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Living with the STYLISTIC Q550 – after the honeymoon

As regular readers of this blog will know, I’ve taken the plunge and started using a new Fujitsu STYLISTIC Q550 slate PC as my everyday computer.  It’s been a couple of weeks since my last update, and now the honeymoon is over, you might be wondering how I’m getting on with the slate. The answer is, just fine.

I’m just back from a trip to Finland. During both airport check-ins, I used the electronic boarding card sent via e-mail to my Q550, using our corporate wi-fi service. This was definitively an advantage to using my smartphone, as I’d have had to pay for wi-fi or 3G data service to have the boarding card delivered to my handset.

In addition to a full day of presentations and sales training, my Finnish colleagues arranged for a media briefing. For me, it was great to travel light. I took only the Q550, a small AC adapter, a USB cable to charge my smartphone and a HDMI-VGA adapter  to connect the Q550 to beamers. Although I took the 2nd battery along, I didn’t need it.

During the last couple of weeks I’ve had plenty of opportunities to improve my skills working with the Q550, and in doing so, I found the answers to some of the challenges that I’d initially faced when working without a keyboard and mouse.

I subscribe to many RSS feeds, which are fed into Outlook folders. Deleting several hundred feeds every day, item by item, was bothersome. The solution was easy: I remembered almost forgotten keyboard shortcuts. CTRL + A selects all items in a list. So, pop up the virtual keyboard, press CTRL + A and then DEL. Everything’s gone. In fact, I discovered this is faster than using a mouse.

What I also do a lot is embed received e-mails in forwards or replies – again something that’s not so simple – if even possible – on a smartphone. However, the context menu in Outlook does not offer the option to copy a message. Again the solution is easy. Pop up the virtual keyboard, mark the mail that is to be copied, press CTRL + C, move over the new e-mail and press CTRL + V. Done!

Some days ago I learned an astonishing fact: More than 60% of all Windows users actually power their system down at the end of the workday. Very few use either Hibernate or Rest/Resume. I have been using this for more than 15 years, even with Windows NT, and always appreciated being back in Windows and my last working environment (Programs, open documents, open browsers) quickly. The Q550 resumes from Rest/Resume in ~2-3 seconds. Although it’s not quite the Always-On experience of mobile phones, it is close enough to not make a difference to me. My set-up is Rest/Resume with the On/Off button and Hibernate (which draws no power at all but does take a bit longer to resume) in the Windows Start menu.

I’ve read and taken note of comments from fellow Q550 users regarding system performance, both in general and when using WiFi. As Fujitsu does a lot to protect the environment (we receive top ratings in the Greenpeace evaluation  we ship all our products with energy-saving settings enabled. On the Q550 this applies, for example, to limit maximum power for CPU and WiFi while in battery mode). However, it’s very easy to change these settings via the Windows Power panel, for users who need higher performance in mobile mode.

I also found a cool add-on for Firefox which enhances touch usage, Grab-and-Drag, currently in version 2.8.2. It is highly recommended and does just what it says on the tin – it allows grab and drag scrolling on any screen.

In my last post I mentioned my need for access to around 120GB of data, but this doesn’t fit on to the Q550’s SSD hard drive. The solution I have found is to store most of the data on a shared drive on our company network. The neat thing is that this also works well for Outlook. I used to believe that Outlook data files had to be stored on a local drive. Not true. They work just as well from a remote networked drive. This is cool. Since I am almost always connected to the Internet via WiFi or 3G I don’t need to have stuff stored locally, and this also saves the hassle of regular back-ups. One thing less to worry about.

Another cool product I am working with is the Fujitsu MZ-900 Zero Client. It’s a USB stick that lets me start a server-based VDI session. You might ask what is the benefit. Well, this gives access to my personalized Windows desktop, but running on a powerful server – and therefore faster than using the Q550’s own processor. Bandwidth demand is small, since only the graphics information is actually being sent across the ‘net, so this works well even with low bandwidth UMTS.

Eventually, I plan to abandon all local data and applications and work only in the virtualized environment.

That’s it for now – in my next installment, to mark my first month after making the switch, I’ll revisit the reservations I’d initially had about moving to the Q550 as my one and only work computer.

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Show 23 Comments

23 Comments

  • avatar image
    Steve S
    October 16, 2011

    Hello, Meinolf: In an earlier blog, you mentioned a new utility for the Q that set some Windows properties for a better touch experience. You also said that it would be available for download from the Support page ffor those of us who were early adopters. I have visited the Support page as recently as a few minutes ago, and I don't think I see a download for this utility. Has there been a hold-up?

