Posted by: Ed Tittel
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Here’s a classic good news-bad news scenario for serious Windows users seeking a lightweight Windows 8.1 tablet with acceptable battery life (which I define as more than 8 hours, or enough to get users through a whole day, or a long flight away from AC power). The Fujitsu Stylistic Q704 offers a true HD (1920×1080) 12.5″ screen, with options for a dual core i7-4600U CPU with 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD, and up to 10 hours of battery life. Its dimensions are svelte: 0.47″ x 12.19″ x 7.85″ and it weighs just 2.16 lbs (under 981 grams). It offers a dual-boot with Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 both preinstalled, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a/g/n Wi-Fi, one each USB 3.0 and 2.0 connectors, Intel HD 4400 graphics, and a media card reader (to add up to an additional 64 GB of microSDHC or SDXC flash memory, and 128 GB as such modules become more widely available and affordable; I even see discussion of a 256 GB module at myego360.com though product links are not currently available). The package is described as “semi-ruggedized” and it offers a number of waterproofing options (notice the water droplets artfully arranged at the lower right in the photo below):
The bad news is that this sucker is extraordinarily expensive. Just for grins, I jumped onto www.shopfujitsu.com to configure a top-of-the line Q704, and nearly fell over when it priced out at $2,852.00, including a $50 off promotion code I was able to find and put to work. For that money, the build includes a Core i7-4600U CPU (dual core, 4 threads, 2.1 GHz clock with 3.3 GHz max turbo, 4 MB cache, 15W max TDP), 8 GB RAM, built-in GPS, 256 GB SSD, a keyboard dock with external battery, NFC, and a SmartCard reader. But still, this is nearly $1,000 more than a similarly configured Surface Pro 2, so you’re paying a hefty premium for the four hours of additional battery life and added processing power that this unit should deliver.
Still looks like a great machine, though, and one worth pondering at length. Pick the “Customize” button in the middle column on the Fujitsu store’s Q704 page to configure a system to your heart’s content, too. Will the “chancellor of the exchequer” here at home (my wife, that is) authorize such an extravagance? Not bloody likely!! But it’s still nice to dream a little … or a lot, as is the case here.
[Note added 1:05 PM CST 12/30/13: To my amazement and delight, my request for the Q704 has been approved. I went looking again for coupons, and found a $75 discount that beat my earlier $50 off discovery. It's "FUJITSUTECHBARGAIN" and you can use it, too, if you like. I've applied for a 36-month business lease just to see how that all goes, and will report back here further after New Year's when my application will no doubt get processed. No word on build or ship dates until then either, but the site told me that the ship date was still "TBD" when I submitted that application.]