Q550 is my mobile note taker, but...

Discussion in 'Fujitsu' started by dceggert, Feb 11, 2012.

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  1. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    Okay, this is going to be a strange post, but let me know alternative thoughts before the whole plan ends up in a spiral like my schemes usually do...

    I bought a Q550 about 7 months ago now and I ended up relying on it for 90% of my day-to-day needs. I originally thought it would be a companion to the T580, not a replacement. Well, that changed as I started using it and I found out that it is more than capable of the 'normal stuff' I threw at it. It became my only computer in use for a long time. Well, I recently hit a wall with the Q550. While TurboCAD, PaintShopPro, OneNote, and most of the other Office programs run just fine for photo manipulation, light CAD use (all my comparison drawings are done on the Q550), and all my notes and documents, I ran into situations recently that changed the equation.

    I hit a wall with the Q550 about 2 months ago, so after 5 good solid months of this being my 'only' computer I found it incapable of some intense stuff..the Girlscout Troop needed to do some video work and the Q550 was not up to the task; that was just the start.

    I resurrected the T580 from the cabinet like I intended for it if I ran into this situation, set it up on the desk with a large monitor, keyboard, and mouse and the girls went at it. The T580 did well.

    Recently I ran into another wall and this one is a bit bigger. This time the limitations came from a surprising source...I loaded Visio and that runs on the Q550 like a one legged dog. In addition, graphics intense PowerPoint chokes the thing as well to the point of lock up. I tried taking my T580 to work to do these functions and it did the job just fine, but after using the 16:10 screen of the Q550 I have found that I detest the 10.1" 16:9 screen on teh T580.

    It looks like I need a bit more power for about 10% of the time, but I also want a larger screen. So, scheming time...

    My 2730P is in use so my C2D is busy. So I am thinking about one of the following to replace the T580, and yes, I would sell this one and not just toss it in the cabinet like all the others, but I did get rid of the LS800 this year....that is a big step forward for me.

    - HP 2760P - fast, I am used to it, but expensive and I would need another base and slim battery again since the setup I had is in use and going away again shortly to college. Super big $'s, but I do consider this machine to be the best in class of the powerful convertibles.
    - Fujitsu T730/T731 - fast, bigger and heavier than the 27xxP but integrated with a DVD. No base needed, but I would want the port replicator for my desk, and the expansion bay battery eventually if I go mobile. More expensive than the 27xxP when new, but surprisingly cheaper when used. The screen is the same size as the 27xxP, but surprisingly, only a little less weight than a T900/T901.
    - Fujitsu T900/T901 - fast, way bigger than big (still a smaller screen than my old laptop), and integrated with the DVD and drive bay battery like the T730/T731, in fact, they are the same. Very expensive new but the cheapest of all of them used and I assume that is due to the bulk.
    - Get a used cheap laptop - probably the cheapest way to get power and retain some mobility, but I would not be excited about it.

    So, the scheme would be to opt for the T900/T901, get a port replicator, and then use that on the desk and/or brief trips when needed for the 10% of the time I need more mobile power than the Q550. In effect it would become the Thinkpad laptop I used to have going back to my TC1100 days where the TC1100 was my note taker and the Thinkpad was my workhorse. I would then sell the T580 and TC1100 and regain some file cabinet space.

    Any opinions?
     
  2. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    When I was using the HP Slate 500 as my work computer, I bought a used HP Xeon Workstation for $400 from Geeks.com that had 8 GB of and 1 TB of storage. I loaded all if my heavy lifting software on it and used Live Mesh to remote into it and used it in conjunction. I had to give up the Atom because of VOIP Conference Calls I host using Lync 2010 Client and the CPU couldn't keep up....
     
  3. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    Jeff, good point, and as I was sitting here looking to clean up some of my electronic piles I came across the old desktop cabinet I was saving to rebuild into a homework puter for the kids. They both have my old thinkpads now so this would be another candidate... It has a Quad Core CPU and about 8 GB of RAM. I just need a HDD and time to put it together...
     
  4. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I'm surprised it chokes on Visio but does the other things you mentioned.

    You currently have a slate and you only seem to think about something else because of processing power. Have you considered the Series 7 slate?
    It's 16:9 and slightly bigger, but you barely lose height in the resolution and gain (not so useful) width. And while the other options are more powerful CPU wise, it would still be a huge leap up from the Z670.

    Otherwise I'd go for the T901. I personally think that the difference in size and weight is not that much of a concern if it is in contrast to the Q, as that's so much smaller than any of your options. You also get a really bigger screen.
    In addition, if it is the cheapest option - why not?

    Edit: If you do not need a mobile solution, go for a desktop. For half the price of a laptop you easily get twice the power.
     
