T580 and Q550 thoughts/questions

Discussion in 'Fujitsu' started by 2disbetter, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. 2disbetter

    2disbetter Function over Form

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    So I was looking at the T580 today as I'm seriously considering possibly offloading the slate 2 for it. (The slate 2 is great, but it's slowness coupled with no physical keyboard making typing on it even with swype a bit of a pain)

    Now the T580 and the Q550 are the same size dimension wise, minus their thickness. So my question for all your Q550 owners out there is:

    Why did you go with the q550 when even the baseline t580 out performs it (minus battery life.... T580 on 6 cell 5+ hours, and I think the q550 is supposed to get around 10 hours or so?)

    Does anyone have a t580 and feel like commenting on it? How do you like it? Gripes, etc.?

    Thanks for any feedback!

    2d
     
  2. dceggert

    dceggert Moving 'up' from iPAQ Senior Member

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    2d,
    Well, I have 'em both. Why? That is a good question.

    The T580:
    I bought the i5 version and it also has the 160 GB HD where the Q550 is 62 GB. It is a very capable machine performance wise and when I first bought the Q550 I was going to keep the T580 for intense tasks such as CAD and photo editing (which I do regularly). The Q550 was going to be my electronic dayplanner as an all-around general use machine. I used to have a P1620 and I was looking for something that size and the T580 fits that user mode great.

    The Q550:
    I was presented with a good deal so I bought one. I actually bought two and gave one to my college son but that is a different story. The Q550 promised to be a small and lightweight note taker and it excels in that mode.

    Inking:
    Both machines have N-trig digitizers and both have junk pens. I use an HTC Flyer silver pen without any issues and it is highly recommended with each; the pen even fits in the T580 silo. I bought a black HTC Flyer pen for my son and it suffers from the same performance issues as the Fujitsu pen - they stop working occasionally and they need to be 'rebooted.' With the silver HTC Flyer pen inking on the Q550 is 90-95% as good as the Wacom system on my 2730P. Inking on the T580 is slightly worse because it must use an older digitizer or something; the gap above the screen where the pen begins to register is about 1/2" on the Q550, and about half that or less on the T580. As a consequence, there are more inking errors on the T580. So, the Q550 wins in an inking contest.

    Ports:
    Hands down, the T580 wins. I especially like that it has a VGA port for connections to a projector without having an 'adaptor' for the HDMI ports, which does not work on the Q550 for me. The T580 wins for connectability. Also, my 64 GB SDXC card works with either.

    Usability:
    Everyone has different user profiles and mine is more based on the pen than the keyboard. As a result, it is nice not to have the weight and bulk of the T580 everywhere I go. In addition to the Q550 being thinner and less weight, it also has a 16:10 screen where the T580 uses a 16:9. That means in portrait mode the screen is almost l/2" wider on the Q550. The Q550 wins for usability. If I were a keyboard user this may come out differently. I seem to be a rare user that actually writes everything instead of typing.

    Performance:
    This is the surprise section of the comparison. My expectations of the capabilities of the Q550 were too limited based on the perceived performance and all the reviews you read or see. I actually have no issues editing photos or doing light CAD duties on the Q550. The only performance limitation I have run into is editing movies with Corel VideoStudio, which the T580 did with ease. If the computers were cars they would both be compact sedans; the T580 would be a V6 and the Q550 an I4. The Q550 is capable of 95% of what the T580 can do. The performance win goes to the T580 but that does not mean the Q550 is a 'loser.'

    Bottom Line:
    I have both, I use both (Windows Live Mesh keeps all my files in sync), and both have seen duty as a travel companion. Now, speaking truly hypothetical, if I had to go down to one machine, and that is a big IF, then. . .

    Keeping the Q550 and getting rid of the T580; I would whine, stomp, and sulk but I could make the Q550 work for me for nearly all situations if this had to happen. I could find another way to edit movies. So if the T580 had to go I would manage.

    Keeping the T580 and getting rid of the Q550; no, it would not happen, period .

