High-PPI displays, new Intel chips collide in waterproof Fujitsu convertibles

Fujitsu announced a slew of mobile systems on Tuesday, including the high-PPI ultrabook Cyril wrote about. I’m more interested in Transformer-style convertibles, so another system caught my eye. The Stylistic Q584 combines a Bay Trail Atom Z3770 SoC with a 10.1″, 2560×1600 IPS display. The CPU can be paired with up to 4GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of flash storage, while the touchscreen supports both capacitive multitouch and digitizer-based stylus input.

 

The underlying hardware sounds great, but that’s not the coolest part. This thing meets the IP5X standard for dustproofing and the IPX5, 7, and 8 specifications for waterproofing. According to the IP Code, the Q584 should be capable of surviving “continuous immersion” in water. The exterior is “resistant to alcohol-based wipes,” too, so germaphobes should be able to scrub the device obsessively.

In addition to its robust exterior, the Q584 has everything you’d expect from a next-gen tablet: USB 3.0, microSD, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, dual cameras, and a bonus Micro USB 2.0 port. Optional extras include NFC, LTE connectivity, and two docking stations. The keyboard dock has a touchpad but doesn’t appear to include additional ports or battery power. The desktop dock provides display outs, Ethernet, and extra USB ports.

With a weight of 1.4 lbs and a body 0.39-0.63″ thick, the Q584 is about the same weight as the iPad 4 but fatter overall. You have to give up something to get waterproofing, I guess. At least Fujitsu didn’t shrink the battery too much to compensate. The tablet is rated for 10 hours of run time.

Fujitsu says the Stylistic Q584 will be available in November, although unfortunately, there’s no word on the price. In December, the tablet will be joined by a similarly weatherized Q704 model with Haswell guts and a battery-equipped keyboard dock. The Stylistic Q704 has a 12.5″ IPS display, but the resolution is knocked down to 1920×1080. You have to live with not only a lower PPI, but also a 16:9 aspect ratio. You’ll also have to haul an extra 0.8 lbs, but the chassis is thinner overall at 0.47″.

Comments closed
    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 6 years ago

    I went to the website and saw the details for the tablet and saw this:

    Waterproof IPX5 / 7 / 8
    No

    What the hell does the “no” mean?

      • psuedonymous
      • 6 years ago

      I think Fujitsu screwed up their IP coding. An ‘x’ is usually meant to denote that one of the criteria is not definited (e.g. ‘IPx4’ means it’s splashproof but not specifically tested against dust ingress). I suspect that “IPX5/7/8” was MEANT to be IP578, and that the ‘no’ denotes that there are no additional tested criteria (e.g. oil resistance).

        • SomeOtherGeek
        • 6 years ago

        Cool, thanks. That makes sense.

    • nico1982
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]This thing meets the IP5X standard for dustproofing and the IPX5, 7, and 8 specifications for waterproofing.[/quote<] I always thought that higher IP protection levels automatically included lower ones. I guess it is not the case?

    • dpaus
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]the Q584 has everything you'd expect from a next-gen tablet![/quote<] [GrumpyOldMan] Except a decent amount of RAM, that is. Why are manufacturers only producing systems based on a CPU that can't use more than 4 GBytes of RAM when there are perfectly acceptable alternatives that can do much better? [/GrumpyOldMan]

      • DancinJack
      • 6 years ago

      To be fair, it does say tablet.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      OK, I’ll byte, I’ve seen at least a dozen posts about your odyssey for the tablet with [16/32/64/128]GB of RAM… what exactly are you doing that legitimately requires that much memory [b<]and[/b<] requires a tablet. I'm not joking here, and I sincerely hope it's not because you have plans of running Oracle DBs or some other ridiculous server application on a tablet.

