Despite the iPad being widely known as the first tablet to be released, that’s definitely not true – tablets were around for a decade before Apple took the idea and marketed the hell out of it. Of course, the first tablets (aka slates) weren’t targeted at the average consumer, either – they were mostly marketed towards corporate, medical and other field environments.
One of the first companies to release one of these old timey tablets was Fujitsu – their Stylistic series enjoyed quite the popularity back in the day. They largely faded into obscurity about half a decade ago, but it seems that the company is ready to revive the brand and bring it back to the market: they’ve just announced the Stylistic M532 – a rugged tablet for consumers and professionals alike who want an everyday device that isn’t afraid of being carried around in the field.
Design wise, the new tablet is nothing special, although it does look pretty nice with its clean finish and the metal frame that surrounds the display, including the scratch free glass that covers it. The back has a matte rubbery finish that makes it easy to hold the tablet and also protects it from scratches (well, more like it avoid scratches altogether), and of course the obligatory camera, which in this case has an 8 Megapixels sensor and can take 1080p HD video at 30 FPS. The housing is only 8.6mm thick, and yet the slate feels very sturdy – it’s clear that it has a metal internal frame to hold everything together.
The only other thing worth noting is that the Stylistic M532 is a rugged tablet – it may not look like it at first glance, but the device is actually MIL-STD-810G certified – it can survive drops, rain, water, dust, sun and of course, scratches. That’s what makes the M532 a perfect choice for field work.
Hardware features and performance
The hardware specs of the Fujitsu Stylistic M532 are very nice – the device can definitely take on anything you’ve got to throw at it. The 10.1 inch IPS LCD display has a 1280×800 pixels resolution – that may seem a bit low, but it’s actually plenty enough for anything. The performance is guaranteed by a Tegra 3 quad core processor and 1024 MB of RAM – that’s pretty much the most powerful SoC you can find on the market today.
Users get 32 GB of onboard storage space, and unlike other manufacturers, Fujitsu also included a micro SD card slot for those who want to upgrade the memory down the line. Along with the above mentioned 8 MP camera, the Stylistic M532 also has a front facing 2 MP shooter that’s mainly intended for snapshots and video calls (in 720p HD, min you). The other specs are in line with all the other tablets on the market – Wifi N, Bluetooth 3.0, all the necessary sensors, micro USB and HDMI, GPS, HSPA+ modem and a 3170 mAh battery that should last up to 8.5 hours of work.
|Specifications||Fujitsu Stylistic M532|
|Display||10.1 inches, 1280×800 pixels, IPS LCD, 149 DPI|
|Processor||NVidia Tegra 3 T30S, quad core, 1.4 GHz|
|Graphics Adapter||GeForce ULV, 12 cores|
|Storage Space||32 GB onboard storage space; micro SD card slot for expansion|
|Camera(s)||Back – 8 MP; Front – 2 MP; both cameras support HD video recording|
|Connectivity Options||Wifi N, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, HSPA+, micro USB, SIM card slot|
|Sensors||Gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, light sensors|
|Battery||Li-Ion, 3170 mAh – up to 8.5 hours of continuous use|
|Dimensions and weight||262.6 x 175.4 x 8.6 mm, 560 grams|
|Operating System and Software||Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich|
The Fujitsu Stylistic M532 runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich from the factory, just like any other modern tablet should. This means that you get the best Android experience out of the box, and I don’t doubt that there’s a Jelly Bean update coming soon after release. There’s no word on any UI customizations or proprietary apps, but I’d bet Fujitsu left all that alone, which is a good thing – Android 4.0 is great the way it is.
Price and Availability
The Stylistic M532 will be available in stores sometime this fall, and the recommended price is around $600, which puts it in the same price range as most other high end quad core tablets. Given the rugged, no-frills design and long standing brand name, the Stylistic M532 should enjoy quite some popularity when it launches.