  • avatar image
    dceggert
    October 16, 2011

    Meinolf, I, too, have been getting along quite well since about the beginning of July 2011 with my Q550. To me it is truly a go anywhere device and the battery life is outstanding. There is a potential situation that may be brewing, however, and this is advanced information. The new BIOS update recently published (v1.20) appears to disable the internal SD card slot. I posted my findings on Tabletpcreview.com and there are other confirmations this is the case as well so this may not just be my issue. I rely on SD cards for all my work related engineering test data so this is truly bothersome. For your reference, I have pulled service numbers for this and I have been told the latest number, 23556053, is now at a 'level 2' whatever that means. You may be able to look it upon your internal systems. I have suggested that Fujitsu Support here in the U.S.A. pull the update until a fix is found. In the meantime I am unfortunately without my SD card internal slot (I am now using my old SD card reader plugged into the USB port) and look forward to either a BIOS v1.21 or a way to revert to v1.00. You may want to try the update to v1.20 yourself to see what may be happening. regards, Dan

  • avatar image
    Meinolf
    October 17, 2011

    Hi Steve, thanks for reminding me. The tool is online and can be found here: Please go to http://support.ts.fujitsu.com and select “Drivers and Downloads”, then search for “Q550”. The “ClickMe Tool” can be found in the section of Tools and Utilities. Meinolf

  • avatar image
    Meinolf Althaus
    October 17, 2011

    Dear Dan, thanks for the heads-up. I checked with our system engineer, he was not aware of any problem with the latest BIOS 1.20. We will follow this up. In the meantime I recommend that you re-flash your system to BIOS 1.18, which is available for download from our support page: http://ts.fujitsu.com/support/downloads.html Meinolf

  • avatar image
    Daniel Eggert
    October 17, 2011

    Thanks Meinolf, v1.18 did the trick; my SD card reader is back and working again! Dan

  • avatar image
    Steve S
    October 17, 2011

    "...The “ClickMe Tool” can be found in the section of Tools and Utilities..." ...Thanks, Meinolf. I think I looked at this entry earlier, but with no Read Me file or other release documentation, I didn't know what this application was. Is there a place to find this sort of information that I'm just overlooking?

  • avatar image
    Meinolf
    October 18, 2011

    Hi Dan, all, I just heard that the solution to the "disappearing SD card slot" is quite easy. Just run [Load Setup Defaults] in the BIOS SETUP if you updated the BIOS by using PFLASH.EXE or CFLASH.EXE. The SD card slot will be back :-) Sorry for the confusion Meinolf

  • avatar image
    Craig
    October 18, 2011

    Another tip: For touch friendly copy, paste, undo, & delete turn on advanced flicks which uses the diagonals. This is much faster and easier to use than pulling up the on screen keyboard.

  • avatar image
    Meinolf
    October 21, 2011

    Hi Steve, the Click-Me tool is yet missing a readme. I have asked our PMs to include it and enhance the description of the file. The optimizations done by Click-Me focus on usability and performance&responsiveness and include amongst others - Windows7 Theme change to basic - Display/DPI setting and scroll bar size - Windows Explorer settings - Power switch default setting - Several pen and touch options - Keyboard settings - ... Many of these optimizations are discussed in this blog. Any additional tips are of course always welcome. Meinolf

  • avatar image
    Steve S
    October 23, 2011

    Meinolf: A question: What can you tell me about the N-trig digitizer driver update published on the N-trig support page? The update is Version 6.112, dated June 2011. A comment: I continue to be a little confused regarding the Fujitsu Q550 driver support page. I believe that the page has more than one new entry that, although it appeared recently, is nonetheless marked "Original!" The FJ Optimizer Utility (Click Me) app is a case in point; it's marked Original, but it is NOT original to my Q550 software load. This makes it extremely difficult to figure out if there are any additional apps (or drivers) that I should install to remain current. At a minimum, EVERY entry on the support page should have a "published on" date. To cut to the chase, besides any entries marked "Updated" and the Optimization Utility, are there any other "new" apps / drivers that I should consider...? Thanks

  • avatar image
    Meinolf
    October 24, 2011

    Hi Steve, I believe your are refering to the Support page from Fujitsu America? I can't comment on this one and ask you to contact my colleagues from Fujitsu America. On the European Fujitsu support page (http://support.ts.fujitsu.com/com/support) the N-Trig driver 6.112 was posted on May 12th. This was the first public release. May I recommend that you use DeskUpdate to keep your drivers up-to-date? A very convenient tool which I use myself. You will find it on the support pages mentioned above. Meinolf

  • avatar image
    Steve S
    February 2, 2012

    Meinolf: I'm trying to help someone find a download for the Home Launcher (fujitsuHL, Ver. 1.0.00, 4/13/2010, 9.16MB). This app is not on the Fujitsu US website. Where can it be found? Thanks!