        • dpaus
        • 6 years ago

        OK, but don’t call me Shirley…

        We make systems for emergency responders, and currently have some major contracts for Disaster Response systems. The field workers want something in a high-res tablet form factor, preferably somewhat dust- and water- and shock-resistant, but do not want to have to rely on cellular connectivity for data (since the cell networks are often among the first things to fail). So we’ve spent all this time and money developing a true, fully-distributed, asynchronous, non-locking database scheme that allows multiple workers to operate on their own, local copy of the full set of disaster dataset, and the distributed systems will all update each other automatically when connectivity is available, and simply operate autonomously/locally when it isn’t. It’s perfect for their needs, but it needs about 6 GBytes to run (it’s MySQL, so, technically, yeah, it’s Oracle LOL, and yeah, technically, it IS a server application).

        I just find it frustrating that in this day of 64-bit systems with ‘retina’ -class displays, we’re being offered CPUs that are limited to 32-bit, low-memory systems – especially when perfectly acceptable 64-bit CPUs are readily available.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 6 years ago

          Why not have a powerful workstation-class laptop create an Ad-hoc network that a bunch of tablets / smartphones can then access?

          One $1600+ Laptop (i7-QM with 16 or 32GB of RAM) running a webserver + ad-hoc networking + a bunch of cheap $150 tablets. That will surely be a more scalable solution than buying a bunch of 16-GB Tablets.

            • dpaus
            • 6 years ago

            Communicating how? The workers will typically be spread out over an entire city or even region.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 6 years ago

            I was imagining a laptop per Fire Engine (or other vehicle) + a couple of cheaper tablets for the individuals. IE: Each Fire Engine can have a powerful laptop powering the “local network” of weaker tablets.

            But I guess you’re working with more of a one-device per vehicle? At which point, the only thing I can think of is the Surface Pro2, which now comes with 8GB of RAM (on 256GB models and above).

            Its not going to be as scalable as the i7-QM laptop + mini-tablets, but it is also a single-device solution. Whichever one is better depends on how many tablets you’re loading out per emergency response unit…

            • dpaus
            • 6 years ago

            [quote<]I was imagining a laptop per Fire Engine[/quote<] We already have that; these devices are for 'other' responders (i.e., not Fire, not Police, not EMS, etc.). And as I noted, they are typically spread out over a very wide area, so they're not in range of WIfi from a single vehicle. FWIW, we do use the approach you described for Incident Commanders at a large fire-rescue scene, but in that case, they are the only responders active.

            • kamikaziechameleon
            • 6 years ago

            You do offer a solid solution but from my own experience trying to setup an orchestrated hardware/software solution the fewer pieces to the puzzle the better and easier to keep up to date.

            I’m confident your solution would work well for the first 12-24 months but ultimately its just another item that needs service and updates and repair. As time drags on costs compound.

            We are on the cusp of being able to do some truly powerful things with these handheld devices. Its just frustrating to see workarounds are still required to maximize their usability. Some days it feels like we are living the future of technology then abruptly it crashes down and feels like the 90’s all over again as you work around a rather silly issue.

            • ludi
            • 6 years ago

            Laptops are more difficult to ruggedize and more awkward to open and close on the fly. For disaster response you have to plan for the worst-case combination of water, dust, debris, bodily fluids, etc. and the first-responders won’t be doing a lot of text composition — they’ll mostly be needing maps and a how-to database for emergency first aid and victim stabilization, which could be easily navigated with a touchscreen.

          • chuckula
          • 6 years ago

          How about a Toughbook Convertible: [url<]http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughbook/semi-rugged-C2-convertible-tablet-pc.asp[/url<] The higher end model only includes 8 GB of RAM, but you just said your application weighs in at 6 GB, and for single-purpose use you should be within reason. The screen isn't uber-high resolution, but it's not terrible either and a toughbook would be well suited to disaster situations. Have you had any luck in slimming down the memory requirements for the app? You mentioned having the "full" disaster dataset available to each tablet, but can you restructure the DB so that the actual amount of "live" disaster data in memory at any one time isn't so burdensome?

