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Life with the STYLISTIC Q550 Part 6: The challenge of sustaining my productivity

In the BS days (Before Slate) when I was still using a tablet notebook with a keyboard, I was looking for the answer to the three big questions I’d expected to encounter when making a switch to the keyboard-less Fujitsu STYLISTIC Q550 slate PC as my only business device. Like many in business, I’d used a slate as a complementary device to my notebook – but if I made the switch, could  I can sustain my productivity, would the STYLISTIC Q550 be able to shoulder my workload, and would it also work for my private stuff?

In fact, I can answer the last question first. Browsing and reading work well. I’m not making any compromises here and enjoying a much richer user experience in comparison to my Android slate. Last weekend proved this beyond doubt. I wanted to tweak the EFI (fuel injection system) for one of my motorbikes and needed access to the electrical wiring diagram, which I have in PDF format. It’s almost impossible for me to read a printed version, since I wear glasses – and tracking the wires on a piece of paper is both error prone and tiresome. So I put the STYLISTIC Q550 on the tank, zoomed in on the wiring diagram and finished the modification without blowing up the EFI or shorting any circuits. This approach is definitely recommended.

In a previous post I mentioned post-delivery improvements to the software that is preloaded. As with all new devices, you typically see numerous updates to software and drivers in the first months. Fujitsu has a pretty smart tool for this purpose called DeskUpdate. This automatically scans your system and updates drivers when new versions are available. I run this every couple of weeks to keep my system current. The software works on pretty much every Fujitsu PC, notebook, workstation, mobile workstation, slate and tablet PC sold in the last 5 years and can be downloaded free from http://ts.fujitsu.com/support/ – the link is on the left side of the browser window.

Security is a key consideration, especially for mobile devices. The STYLISTIC Q550 comes with a load of security features, such as fingerprint sensor, Smart Card, TPM and FDE SSD – which stands for Full Disk Encryption of the Solid State Drive. In plainer language, every bit of data written to the drive is encrypted using the AES algorithm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Encryption_Standard). That’s quite secure as a brute force attack would take an estimated 149,745,258,842,898 years – I probably won’t care anymore by then.

However, perhaps of interest most for those who are interested in the theory of Singularity, did you know that Fujitsu went one step even further? If you select an SSD password in the Q550 BIOS setup then if you take out the SSD and hook it up to another computer, it won’t even register. That’s security at a very high level – but remember that typically the user is the weak link. This means: Choose a password that is secure!

While browsing, in addition to Microsoft Internet Explorer, which already supports finger and pen usage, I am also using Firefox. At first it bothered me that Firefox does not natively support zoom via pinching, until I came across a neat pimp to enable this:

To enable gestures, enter “about:config” in your address bar then click the button to confirm. Either scroll down the list or search on “gesture” for the “browser.gesture” strings. To enable pinch gestures, change the following values.

  browser.gesture.pinch.in         cmd_fullZoomReduce

  browser.gesture.pinch.in.shift   cmd_fullZoomReset

  browser.gesture.pinch.out        cmd_fullZoomEnlarge

  browser.gesture.pinch.out.shift  cmd_fullZoomReset

The copyright for this trick belongs to: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/03/24/enable-pinch-and-twist-gestures-in-firefox-4/

On that note, I’ll wish you happy fingertip surfing…

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Show 18 Comments

18 Comments

  • avatar image

    where I can get the driver for st5032 tablet pc I have many problems with my wifi card, I've gotten several drivers but I still have the same problem. wireless card shows no sign, Thank you for helping

  • avatar image
    Meinolf Althaus
    October 24, 2011

    for drivers and updates please visit the support webpage: http://de.fujitsu.com/support/downloads.html

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    Daniel Eggert
    October 24, 2011

