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Motion J3500 – Still my first choice slate Tablet PC

Feb
26
2011

I have to admit that we’ve all been caught up in the excitement surrounding the new generation of Slate Tablet PCs that emerged from the CES 2011 show in Las Vegas this year (they’re all still on track for April BTW).

As exciting as Tablets like the Motion CL900, ASUS EP121 and Fujitsu Stylistic Q550, not one of those slates can replace my Motion J3500.

For those of you not familiar with the Motion Computing J3500, here’s a video made at Motion’s headquarters in Austin Texas…

Motion Computing J3500 Information

Why is the Motion Computing J3500 still the one for me?

  • The Motion J3500 will continue to be the most powerful slate Tablet PC on the market – With a Core i7 Processor it is powerful enough to replace my desktop or laptop
  • The J3500’s Hydis AFFS+ Display is still hands down the best display ever built into a Tablet PC
  • Integrated fast Mobile Broadband is essential to my productivity, J3500 wins here
  • It has the flexibility to act as a desktop or laptop when I need it to via two important accessories – Motion J3500 Docking Station and Motion J3500 Portable Keyboard

Most of my working week is based in a car, so I need the most mobile but powerful computing solution on the market. For me, battery life and weight convenience considerations are secondary to productivity. For that reason, the Motion Computing J3500 will continue to win hands down for some time.

I’ve taken five domestic flights across Australia this week. Having the Motion J3500 with me on a flight from Perth to Melbourne last night meant getting through over 100 emails, creating many appointments and contacts,  sending 28 emails (more than one liners) and producing a new video that I will post soon. I couldn’t have done it all on a 3 hour flight with a Laptop, mobile phone or consumer tablet.

When you really do the sums, productivity like that makes the relatively higher pricing of the J3500 pale into insignificance.

That said, I am looking forward to April for the CL900 as it will certainly find a place in my daily workflow…

About the Author: Brett Gilbertson was awarded the prestigious Microsoft MVP Award for Tablet and Touch in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

He has been a Tablet PC user since 2002. Depending on the day Brett uses several Windows 8 Tablets including the Fujitsu Q702, Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro, Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 and the Motion F5t. He also keeps a Samsung Galaxy Note, a Nexus 7 and an iPad around the home to keep current with emerging Tablet trends.

Tablet PC Solutions has a strong focus on business grade hardware and software applications for Tablet PCs. Our expertise is sought after by Australia's largest and smallest organizations.

11 Responses to “Motion J3500 – Still my first choice slate Tablet PC”

Maurice Maurice says:
Feb
28
2011

Sorry, but this is just a sales pitch.

Tablet PC says:
Mar
4
2011

Maurice, sorry that you feel that way. You can take my experience for what it’s worth… no skin off my nose either way. We have over 1000 corporate customers in Australia using Tablet PCs, but you should decide for yourself what is a good tablet… After all, I’ve only been using them for 8 years!

Rod Rod says:
May
18
2011

No Maurice, it’s not sales pitch, but if it were, it would be right on the button. Been using Motion tablets well before the toy tablets came on the market. Motion is the Rolls Royces, and you get value for every cent they cost.

Tablet PC says:
May
18
2011

Thanks Rod. Nicely said!

David C David C says:
Sep
11
2011

The reason this sounds awfully like a sales pitch is that nothing bad has been said about the device. Is it stupid expensive? What is the battery life like? Does it get really janky when you have multiple windows open?

What could be improved?

Giving useful advice means giving all the information, not just the information that puts something in the best light possible. I can see why Maurice came to the conclusion he did.

Tablet PC says:
Sep
12
2011

David C, all of the information that you asked about is in the post. Read it again. Lot’s could be improved, that will always be the case.

I use the Core i7 J3500 hooked up to 2 external monitors through the docking station when in my office. Performance is smooth as silk for the appliactions that I work with.

But, while geeks will pontificate about technology, I am busy using it to the best of its ability.

And sorry David, but seriously, what do you think this website is? The benevolent society of Tablet PC? We sell Tablet PCs. Is it really offensive if I did pitch a tablet? What about a Tablet that I actually use and swear by? Is that still offensive?

Adrian Adrian says:
Oct
27
2011

Your original post is February. It is now the end of October, decades gone for technology. So what are you using now ? Still with the Motion J3500 or is there now better (all-round – not just speed) ?

Tablet PC says:
Oct
27
2011

Currently using a Motion F5v. Almost identical to the J3500 in spec, but generally smaller. An absolute workhorse! Processor on both F5v and J3500 have just been upgraded. Still the fastest / best slates on the market IMO.