            • dpaus
            • 6 years ago

            Yes and no; from the page you linked to
            [quote<]and weighs as little as 3.6 lbs[/quote<] except that it's actually a lot closer to 5 lbs in our experience. Try walking around holding a 5lb sugar bag at chest height for a while; see how long you last. But we do use ToughBooks in many other applications where portability is not a requirement (yes, with 8 GBytes of RAM). EDIT: With a LOT of optimization, we [i<]might[/i<] be able to slim the app-stack down to 5 GBytes. But my point remains: why build a lightweight device with a super-high ppi display, the latest WiFi and the latest Bluetooth, USB 3.0 connectivity, dual cameras, NFC.... and a CPU that is limited to 4 GBytes of RAM?

            • chuckula
            • 6 years ago

            OK, Here’s another one:
            The Lenovo X230 tablet can be upgraded to 16 GB of RAM (and you can order it that way from Lenovo): [url<]http://www.jessebandersen.com/2012/06/lenovo-thinkpad-x230-tablet-upgrade.html[/url<] Lenovo specs: [url<]http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/x-series/x230t/#techspecs[/url<] If 3.7 lbs is too heavy, then I really don't know what to say. Outside of the screen resolution, you won't be able to get specs anywhere near that good in any consumer grade tablet for quite a long time.

            • dpaus
            • 6 years ago

            Yeah, the 3.7 lbs is the killer there.
            [quote<]you won't be able to get specs anywhere near that good in any consumer grade tablet for quite a long time[/quote<] I beg to differ - this Fujitsu tablet, which is specifically designed for 'field' users - would be exactly what we want if they'd just used an AMD chip that allowed 8 GBytes of RAM.

            • chuckula
            • 6 years ago

            [quote<] if they'd just used an AMD chip that allowed 8 GBytes of RAM.[/quote<] If they were to change the chips out for one that accommodates more RAM, all the other positive features you are pining for would rapidly go out the window too... that's the catch-22. Have you looked into Haswell convertibles? The Surface Pro 2? (there are 8GB models) Those are going to be your best bet for something with enough memory and that is light enough.

            • Klimax
            • 6 years ago

            Had you looked at some other SQL databases with in-memory compression? (I know big databases like MS-SQL have it at Standard and higher licensing options)

            Or maybe SQLite could be used. (But since I don’t know actual database requirements I cannot say for sure)

          • Sahrin
          • 6 years ago

          >It’s perfect for their needs, but it needs about 6 GBytes to run (it’s MySQL, so, technically, yeah, it’s Oracle LOL, and yeah, technically, it IS a server application).

          Uh…write to disk?

            • Klimax
            • 6 years ago

            Would likely cause latency spike in application or other performance problem, which would most likely cause troubles during operations.

          • Klimax
          • 6 years ago

          Those are specific requirements… and quite out of any market most of these companies pursue. Maybe specific order or request to them for bidding.

            • dpaus
            • 6 years ago

            As I said to chuckula above, no, this tablet with an AMD chip supporting 8 GBytes of RAM would be perfect.

            • Klimax
            • 6 years ago

            Well, custom order or a Request for Quote or something like that. I suspect for sometime you won’t see still such monstrosities, because market for them is too small or nonexistent.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 6 years ago

      Is it the limit of the processor having one memory channel? IIRC, it was mention a few times. But then they do make 8GB sticks, so can those fit? Maybe the Haswell will do better? Just asking.

      • Sahrin
      • 6 years ago

      1. Silvermont can but does not currently support AMD64, ergo anything more than 4GB of RAM is pointless.
      2. What ‘acceptable alternative’ tablet has more than 4GB of RAM and 10 hours of battery life?

        • rootheday3
        • 6 years ago

        Silver mint does support 64 bit OS – you can see ark.intel.com- celeron j1850, pentium j2850 for example. Supports 64 bit, dual channel, 8gb.

        As I understand it tablets are initially only shipping with 32 bit OS and driver stack because Windows connected standby is limited to 32 bit OS( because when they created it in win 8, they were thinking of arm and arm was only in 32 bit)…. Since tablets usage expects CS, OEMs and intel prioritized 32 bit. Supposedly Microsoft is going to be releasing CS on 64 bit win8.1 in q1.

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