    The T580 is like wearing a real nice pair of riding boots; it is comfortable, it works well, and you can wear it anywhere. The Q550, in contrast, is like having a lightweight pair of running ***** (s.h.o.e.s. is humorously bleeped out); once you wear them it is hard to put the boots back on!

    I sure hope this long winded dissertation helps.
     
  3. violajack

    violajack Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I have a Q550 for two main reasons - battery life and the fact that it's fanless. I was also impressed with the performance after reading so many reviews about how sluggish the Oaktrail processor is. It does what I need it to do, with minimal lag. For me, the all teaching day battery life was essential. I don't want to carry power adapters or extra batteries. I use it in the context of teaching music, so the silent operation of a no moving parts machine is a huge benefit.

    I did have a chance to play around with a T580 and found it to be really bulky. I didn't really like the keyboard very much either, it felt very cramped. I use an Apple bluetooth keyboard in the Oragami case (which folds around into a stand for the tablet) when I want to do longer writing on the Q550.
     
  4. 2disbetter

    2disbetter Function over Form

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    Thank you both for your feedback.

    Let me bounce some of my thoughts on you guys and see if it makes sense to you.

    The slate 2 is essentially the same machine as the q550, minus screen resolution, size, and battery life. Processing performance should be the same, and based on the thread e-schreiber is maintaining the slate 2 appears slightly faster (1-2% so).

    My problem with it is that while it's size is perfect, I find entering text on it (especially when it comes to symbols, and special characters) takes just way too long, and makes being productive with it difficult.

    So having a physical keyboard is a huge driving factor in this.

    Having a slate without a keyboard is nice as it makes the smaller size possible, BUT having to lug around a bluetooth keyboard in a case, seems like it nullifies this advantage. Where as the T580 is bulkier (only in thickness, right?) it is at least one whole package.

    What I'm curious on is just build quality. I know Fujitsu makes quality stuff. However, the way the slate 2 is built, I'm not worried about tossing it on the couch, or in the car seat as I get in the car. (Especially when it's in its case) This comes as a result of it being a single piece of equipment. With the T580 in a case(sleeve), would you feel comfortable letting it plop down on the sofa or car seat? Or does it require a little care?

    I understand the focus on battery life. The Slate 2 gets 5+ hours. The T580 with the 6 cell battery also gets 5+. The other advantage though, is more processing power, with more in the way processor technology. I'm thinking about just going with the i3 version as the $400 markup on the i5 is just ridicules. But either way I get virtualization, and x64 processing, which is great for my particular needs.

    Also the T580 is very upgradeable. RAM, Wireless cards, hard drives, and batteries. So while it is already yesterdays tech, it will last longer performance wise than the slate 2. (and is already ready for win 8 spec wise)

    I'll wait and see if anyone else has some feedback before pulling the trigger.

    PS: dceggert, if you have the time and inclination, would it possible for you to post a pic of the t580 and q550 side by side? A top down shot would be ideal. No worries if you don't feel like it.

    Edit: dceggert, disregard that request, as I just found your comparison chart. Thanks for providing that!

    2d
     
  5. Liberty

    Liberty Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I have seen both and it is a close call. These write ups are excellent. Once the 550 gets a powerful CPU, it will really rock.
     
  6. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Anything below 10% difference in a benchmark under uncontrolled conditions is within the scope of error. Take any machine you have and run wprime 20 times, just whenever you think about it. You'll see that margin of error.

    Besides, unless what you do is limited by CPU performance even a 20% difference is hardly noticeable. The HP Slates are heavily limited by the Atom's power, overclocking them makes a difference.
    Between the i3 and i5 in the T580 you will have a hard time pointing out a difference outside of things like creating big compressed archives or installing big software packages.


    Whether the combination of slate and bluetooth KB is better than a convertible depends. If you need a PDF reader and a notepad most of time and are standing or working in uncomfortable positions, the reduced weight of a slate is a great benefit.
    If then most cases where you need a KB feature a way to conveniently position the slate you have no real drawbacks.

