A very portable and easy to use tablet for people on the go
Good feature set
Comfortable to hold
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The Motion Computing F5 (£1622 inc. VAT) is a slate-style Tablet PC, with a display that covers most of the front of the device.
The company is targeting field and construction workers and, as such, strength plays a key part in the F5's design. However, we could equally see this device being used in medical institutions as well as schools.
You'll find a large carrying handle at the top, with all of the tablet's surfaces covered in a hardwearing and easy-to-grip rubber coating. There are no ports on the F5, allowing it to be a sealed design.
This helps it to meet IP54 testing standards, so you'll be able to use it where dust and moisture are present, and wiping it down afterwards will cause no problems.
The 10.4-inch screen is a digitised panel, allowing you to control the cursor and enter text using a stylus. We found it responsive, but you'll also be able to rest your hand on it when writing.
Images were bright and colourful, but it had a hazy finish that proved distracting. We also found there was little space onscreen, and the F5 is at its best when running only one application at a time. An ambient sensor helps conserve battery life.
Despite its compact dimensions, the sturdy build has led to a surprisingly heavy weight of 1.6kg - more than some ultraportable laptops.
It never proved a problem during use, however, where a good weight distribution made it easy to hold in one hand for long periods of time. It also stayed reasonably cool to the touch.
Integrated features include a 2-megapixel camera on the rear, an RFID reader for inventory tracking and management, and an optional barcode scanner (prices are dependent on the amount of machines ordered and specifications) - making the F5 an ideal tool for owners of small shops.
Bluetooth is built in, letting you connect peripherals and making the lack of ports less of a problem. There's a docking station, offering three USB 2.0 ports, a 10/100 Ethernet connection and a VGA-out port. It also holds the tablet at a usable angle. A comfortable USB keyboard is included as standard, with an integrated touchpad for navigation.
An Ultra-Low Voltage Intel Core Solo U1400 chip provides processing power, and is backed by 2048MB of memory. Although it's not a powerful machine, the use of Windows XP instead of Vista helps to free up resources, and we found it was quick enough in day-to-day use.
The Motion Computing F5 Tablet PC is an excellent device for fieldworkers. It's easy to hold in one hand and write with the other, and only the display's limited viewing surface lets it down.
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