Motion Computing F5v review

Price when reviewed

The new breed of Tablets might be catching all the headlines, but the concept is nothing new. And much as they might appeal to the average consumer, none of those Android or iOS-powered handhelds would be up to withstanding the rigours of daily use in hospitals, warehouses or out in the field. Motion Computing’s range of ruggedised Tablet PCs, however, are perfectly suited.

It might look like a jumped-up Speak’n’Spell, but the F5v is designed to flourish where other Tablet PCs would fear to tread, and it’s got the hard-knock accreditations to prove it. The chassis is IP54-rated, which means that it’s certified to operate in dusty environments and shrug off liquid splashes from any direction. It also claims to adhere to the US Department of Defense MIL-STD-810G tests, which cover a product’s ability to operate while subjected to vibration, extremes of temperature and other external forces.

Frankly, though, the F5v has always been a pretty tough cookie, and physically it is much the same as ever. The magnesium chassis is covered in a wipe-clean, rubberised finish, and the solid, large handle makes it easy to sling about. And if you’re thinking you’ll need a laptop bag to go with it, think again: its 1.5kg frame feels nigh-on indestructible, and the 10.4in display is protected by a layer of super-tough Gorilla Glass.

Motion Computing F5v - Tablet mode

Thanks to the recent addition of Intel’s Core i5 and i7 low-voltage processors alongside Intel’s vPro technology, performance leaps ahead of the previous generation. Our review model combined a 1.2GHz Core i7 U640 processor, 2GB of DDR3 memory and a suitably shock-proof 64GB Samsung SSD with great effect. A result of 1.19 in our benchmarks proves there’s plenty enough power for most applications. It’s not just performance that improves, though, and IT departments will appreciate the remote management tools of Intel’s vPro platform.

The F5v relies on a stylus to navigate Microsoft’s Windows 7 Professional, which is less than exciting given the preponderance of multitouch these days. Stylus control makes complete sense given the target markets Motion Computing has in mind, though. Healthcare professionals or field technicians can operate the F5v even while wearing gloves, and it makes it possible to grab the F5v without fear of accidentally closing a program or unwittingly entering data.

The F5v’s stylus control initially feels a touch clunky alongside the likes of Apple’s iPad, but it’s surprisingly easy to get up to speed. Dab the ever-present touch input icon, and you can quickly scribble written notes with Windows 7’s excellent handwriting recognition tool, or just resort to tapping away on the on-screen keyboard. We soon found ourselves zipping through Windows barely any slower than we would with a traditional notebook.


Warranty3yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions256 x 25 x 256mm (WDH)
Travelling weight1.9kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i7 U640
Motherboard chipsetIntel HM55
RAM capacity2.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size10.4in
Resolution screen horizontal1,024
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1024 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel HD graphics
Graphics card RAM256MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
HDMI outputs0
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity60GB
Spindle speedN/A
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskSamsung SSD
Optical disc technologyN/A
Optical drivenone
Battery capacity4,000mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speedN/A
802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapteryes
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)1
FireWire ports0
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks1
SD card readerno
Memory Stick readerno
MMC (multimedia card) readerno
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeStylus
Audio chipsetIntel HD Audio
Speaker locationUnderside
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating3.0mp
Fingerprint readeryes
Smartcard readeryes
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use4hr 15min
Battery life, heavy use1hr 21min
Overall application benchmark score1.19
Office application benchmark score1.03
2D graphics application benchmark score1.32
Encoding application benchmark score1.17
Multitasking application benchmark score1.26
3D performance (crysis) low settingsN/A
3D performance settingN/A

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 32-bit
OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodRecovery partition

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