    A real world case is a friend of mine who tinkers a lot with OBD interfaces on cars. In many cases he doesn't need a KB at all and if so the ST he uses just gets sat on the dashboard and leaned to the windshield.
    With the keyboard on his lap that's actually way more comfortable than using a convertible.

    So imo there's indeed use cases where slate plus separate KB are better than a convertible.
     
  7. jnjroach

    jnjroach Surface MVP Super Moderator

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    Have you considered buying the Keyboard Folio for your Slate 2? This would give you a keyboard when needed, but you can easily take the slate out for inking...
     
  8. 2disbetter

    2disbetter Function over Form

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    Yeah I guess my thinking was just that with that added bulk I could have a all in one product, with a better keyboard.

    I'm going to look into the slate keyboard though.

    I have been using a samsung series 7 slate keyboard I had left over. (I accidentally got 2, and when I sent them back still had one left over)

    2d
     
  9. 2disbetter

    2disbetter Function over Form

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    So a few more questions regarding the two. Do they both have glass screens or are they plastic? I've tried reading that in a few reviews, and they never mention it.

    Also I have 8 gigs of laptop ram laying around from a previous upgrade (actually came out of the x220t, when I put in the 16gb). So I'd like to use the x64 version of windows 7 on it. Is there any driver media or factory image disk that comes with it? IE: Could I reinstall windows using the product key on the device for x64? Anyone with experience with that would appreciated.

    2d
     
  10. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Concerning the screens, you know or have read about the T580's? It's been criticized around here and from what I've read in reviews it's rather dim and a TN panel with pretty average viewing angles. I can't provide any worthwhile opinion myself, though, besides better checking beforehand.

    All the Fujitsu's I received new were coming with several CDs, among which was a driver disc and at least one Windows disc.

    The machine will pretty certainly have the classic COA sticker on its bottom with a CD key on it. You can use Windows 7 keys for all languages and either 32 or 64 bit, if it is the same edition. So yes, get the Windows flavor of choice (language, bits) and use the key on the bottom.
     
  11. Liberty

    Liberty Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Since you already have a powerful convertible tablet pc, you might want to go for a more mobile option. Q550 would be a good complement.
     
  12. Steve S

    Steve S Scribbler - Standard Member Super Moderator

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  13. 2disbetter

    2disbetter Function over Form

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    The Q550 makes the least amount of sense really. I find the X220t big. The slate 2 while ideal with regards to size, is just not convenient enough for text entry. This means a bluetooth keyboard is required. If this is the case I might as well get a device with a built in physical keyboard. The Q550 also has the same guts as the slate 2, meaning all I'm really getting is a larger screen and better resolution.

    The T580 is the same size as the Q550 (roughly, but it is also thicker).

    I think I am going to pull the trigger on a T580 i3. I'm going to sleep on it for a few more nights, and see if I don't change my mind.

    I'm wondering if going with the i3 and getting the 6 cell off the bat is better than going with the i5, and having to get the 6 cell later. (This is a $150 price difference)

    Ie: Is turbo boost and the performance increase as a result worth the $300+ price difference?

    2d
     
  14. 2disbetter

    2disbetter Function over Form

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    Thanks for the link to the review! I noticed you talked about the hinge being a bit worrying. Do you feel this means the hinge could fail prematurely? Also how loose is the rotation?

    I actually like Fujitsu's hinge design on the t580, especially while it's in tablet mode, as it just seems like a great way to prevent screen wobble while in tablet mode. Did you notice wobble while the tablet was closed, in laptop mode, and also in operating tablet mode?

    Thanks for the feedback!

    2d
     
  15. dceggert

    dceggert Moving 'up' from iPAQ Senior Member

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    2d,
    The screen sizes are not really the same. The T580 is 16:9 while the Q550 is 16:10. They are both 10.1" diagonal. Here is the difference graphically (screen size not machine size):

    [​IMG]

    The screen size of the Q550 seems more roomy in portrait mode, and it is, by the tune of 3/8" wider. It is the difference in Outlook that the information on an incoming email fits on one line while the T580 has to wrap to a second line. Not a real big deal, but the text, pics, etc. all looks bigger on the Q550.

