Soft-touch back is pleasant to hold; Ruggedized design; Extra security features; Bright display; Accurate audio
Low resolution for price; Screen picks up fingerprints easily; Low maximum volume; Short battery life;
The business-centric Fujitsu Stylistic M532 Android tablet boasts a rugged build and extra layers of security. We just wish it lasted longer on a charge.
Fujitsu was one of the original pioneers in tablet PCs, but the Stylistic M532 is the company's first Android-based slate for the U.S. The $549 M532 costs a bit more than the competition, but comes loaded with extra security features and a ruggedized exterior. Find out if these additions are worth the added expense.
On the back, Fujitsu gave the M532 a soft-touch plastic finish that's pleasant to hold and looks just as premium as the cold aluminum chassis of other tablets. The 8-megapixel rear-facing camera can be found at the top, and Fujitsu's stylized infinity logo in the center.
A thin strip of gunmetal gray plastic runs along the edge of the tablet. A headphone jack and power button can be found on the top, and the volume rocker, a microUSB port (annoyingly concealed by a cover) and a microSD card slot are on the right.
A 30-pin proprietary docking port is on the bottom of the tablet. Accessories compatible with the docking port include a cradle that allows the tablet to sit upright (complete with two USB ports) and an adapter that gives the device access to full-size HDMI and USB interfaces.
The display, which is made of high-impact glass, and the chassis itself can survive a 1-meter drop onto plywood. If you find yourself in a freezing minus 18-degree Fahrenheit environment, the M532 will remain functional after 6 hours if turned off or 4 hours if left on. Similarly, the tablet will remain operational after seven days (turned off) in a scorching 158-degree inferno.
The disparity in pixel density became immediately apparent when we watched a 1080p trailer for "Skyfall" on YouTube. While scenes like tropical cruises and fights on speeding trains looked suitably lush, subtle details such as the stubble on Daniel Craig's jaw appeared slightly blurred.
The M532's display also picks up fingerprints easily. After spending 30 minutes with the tablet, smudges covered every surface of the screen. The effect was particularly distracting when watching darker scenes in the "Skyfall" trailer. Nevertheless, we appreciated the tablet's wide viewing angles -- we could move more than 45 degrees in either direction before losing image clarity.
The M532's display is also brighter than most. Using our light meter, we measured a brightness of 591 lux; this easily outshines the tablet average of 354 lux, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (441 lux) and the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity (433 lux). Only with Super IPS+ mode enabled did the Transformer Pad beat the Stylistic M532, measuring 642 lux. Thanks to its brightness, the M532 proved easy to read in direct sunlight -- although the fingerprint smears on the screen didn't help.
Unfortunately, the tiny speakers don't get particularly loud. Even at maximum volume, the sound struggled to fill a small room. While this may be loud enough for watching a movie in bed, it will hardly suffice if you want to view content with a larger group.
The other Ice Cream Sandwich features we've come to expect, such as resizable widgets, Face Unlock, and Chrome for Android, are all present as well (though sadly not Android Beam). Fujitsu says that the M532 will get an upgrade to Jelly Bean in the future, although an exact date hasn't been specified.
Additionally, the CTMobile app from Computrace can be used to set up a remote administrator for the M532, who can erase all of the tablet's data without warning, change the screen-lock password, control the length and the characters allowed in passwords, or lock the screen. This feature should prove especially useful for businesses worried about the theft of devices containing sensitive data. Computrace costs $13.95 for the Basic Edition, $24.99 for the Standard Edition and $32.99 for the Premium Edition.
Powered by a 1.4-GHz quad core Nvidia Tegra 3T30S processor and 1GB of RAM, the Stylistic M532 offers middle-of-the-road benchmark scores. On the CPU portion of the Benchmark app, the M532 scored 3,743, almost 100 points higher than the tablet average but more than 200 points below the Galaxy Note 10.1 (1.4-GHz quad core Exynos processor and 2GB of RAM) and far behind the score of 5,220 turned in by the Transformer Pad Infinity (1.6-GHz quad core Nvidia Tegra 3 T33 processor and 1GB of RAM).
The tablet saw similar results on the AN3DBench graphics test. Its score of 7,778 exceeded the category average (7,294) but failed to best either the Galaxy Note 10.1 (7,937) or the Transformer Pad Infinity (7,937).
Nevertheless, real-world performance impressed. We launched up "Eternal Warriors 2" and began hacking away at hordes of zombies and demons without any hiccups or slowdowns. The tablet handled less demanding tasks with similar aplomb. When switching from landscape to portrait mode, the accelerometer oriented the screen smoothly.
The M532 offers 32GB of internal storage, and can accept microSD cards of up to 32GB.
Unsurprisingly, pictures captured by the tablet's 2-megapixel front-facing camera were grainier and lacked the warmth of those taken with the rear-facing camera. Still, it sufficed for video chat. A friend reported that she could see us clearly and that our movements appeared smooth.
The Stylistic M532's 3170 mAh lithium polymer battery lasted a mere 5 hours and 14 minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test (continuous Web surfing via Wi-Fi). This falls short of the tablet average (6:57), and far behind the Transformer Pad Infinity (7:39) and Galaxy Note 10.1 (9:37).
The Stylistic M532 ships in only one configuration, although its storage can be supplemented by a 32GB microSD card. The tablet comes with either a 1- or 3-year international limited warranty.
|CPU||1.4-GHz quad core Nvidia Tegra 3T30S|
|Storage Drive Size||32GB|
|Storage Drive Type||Flash Memory|
|Display Resolution||1280 x 800|
|Front-Facing Camera Resolution||2.0MP|
|Card Reader Size||32GB|
|Warranty / Support||1 or 3-year international limited warranty|
|Size||10.3 x 6.9 x 0.35 inches|