With the June 22 release of the J3500, Motion Computing has once again demonstrated a keen ability to cram loads of capabilities into a tablet-PC form factor.
The Austin, Texas-based slate maker on Tuesday unveiled the J3500 Tablet PC, with options including a dual-core Intel Core i7 vPro, Intel Ultimate-N WiFi and Wacom WXGA Touch and Pen Digitizer. Its devices cater to professionals in health care, construction, warehousing, government and anywhere that rugged mobile computing is called for.
The unit received by the CRN Test Center for review was also loaded with 32-bit Windows 7 Professional running on an Intel Core i7 Duo 1.2 GHz processor, 4 GB of DDR3 memory and Windows 7 Dual Touch capability. The bright 12.1-inch display is shock mounted and an accelerometer warns the 1.8-inch, 160-GB (a new high) hard drive of impending agitation. Built around a magnesium chassis, the J3500 carries a NEMA rating for dust and moisture ingress protection of IP52. Other options include Gobi 2000 Mobile Broadband and Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass.
Perhaps most impressive of the test results was the J3500’s battery life, which approached four hours of continuous video playback. Not bad for an i7-based system with power saving features disabled. Credit for this relatively long up-time goes to the unit’s dual batteries, which also account for one of its relatively heavy 4.25 pounds. Remember, there’s no keyboard, track pad or optical disc drive. A small power brick and 30-inch “Mickey Mouse” (C-5) style AC cord add nine ounces to the travel weight. A right-angle cannon plug connects DC to the left side of the tablet and doesn’t unduly protrude. Both batteries have charge gauges, but cannot be charged away from the mother ship.
Not surprising for an i7, the J3500 runs hot. After two hours of continuous operation, the screen radiated 104 degrees at its hottest, about 94 elsewhere, and some areas of the back reached as high as 114 degrees. It consumed 78 watts while running and charging. And for an i7-equipped system, the J3500 turned in a mediocre Geekbench score of 3130. In our book, Windows 7 also scores poorly as a tablet operating system. Even with its dual-touch capability, the operating system itself still behaves best with point-and-click.
Still, for its intended user -- the health-care provider, inventory clerk or field operator -- the CRN Test Center recommends the J3500 Tablet PC, particularly for purpose-built applications for enterprise and government.
There’s a dedicated button for locking the system, and a fingerprint scanner can be tapped for opening it up again. A rubberized backside affords a steady grip.
List pricing starts at $2,299, and we suggest adding the portable (and spill resistant) keyboard/track pad dock for $149. But if the plan is to pitch the Windows-based tablet as a replacement for an iPad, customers will likely be disappointed; it’s not running an Apple OS, screen orientation doesn’t automatically change and there’s no protection from accidentally powering on the unit in your bag. On the upside, it does run Flash.