    The T580 is a fine machine, and so is the Q550. The Slate 500 and/or Slate 2 are too small of a screen for my liking, and they both have 16:9 screens as well (although at that size it would likely be in landscape nearly all the time)...

    Edit: I thought of one more interesting difference; the T580 is slightly narrower than the Q550 because of it's 16:9 screen so it actually fits in an old Franklin Planner 2" binder with the rings removed. To me that was an awsome discovery. The Q550 is too wide to fit in the planner binder so it is in my 8.5"x11" portfolio.
     
  16. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Well, if the only thing keeping you from the Q is the lack of a keyboard, why do you consider whether you should get an i3 or an i5?
    The i3 has two cores of which one should be a good bit faster than a Z670s.

    And why would you consider 300$ for just the turbo boost?
    You don't get anything else, no more cache, no better memory interface, no higher base clock.

    If money's not a concern, sure, the turbo will add a bit of performance, but I would not consider the premium worth it. For that money you better get an SSD or switch to the next machine some months earlier.
     
  17. ronr9286t

    ronr9286t Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Part of your decision will hinge on (no pun intended) your work/liesure computing needs. My last 6 computers have been convertible tablets (5 of them Fujitsu). I currently have a T2020 as in a port replicator as my main home-office system, with the large monitor, keyboard, and external drives attached. I got a T580 for travel, both local and around the US, and out of the US on vacation (about 1/3 of my working time is spent out of the office).

    For air travel, I found a slate to be not very useful, as it was difficult to keep reliabley upright. The convertible form-factor is much better for me, as it not only provides the keyboard, but a solid base upon which to use the system.

    The performance, including inking, is fine for me. I got an i5 system with the exteneded battery from the Fujitsu e-Bay store, and immediately added 2 gig of RAM (for a total of 4) and a 120gb SSD. I need a Windows system as I live in Outlook and OneNote in my business.

    The battery life is more than adequate and the inking works well for note-taking in meetings. I also use the T580 in the house away from my desk.

    I recently added a Samsung Galaxy Note as my mobile phone and for taking quick notes on the fly, and it works better for that than any Windows tablet.

    Ron
     
  18. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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  19. Steve S

    Steve S Scribbler - Standard Member Super Moderator

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    <<...I noticed you talked about the hinge being a bit worrying. Do you feel this means the hinge could fail prematurely? Also how loose is the rotation?..>>

    ...This is going back several months, but what I remember is that the hinge / pivot didn't feel as tight (as in precision of movement) as I expected. I've handled a lot of tabletPCs in my time, so I was immediately struck by this feeling the first time that I rotated the screen. I don't know that this automatically equates to "will likely break," though. Interestingly, it's sometimes desirable to make a mechanical joint a little loose specifically to achieve better durability in service. Let's just say that given the price point (at the time), I expected a better quality "feel' to the hinge / pivot...

    However, the ability to rotate the screen in either direction is a real liability in my opinion. Unless you remember to consistently counter-rotate the screen between convertible and slate mode, you run a real risk of twisting a wire bundle into failure...!

    <<...Did you notice wobble while the tablet was closed, in laptop mode, and also in operating tablet mode?..>>

    ...I don't remember, but apparently I didn't because I would have commented on it if I did...
     
  20. 2disbetter

    2disbetter Function over Form

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    I'm not too worried about this as I've been raised on uni-directional hinges. I'll probably just treat it as such.

    dceggert thanks for the diagram. I have pretty much decided at this point that the Q550 is out of the picture. It's just that going to it, basically means I have to deal with the increase in size, and no further performance increases, but rather more screen real estate for the already choked graphics chip to deal with. If I didn't already have a slate 2, I would still have the q550 in the running.

    It's just if I have to live with a size increase, I might as well have better performance, and a physical keyboard to go with it.

    2d
     
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