    Yes! Meinolf, a fellow motorcycle enthusiast... To add to your discovery, I live that life and have been for a while. Before purchasing a Q550 I used an HP TC1100 and Motion LS800 while working as a test engineer in an auto company. Our schematics are pdf, and our checklists are in MS Office formats so I need a Windows based slate. The traditional way to complete our testing was to print the schematics and checklists into a paper deck and mark them with a pen. The test report at the end of the day was then typed, back at the desk. Needless to say, there have been some late nights translating the chicken scratch. Using my other slates taught me that there is a much better way...all on the computer. I would use my slates to review the schematics and use the computer zoom to window in and out making reading very easy. I would also fill out the test report forms in real time so that at the end of the day I would get to go home rather than sit and type like my coworkers. The Q550 fits into this role very well and the multi-touch windowing makes the schematic reviews easy. I have enough CPU oomph to complete the tasks needed, and the battery life is outstanding as I can test all day with no need for a power cable. The lightness also makes use easy, and the size is perfect for use inside cramped spaces like auto interiors. As an extra bonus I find the rear facing camera very functional to not only document issues I find but also as a document scanner where MS OneNote can handle the OCR functions. The machine, in this usage profile, is top notch device and saves many hours! Ride on... Dan

  • avatar image
    Meinolf
    October 25, 2011

    Hi Dan, great to have another motorcycle enthusiast here. And thanks for your valuable comments and the tip to use the camera to scan with OneNote. That's one thing I never thought of. But of course you are right. Pulling everything into a single document seems so obvious. And this might in fact be my "Killer" application. I service all of my bikes myself and oftentimes was in the situation where I couldn't remember when I last changed oil or adjusted the valves or the like. Bringing this, together with pictures, into OneNote will give mea perfect overview. Thanks again, you made my day Meinolf

  • avatar image
    dave
    November 13, 2011

    Will you or fujitsu be able to develop an Android package to run on the q550? That would make it more versatile as both a work and play PC.

  • avatar image
    Meinolf Althaus
    November 14, 2011

    Hi Dave, while I have seen Android running on the Q550 (booting from a USB stick), Fujitsu does not intend to offer an Android-version. Meinolf

  • avatar image
    Nik
    November 16, 2011

    Hi I thought you would be a good person to direct my question. I have a Q550. However when I use the stylus, there are horizontal lines of the screen that have trouble registering the pen. It is noticeable only when crossing these horizontal lines slowly, such as drawing vertical lines very slowly, or drawing slightly inclined horizontal lines across the screen. When I cross the horizontal bands that have a problem, the pen input skips. The problem is also more apparent if the pen is held perpendicular to the screen. These horizontal bands of digitizer problems only occur in the top 1/2 of the screen, when I use the stylus. There are no problems with finger input, and no problems in the bottom half of the screen. I had already reinstalled all software, updated drivers, and had the computer sent to Fujitsu repair centre who replaced the digitizer screen and pen. The horizontal problem bands are still in the same location. Finally, they sent me a replacement Q550, which I tested and still has the same issue, again only on the top half of the screen. I think the location of the problem horizontal bands are also roughly the same. Fujitsu repair have no idea how to fix the problem. I was wondering if you have heard/encountered this problem and have any idea what it is and/or how to fix it. It does cause a skipped lines when trying to write notes or draw diagram in the top half of the screen. Thank you for your help

  • avatar image
    Meinolf Althaus
    November 16, 2011

    Hi Nik, no, I can't remember having heard of this phenomena. And when trying to duplicate it on my Q550 some minutes ago (using Paint) I couldn't see the effect either. You wrote that Fujitsu exchanged both the digitizer and the entire system. Does this mean that the effect you described could be duplicated? Let me check this with our engineers and come back when/if I learn something. Meinolf

  • avatar image
    Meinolf Althaus
    November 16, 2011

    Hi Nik, a quick update. Our experts tell me that they would have suspected this to be a HW problem (flexprint/bonding), but as you already received a new system this is now quite unlikely. Appearently we saw a similar issue some time ago and this was fixed with an updated N-Trig software. Please install (even if this version is already installed) the N-trig software V6.159 again. It is available for download here: http://www.fujitsu-pc-asia.com/driversupport/selectioninterface/selection.html Cheers Meinolf

