, both front-facing (2 megapixel) and rear (5 megapixel), and connectivity is decent too: two USB 3 sockets on the keyboard dock, a 3.5mm audio jack, plus HDMI and VGA video outputs and a Gigabit Ethernet port. On the tablet itself there's another USB 3 port, and a microSD card reader. There's also dual-band 802.11abgn Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4 and 3G.
Fujitsu Stylistic Q704 review: performance & screen quality
In testing, our Core i5 ensemble performed well. The Q704 netted 0.6 in our Real World Benchmarks, a comparable score to the Ivy Bridge i7-equipped, £1,600 Thinkpad Helix we reviewed last year. The SSD proved zippy, too, achieving a sequential read score of 484MB/sec and a write score of 121MB/sec. Battery life is impressive, too. In our tests the Core i5 Q704 lasted 11hrs 41mins with the keyboard dock attached. As a point of comparison, the Thinkpad Helix persevered for 9hrs 59mins with its dock attached.
At first sight the IPS display looks good. It's reasonably large, at 12.5in across the diagonal, and the 1,920 x 1,080 resolution is sharp enough without making the Windows desktop unusably fiddly. We found the touchscreen responsive to both finger strokes and the passive, pressure-sensitive stylus, which is tucked away in a nook at the top-right corner.
However, image quality is mixed. The screen reaches a maximum luminance of 379cd/m[sup]2[/sup], making outdoor use a distinct possibility, but a contrast ratio of 677:1, which although far from terrible, leads to slightly flat-looking images. Colour accuracy wasn't all we'd hoped it would be, either. We measured an average Delta E of 6.4, with primary colours appearing quite washed out, and reds taking on a noticeably orange hue.
The Q704's key appeal, however, lies in its comprehensive list of extras, which aside from the keyboard dock, include such practical additions as a tough hand strap – which allows the tablet to be used securely in one hand, a desktop cradle, and a lighter “slice” keyboard dock without a battery for greater portability. But herein lies the rub: the Q704's £1,476 exc VAT starting price is for the tablet only; everything else, including the keyboard dock (£167 exc VAT) must be purchased separately.
Fujitsu Stylistic Q704 review: verdict
The Fujitsu Stylistic Q704 does a lot right: it's rugged, versatile, fast and battery life is excellent. However, it's very expensive, and accessories are a pricey extra. The Q704 is a fine business tablet, and would be a perfectly adequate addition to an office's roster of devices, should the budget stretch that far, but you're paying considerably for that extra ruggedness.
|Dimensions||308 x 213 x 17.5mm (WDH)|
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,920|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,080|
|CPU frequency, MHz||2MHz|
|Mobile operating system||Windows 8.1 Pro|