Tablets have become more and more common in recent years and I have thought about getting one but haven't quite got myself to buying one. Too many choices and didn't know if I really needed one. When Fujitsu suggested to test their new Stylistic M532 Android tablet in part of their Lifebook4Life project i gladly took the opportunity. Couple of days later the postman brought their brand new 10" Android tablet which is powered by quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and has 1280x800 resolution screen, 1 GB memory, 32 GB flash and weights 560 grams. In Finland it costs about 612 euros.
Fujitsu Stylistic M532
In short Fujitsu Stylistic M532 is a 10" business grade Android tablet powered by quad core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 1 GB memory, 32 GB flash and has 1280x800 resolution Gorilla Glass protected LED backlighted and glossy screen. By 8.6 mm thickness and 560 grams it's a bit slimmer and lighter than Apple's new iPad (660g, 9,4mm). It runs vanilla Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has 8 Mpix and 2 Mpix cameras. The black bezel has no physical buttons, is rounded by a red metal trim and the back is covered by rubber like material which gives you a good grip. Physically and visually it stands out from the crowd of Android tablets. In positive sense. The connectivity is enabled with Bluetooth, WiFi and 3G and you can extend storage with microSD card. Charging is handled by proprietary dock-connector at the bottom. There's also microUSB connector (can't be used for charging) and 3,5mm audio plugin.
The tablet's performance is great and test results are in line with other Tegra 3 powered tablets (see results below). Movies and games ran without problems and with 32 GB storage plus microSD extension it would be a great traveling companion. But the most surprising thing is that the tablet has only 3,170 mAh battery as almost any other manufacture has over double the power. New iPad has 11,560 mAh and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 has 7000 mAh. And as the charging is done only by docking connector you always have to carry it around on longer trips. And depending on what you want to do with your tablet the camera isn't so good. In general tablets are lousy devices for taking pictures and although M532 has an 8 Mpix camera I would use any other available camera (test picture), eg. my HTC Sensation. You need a steady hand and good light to take decent pictures. I take the 2 Mpix front camera is fine for video conferences.
In overall, during my couple of weeks use of the Stylistic M532 tablet I found it convincing with visual appearance, physical structure, feel of robustness and performance and although it stands out of the crowd it isn't really something to be excited about. Just like you could imagine a business grade tablet to be. And after work you can take it home with you for entertainment use. It's light enough to hold easily and was pleasing to use for reading ebooks, news and seeing lecture videos. Also the games ran fast. Battery life is moderate compared to competition but I didn't find it as a problem in my use but the glossy screen was sometimes annoying. The preinstalled apps are good extra for corporate users.
- Processor: Nvidia Tegra 3 T30S, Quad-Core ARM Cortex A9, 1.4 GHz
- Memory: 1 GB
- Storage: 32 GB Flash
- Interfaces: SIM card slot, MicroSD (SDHC) slot, Audio, Micro USB, Dock connector
- Display: 10.1" (25.7cm), TFT, 1280 x 800 (WXGA), Gorilla Glass
- Camera: 8 Mpix with flash, 2 Mpix front
- Battery: 3,170mAh, video playback 8.4 h, charging 2.7 h
- Muuta: 2x speakers, built-in microphone
- Antennas: 2x dual band WLAN, 3G (UMTS), GPS, Bluetooth 3.0
- WLAN: AzureWave AW-AH663 802.11 a/b/g/n
- 3G: Integrated Huawei MU739 module, HSPA+ (downlink 21 MBit/s, uplink 5.76 MBit/s)
- Sensors: 3-axis Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetic Field Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
- Weight: 560 g
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 262.6 x 175.4 x 8.6 mm
The tablet can be equipped with accessories like a dock with 2 USB ports and HDMI and the travel dock provides 1 USB port and HDMI. Also the tablet sleeve functions as a stand.
I quickly tested tablet's performance with Quadrant, Vellamo, Rightware Taiji, GLBenchmark 2.5, Antutu 2.9, SunSpider 0.9.1 and Peacekeeper. Considering raw performance the Stylistic M532 is in line with other Tegra 3 based tablets.
- Quadrant: 4463
- Vellamo: 1405
- Rightware Taiji: 19,65
- GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt Classic C16Z16: 5818 frames, 51 fps
- GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt Classic C16Z16 Offscreen: 3306 frames, 29 fps
- Antutu 2.9: 11157 (cpu 6627, gpu 1449, ram 2575, i/o 506)
- SunSpider 0.9.1: 1708,5ms (1,3%)
- Peacekeeper: Chrome 18, 417; Safari, 350; Firefox 15, 325
Fujitsu markets the tablet for businesses and as a Bring-your-own-device tablet and thus provides it with some preinstalled software for work related tasks. Otherwise it is just like any other Android tablet and isn't equipped with manufacturer's user interface customizations like Samsung and HTC tends to do.
For office documents the tablet is equipped with ThinkFree Office which provides MS Office 2007 (OOXML) compatible document, spreadsheet and presentation editing. Remote access to business applications can be done with Citrix Receiver, VMWare View Client and iTap Mobile RDP apps which are Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI) applications. Nitrodesk TouchDown keeps you email, contacts and calendar in sync with Exchange ActiveSync.
Norton Tablet Security with one year subscription keeps the tablet free of malware and viruses and combined with Norton Anti-Theft you can keep track of it in case of theft. Also with Absolute Computrace Mobile you can track the device and secure the data on the tablet.
Other preinstalled apps are ES File explorer for browsing and managing the files in the tablet and you can also access files from servers like Fujitsu Q700 NAS server. And for multimedia center there's CyberLink's PowerDVD.
One essential application for tablets is splittable keyboard which doesn't come with Android 4.0 or preinstalled. The default on-screen keyboard is way too wide to use comfortable and by splitting it by half you get separate numpad and arrow keys. One possible free app for this is Open Split Keyboard.
Fujitsu Stylistic M532 is business grade Android tablet which also works for home and entertainment use. It convinces with good performance, build quality, feel of robustness and visual appearance. It stands out of the crowd but isn't really something to be excited about. Which is a good quality for a business grade device. Battery life is moderate compared to competition and glossy screen is sometimes annoying. The preinstalled apps are good extra for corporate users but most of them can be bought from Google Play. Both WiFi and 3G connectivity enables you to connect easily where you want and microSD slot provides more storage if needed. It lefts little to be wanted and is a sleek and accomplished device.
- Robust and build quality
- Connectivity: 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth
- microSD slot
- Moderate battery life
- Glossy screen
Fujitsu Stylistic M532 is a robust 10" Android tablet and it would be interesting to compare the Stylistic M532 against the competition from eg. Samsung and Asus. Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 tested by The Verge sounds on paper very interesting with pen functionality and all but at least The Verge said it was "Disappointing although S Pen works well". Mostly the issues were with TouchWiz and build quality but the better drawing ability would make a big difference with prototyping applications and stuff. Other interesting devices are Asus' Transformer Pad hybrid tablets like TF300 and TF700T which are more or less comparable in specifications, performance and price with Stylistic M532. And some people would compare Apples to oranges but as iOS provides features you can't get with Android tablets and likewise the comparison isn't meaningful.