  • avatar image
    Nik
    November 17, 2011

    Hi Meinolf, Thank you. The new n-trig driver does seem to remove the skipping issue! I'm surprise this driver version isn't on the American or European website, or on NTrig's own website. I do still think there is a likely hardware issue (probably with Ntrig's digitizer), because ~2.7 cm from the top of the screen at a horizontal band of a few pixel width where the worst skipping used to happen, the pen always lags. Also, if I try to draw a horizontal line right along that horizontal band, it doesn't register unless i cross back into a normally functioning screen area. Thank you

  • avatar image
    clark
    December 30, 2011

    I'm planning on buying a 62gb z670 based (non UMTS) Q550 once the price drop happens. What I'm utterly confused by is the huge variance in price and buying options across Europe. For example, my business is based in Belgium - meaning the Fujitsu website tells me to buy via a reseller; where the cheapest price is around 1000 euro. Amazon.de has the same device for less than 500 euro. Why can't I buy direct (with exactly the hardware and preload I want) from Fujitsu.com, like I could if I ordered from Poland? Note, I got my first Fujitsu tablet 2nd hand 10 years ago, and went on to do the corporate build + support for one of the world's largest brands on the ST51xx. I wouldn't buy a Windows tablet from anyone else...

  • avatar image
    Meinolf Althaus
    January 3, 2012

    Dear Clark, don't be confused. Take the opportunity of purchasing a quality product within the Euro Zone with zero hassle and enjoy the benefit, that's my advice. best regards and a happy new year Meinolf

  • avatar image
    clark
    January 5, 2012

    Thanks Meinolf, I'd happily buy in the Euro Zone - but can you tell me where I can buy direct from Fujitsu (with the configuration I want) in the Eurozone?

  • avatar image
    khanno
    February 14, 2012

    Dear Meinolf, even though the pins on the power switch of my Q550 nearly are all gone, I just started a second try to use the Q550 as primary mobile working equipment (inspired by your blog entries). First of all, I transferred my Office 2010 licence to the Q. And as you're writing about the usage of OneNote, I'd like to know, if you're just add the rear cam pictures by "Einfügen", "Datei anfügen", "Scannerausdruck" and than choose "FJ Camera". If I use this way and add an snapshot, I receive very bold black margins (and also the resolution settings will reset to VGA). It would be nice to read your fix for this procedure. Maybe you can tell me, if there will be a future port replikator with greater connectivity - maybe not necessarily produced for the Q550, but employable? Regards khanno

  • avatar image
    Meinolf Althaus
    February 16, 2012

    Hi Khanno, as to your question concerning inserting pictures. I do it a bit differently: - Insert (Einfügen) - Picture (Bilder) - From Scanner or camera (Von Scanner oder camera) The picture taken is then inserted directly into whatever note you had open in OneNote and it has no border/black margin. And indeed we will keep improving the cradle (but with the next generation). In the meantime you might find this port replicator to meet your requirements: http://docs.ts.fujitsu.com/dl.aspx?id=d4a1c198-da2e-4367-a3d5-ca5b44fb9410 Cheers Meinolf

  • avatar image
    khanno
    February 20, 2012

    Thanks for the answer, reinstallation of the camera drivers brought success. Regards khanno

  • avatar image
    Manuel
    March 7, 2012

    Hi, I'm in the same identical situation of Nik Up here. The "hardest" lines (1mm wide) are located at 1,9 cm and 2,7 cm from the top of the screen. In my honest opinion it's a firmware issue: with the old firmware I think I was able to write in this area but there was a very similar problem in the middle of the screen; furthermore I've tried to re-istall the OS (Windows 7) and I get the same problem with windows drivers and with N-Trig drivers. Thanks for your support.

  • avatar image
    Meinolf Althaus
    March 8, 2012

    Hi Manuel, sorry to hear about this. Have you installed the latest n-trig driver software from our software download site? If yes and if the problem still persists then please contact our local service organization. best regards Meinolf

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