  • avatar image
    Steve S
    February 9, 2012

    Meinolf: The Home Launcher application and an update just showed up on the US Support site. Thanks for your help...!

  • avatar image
    Meinolf Althaus
    February 9, 2012

    Hi Steve, entirely my pleasure. The link to the application is: http://support.fujitsupc.com/CS/Portal/supportsearch.do?srch=DOWNLOADS&Series=Stylistic&Model=Stylistic%20Q550&ProductType=Tablet%20PC Cheers Meinolf

  • avatar image
    Stephen N. Johns
    July 6, 2012

    Meinolf, I had an issue with my SD card slot not seeing any of my cards. I did a search and found that others were having issuesas well. I ent to the support page and found a BIOS update of version 1.24 and applied it last night hoping that it would fix the problem. After the BIOS update, I still have no luck with my SD card slot. I seen a post above that said there was an easy fix but it was a little confusing to me. Would you enable to enlighten me on how to solve this issue? Thank you for your time, Stephen N. Johns

  • avatar image
    Meinolf Althaus
    July 6, 2012

    Hi Stephen, my apologies if my previous explanation was confusing. Let me try again. What you need to do is set the BIOS to its default values. So, enter the BIOS setup, choose default values, accept change and continue booting. Voila, the SD slot is available again. This procedure needs to be performed any time the BIOS is updated. Cheers Meinolf

  • avatar image
    Beverly Howard
    August 3, 2012

    fwiw, I have run into the following problem with the N-Trig ver 6.112 screen drivers for the Q550 that may be of interest. Fujitsu has bee essentially unresponsive about what I think is a major problem ("re-install the drivers" is their standard response) Screen becomes unresponsive to both stylus and touch, sometimes worse if stored for an extended period. Screen touch point sense can also become off by a major percentage of the screen, so much so that screen input is not possible. This problem is reoccurring and not apparently "fixable" at the moment. Obviously "re-installing" is an option but a major inconvenience and time consumer. _Sometimes_ "touch tuning" (tray/N-Trig/Properties) works, but, if the screen is unusable using stylus or touch, it does not correct major touch point sense issues. fwiw, I finally discovered that it is necessary to run "touch tuning" first with "pen only," then again with "Touch only" and finally in "Dual Mode" which is what I need. Obviously, the _only_ way to run the above is with a mouse since it is not possible to even click the "start button" when the calibration is off. Hope this info is of value to others with Q550's. Beverly Howard

  • avatar image
    Beverly Howard
    August 3, 2012

    >> I had an issue with my SD card slot not seeing any of my cards. << I think this is a different issue. If the Q-550 goes into suspend with NO CARD in the slot, when it is brought out of suspend and a card is inserted, the Q550 does not notice that a card has been inserted and the sd slot does not show up in file explorer. A "work around" solution was to open device manager, select the computer and select "scan for new devices" I now have devcon.exe installed on both and a "tappable" shortcut that issues the command "C:\WINDOWS\system32\devcon.exe rescan" Note, this problem goes back as far as the T4215. imho, it needs to be in support faqs and available to the support staff. Hope that this information is of value. Beverly Howard

  • avatar image
    Scot May
    January 7, 2013

    Resetting the defaults in Bios worked perfect, Thanks!

  • avatar image
    Modestas
    March 21, 2013

    Hi. I am looking for home launcher application too. And not able to find it. It is not on Fujitsu USA website. Could you help me please? Why it is not on all q550 tablets? How can I take photos with my camera then? Thank you, Modestas

  • avatar image
    Meinolf Althaus
    March 21, 2013

    Dear Modestas, the homelauncher application can be downloaded here: http://support.fujitsupc.com/CS/Portal/support.do?srch=DOWNLOADS. Select Tablet PC -> STYLISTIC -> Q550 and then download "FujitsuHL_Update". Best regards Meinolf

  • avatar image
    Sister Elizabeth
    April 10, 2013

    I'm trying to get the camera working on a group of 550Qs our school has. I tried to download the Home Launcher from the link above, and it won't install because the original program is not installed. Is there a way to get the original and not just the update? Is there a way to operate the camera without the home launcher?

  • avatar image
    Meinolf Althaus
    April 11, 2013

    Dear Sister Elizabeth, the Home Launcher does not have the camera application integrated. My suggestion, download and install the camera application. This can be used as stand-alone app or started from the home launcher then. The camera application can be downloaded here: http://support.fujitsupc.com/CS/Portal/support.do?srch=DOWNLOADS. Select Tablet PC -> STYLISTIC -> Q550 and then download “Camera”. Best regards Meinolf

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