  5. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    What about the Core 2 Duo equipped Motion Computing F5? it has a 10.4" screen that is beyond excellent (within 2% of 'perfect' indoors and out as you can reasonably get currently; no touch though, only Wacom pen); the form factor looks odd, but the handle makes it extremely easy to hold with your left hand and use your right to interact with it or even just grab and go without worry of it slipping (its usable like this even with decent size gloves on, a lot more than a typical Tablet PC is in that situation too), it also runs very quiet and usually cool (it will warm up after quite some time at max brightness and doing a lot, but still less than the 2730p, and a lot quieter than the 2730p -both with SSD's anyways)

    The issues are: its a slate with no ports (you don't even have a USB port, unless you get the USB and Ethernet Easy connect dock, at which point you need a USB adapter for various peripherals) the battery life is in the area of 3.5-4hrs or so at most, usually between 3-3.5hrs at max brightness; the camera while handy especially with the software has less than ideal resolution; the drive is an odd zif HDD or SSD (hard to find, not many options, and expensive) and its kinda difficult to open it up and upgrade (you can bump the ram from 2B to 3GB with a 2GB stick, but anything more than that will be a waste because the chipset can only see ~3.2GB of ram, and its a little difficult to do so)


    For me the form factor, absolutely brilliant screen (99% clarity of images and text at extreme angles; excellent colors, contrast, and brightness), amazing pen tracking, and very comfortable 10.4" 4:3 screen size with a 'flush bezel', and a rubberized casing, all on a solid LV Core 2 Duo with Intel GMA 950 (not the greatest, but pretty darn good all things considered); oh, and the pen itself is my absolute favorite!




    Some food for thought as you can get them for $500 +/- these days (the Easy Connect dock will be $130 or so)
     
  6. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    Visio loads fine but when a folder of graphics is opened it becomes noticeably doggy. Then, as graphics get moved to the drawing, that is when it chokes. I was doing a layout for a lab at work using it and I added about 4 graphics and then it become unresponsive and I had to force reboot it. I tried again and the same thing happened. The next day I brought the T580 in and did the diagram without issue, but the fan was running pretty heavy so those little graphics in Visio are a little more than one would think.

    The desktop solution is viable and I have parts to put one together. It seems kind of strange to think this way because I have been driving towards mobility for about 15 years and to consider a permanent installation just feels weird.
     
  7. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    I think I will be keeping my Q550 for my day to day mobility device, but the F5v is something I am trying to talk my work into adopting for lab testing. With the integrated barcode scanner, document camera, and 4:3 screen, it would be perfect.

    It feels strange to be in a shopping frame of mind again... If someone like Fujitsu would just make the Q550 with a mobile i5 and Wacom it would be perfect as an only computer.... The S7S comes close, but I like the 10.1" 16:10 screen, and, yes, I use mine in portrait mode 95% of the time. The 16:9 screens are terrible.
     
  8. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I've talked a lot of people out of getting expensive laptops and making their workstations mobile :D
    It really depends on your way of working, though. If you have a desk where you return to and do work on on a regular basis and only need more power in rare cases, it's just the most economic solution. Especially if you have the parts laying around.
    This also gives you the option of waiting until the right slate pops up without spending money on something that's not what you really want in the first place.

    If you have a halfway decent internet connection you could even use VPN and remote desktop to connect to it if necessary.
    Keeping files in sync would also be no more of a problem than it is with a laptop.

    If you are actually running around here and there without a dedicated working place throughout the day, I'd get why you think of a desktop as a step back.

    Slightly OT and not directed to you:
    I don't really get why today everyone needs to have a laptop and does not think a second about desktops. I see so many people buying laptops of all sort who never leave the desk. Otherwise they often complain about them being bulky or the screen being too small...
    There's just some basic problems with making things light and using as little power as possible that result in compromises.
     
  9. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    I have much the same issue as DCEGGERT with my Slate 500. I use the slate for about 90% of my daily workload (before my display broke that is). However, I need to acquire, manipulate and dsiplay fairly intense graphics (GIS and aerial images) and the Slate is incapable of any of those functions. I had hoped it would be a decent presentation device but Powerpoint chokes it with even moderate graphics. I hvae an Acer 3820TG, HD5650 GPU running Firepro drivers that functions perfectly as a mobile workstation and presentation device. At the office it is connected to a full size keyboard and 24" LG IPS display. ATM, there are no convertible tablets capable of replacing the Acer. So, I have two computers, until I can find a slate powerful enough to replace the Acer or an Ivybridge convertible tablet light enough to replace the Slate.
     
  10. 2disbetter

    2disbetter Function over Form

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    Totally agree. My desktop is my pride and joy, and runs circle around all my mobile tech... at a fraction of the cost. (relatively speaking)

    2d
     
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