Motion Computing J3500 review

Price when reviewed

There aren’t many circumstances under which we can see ourselves putting a touch screen on a PC to much use. But in some industries and for some applications, devices such as Motion Computing’s J3500 will certainly fit the bill.

Targeted principally at medical environments, where keyboards and mice are viewed as bacteria-harbouring nasties, the J3500 certainly seems up to the job. Not only is it equipped with a touchscreen capable of being operated with both finger and digitizer pen, but our model was also supplied with a rather ingenious drop-in docking station, complete with its very own stand, and hygienic, rubber membrane-covered keyboard and touchpad.

That means harassed medical professionals could equally use the J3500 as a desktop computer, but also on the rounds as a high-tech clipboard. But it clearly isn’t just for doctors. Couple it with Microsoft OneNote’s excellent handwriting recognition, for instance, and you have yourself a top quality, multipurpose office workhorse. Plus, to further cement its all-things-to-all-businesses pedigree, there’s a fingerprint reader, a TPM chip, Intel’s top-end dual-band Ultimate-N 6300agn Wi-Fi, mobile broadband and even a GPS chip.

[IMG ID=150193F]Motion Computing J3500 with mobile keyboard[/IMG]

Squeezing that lot in is an impressive feat given the svelte dimensions and light weight. The J3500 measures just 23mm thick and weighs a mere 1.9kg without its charger. But it’s even more remarkable when you consider how rugged this tablet is. Everywhere you look there are features that make the J3500 ideally suited to life in a warehouse, on the road or in the field. Take the touchscreen, for instance. Not only is it dual-multitouch capable and pretty sensitive at that, but it feels tough too. We really had to press down hard to cause even the slightest rippling effect on the display behind, plus it’s shock mounted to prevent it shattering when knocked against hard surfaces. And if that’s not enough for you, there’s a “Gorilla Glass” version that’s even more breakage and scratch resistant (note that this version is pen digitiser only, not multitouch).

The rest of the J3500 feels just as solid. The chassis is made from unyielding plastics, with a non-slip textured rubber rear and it has an endoskeleton of lightweight magnesium alloy. There are sealed flaps covering the two USB 2 ports, D-SUB out, Gigabit Ethernet and audio ports on the left, and the whole thing has been tested and rated to the MIL-STD-810G (a test used by the US military to ensure ruggedness) and IP52 standards, which means it’s dust and very slightly water resistant. Inside, our review model also had a 128GB SSD, and even if you choose to go with the cheaper 160GB mechanical disk option, you still get drop-sensing technology and more shock-protection for your money.


Warranty1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions323 x 231 x 23mm (WDH)

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i7-640UM
Motherboard chipsetQM57
RAM capacity4.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size12.1in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel HD graphics
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs0
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity118GB
Spindle speedN/A
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskSamsung MMCRE28G8MXP-0VB
Optical disc technologyN/A
Optical driveN/A
Battery capacity4,000mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportno
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapteryes
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchno
ExpressCard34 slots1
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)2
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 jacks2
SD card readerno
Memory Stick readerno
MMC (multimedia card) readerno
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typetouchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationAbove screen
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?no
Camera megapixel ratingN/A
Fingerprint readeryes
Smartcard readeryes
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use4hr 39min
Battery life, heavy use1hr 44min
Overall application benchmark score1.14
Office application benchmark score0.97
2D graphics application benchmark score1.25
Encoding application benchmark score1.16
Multitasking application benchmark score1.19

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 32-bit
OS familyWindows 7

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