Fujitsu Unveils New Tablet Hybrids, Preps For Windows 8

Fujitsu unveiled Monday two new convertible tablet PCs, the Stylistic Q702 and Lifebook T902 (shown above), optimized for vertical markets, including healthcare and education.

Announced at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, both devices will launch running Windows 7, but they were designed with Microsoft’s Windows 8 in mind and are upgrade-ready for the new OS, Fujitsu said.

The Stylistic Q702 is an 11.6-inch, 1.88-pound tablet that comes with a detachable keyboard dock users can snap in and out of place, as needed. The device is powered by Intel’s third-generation Ivy Bridge processors and is said to provide up to a nine-hour battery charge. USB 2.0 and 3.0 are also included, as are front- and rear-facing webcams.

[Related: Microsoft To Offer $39.99 Upgrade To Windows 8 ]

Sponsored post

The 13.3-inch Lifebook T902, which is positioned as being the next-generation version of Fujitsu's Lifebook T901, also boasts a hybrid form factor. Rather than detaching the keyboard for a more tablet-like experience, however, users rotate the display and close the clamshell to view content in slate mode. It’s thinner and lighter than its predecessor, the T901, weighing in at 4.1 pounds, and also runs on third-generation Ivy Bridge processors. According to Fujitsu, the Lifebook T902 can get up to an 11-hour battery life.

Paul Moore, vice president of PC product marketing and product management at Fujitsu America, told CRN that the new Lifebook T902 and Stylistic Q702 were optimized specifically for users in vertical markets, especially healthcare and education, where portability -- that doesn’t compromise functionality -- is a high priority.

"A lot of what we do is based on the usage patterns of our customers and we enhance our products, as we move on, based on how they use them," Moore said.

In healthcare, for instance, users need an ultra-portable device they can carry around medical facilities with ease. But, they also need a robust battery life that ensures the device can last all day. The Stylistic Q702, as a result, features a removable four-cell battery in its keyboard docking station that can be used to supplement the internal battery when needed.

NEXT: Fujitsu's Windows 8 Devices Toe-To-Toe With Microsoft Surface

With the highly anticipated arrival of Windows 8 later this year, Fujitsu’s new devices will rival other hybrid form factors from OEMs including Asus and Lenovo. They will also go head-to-head, however, with Microsoft’s own homegrown tablet PC, Surface, announced in June.

While Surface may compete directly against Fujitsu’s own Windows 8 offerings, Fujitsu's Moore said he’s not concerned about Microsoft’s debut tablet dealing a blow to his company’s sales. Surface, he said, appears to be a more consumer-oriented device, and not one that would necessarily appeal to Fujitsu’s customer base, which stems largely from vertical markets.

Security features, for instance, like Intel’s vPro, Absolute Software’s Computrace and biometric fingerprint sensors, will come natively with Fujitsu’s upcoming Windows 8 offerings, making them enterprise- and vertical-ready, Moore explained. Microsoft’s Surface, on the other hand, appears to be targeted more at consumers -- at least, from what is known of the device today.

"We focus on verticals, and we have been doing this for 20 years now -- we’ve been doing this longer than Microsoft has been doing it," Moore said. "We have features like vPro and Computrace and biometrics and dedicated Smart Card [Slots] and Gorilla Glass and dual-class battery strategies within our convertibles, multiple ports, and USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 -- these are all things that the verticals use. This is not the kind of thing Surface is pushing."

Other Microsoft OEM partners, including HP, Dell and Lenovo, didn’t offer up much of a response to the Surface announcement. But, Microsoft channel partners, who are still in the dark as to whether they will be able to sell the device, have been eagerly awaiting the software giant’s Worldwide Partner Conference this week as an opportunity to learn more.

Upon their availability next quarter, the new Stylistic Q702 (shown above) and Lifebook T902 will sell for $1,099 and $1,899, respectively, both from Fujitsu directly and through its channel partners. Microsoft has not yet confirmed pricing or availability for Surface, or whether it will be available through the channel.