Jim T Jim T says:
Nov
5
2011

I looked at a lot of slates (I did not want a convertible) and I have been very pleased with my J3500 over the past year. However, there are some significant “characteristics” that people should be aware of if they are looking for a slate to be used as a portable “knowledge worker” tablet, and not something for field use.
1) The maximum resolution is only 1280×1024, which is fine for the tablet’s own display, but it is a significant drop in screen real estate when you use external monitors. Even my 3 or 4 year old mid level Dell laptops could support an external resolution of 1920×1600. Motion should upgrade this.
2) I have found that the color fidelity on the touchscreen version is a bit weak. Even after extensive calibration, and multiple support calls to Motion, it seems to be impossible to get the screens colors to be even a close match to the colors on an external monitor. I’ve gotten used to it, but if someone was going to use this tablet for artwork, you will be disappointed.
3) Using full disk encryption tools like Pointsec render the docking keyboard completely useless at boot up. For many this won’t matter, but for enterprises with stricter security concerns, this is basically a show stopper for introducing Motion’s products as supported devices that we can offer our staff. We have made Motion aware of this, and I am sure that eventually they will fix this, but for now you will have to use Products like BitLocker or TruCrypt and use a USB stick for boot up decryption.
4) The virtual keyboard that comes with the J3500 is OK, but go ahead and spend the $29 and get Touch-It. Waaaaaaaay better, you have multiple keyboards to choose from, including the two thumb style Origami keyboards, as well as a keyboard designer so you can customize like crazy for exactly what suits you.
5) The documentation camera is just bad. It may be 3 Megapixels, but unless you are in bright sunlight, and you hold really, really still, you will be better off with a smartphone camera. No excuse for this one.

Enough gripes, the good things are:
1) The J3500 is powerful, it can easily be your only device (It is my primary computer at work)
2) The J3500 is seemingly indestructible. I have literally tossed it 8-9 feet across a room and bounced it off a wall and onto a carpeted floor with no damage (other than a little chunk of drywall that got stuck in the edge molding of the J3500) on more than one occasion just to make the point to disbelieving co-workers. A few of my colleagues have HP 2740P convertibles, and they have broken hinges, cracked chassis, busted lock tabs, after only a few months of normal use. I wanted a rugged device that would hold for me long term, and it does that in spades.
3) The touchscreen is very, very nice. It is fun to show folks that you can have a very nice touch interface to Windows 7.
4) The dock station is very nicely done, it does not wiggle around and you can do pen based input in the dock no problem. Some other devices have docks that really are just there for holding the slate for viewing, not also for writing.
5) Did I say the J3500 was fast? I’m running Win 7 Enterprise 64-bit, and it just smokes my friends HP or Toshiba tablets.

OK, that’s 5 pros and 5 cons. For me and what I use the J3500 for, the pros far outweigh the cons. And by the way, if you take one of Motion’s on-line seminars, you can get a $500 discount on a J3500. And then the price is actually a little bit less than the non-rugged convertible tablets. (Some restrictions apply, your mileage may vary, objects in mirror are closer than they appear) Cheers!!

Tablet PC says:
Nov
6
2011

Thanks Jim for the comprehnsive comment! One point of order, the J3500 does support higher than 1280×1024 on external monitors. In fact I have mine hooked up via the docking station at 1920×1080. You can even hook up 2 external monitors at that res via the dock using the DVI and the Display Port (via a Display port to DVI adapter). You may find that you have a compatibility issue with your monitor if this is not the case for you (I have seen this a lot when hooking up to HDTVs with Win 7 for example).

On the encryption software, we used a product called becrypt that gets us around problems with physical keyboards and corporate deployment.

I have to agree that the 3mp cameras that motion use on all their tablets are not fantastic. Strangely though I find myself using the camera more and more – especially on the F5v – just for convenience.

Mark says:
Feb
15
2012

The J3500 is my fourth tablet, and by far, the best I have ever seen or used. Sure, it is more expensive and heavier than most, but as Brett said, those considerations are greatly overshadowed by the speed, flexibility and sheer fun of this tablet.

I spend much of my time in airports, and for me, the battery life was important, and the fact that the J3500 has dual hot-swappable batteries wasa big selling point and has been a great boon for me. In addition, the dock and the portable keyboard are the best engineered around.

The only gripe I have about the portable keyboard is that the plastic “clip” that attaches to the tablet is prone to break, and in fact, I have had to have my shoulder strap replaced within the first mont. However, Motion did so promptly and at no charge. I am looking into getting a metal clip made to replace the plastic one. That is truly a minor issue compared to how intuitive and flexible the portable keyboard is, though.

Sure, you may argue that the graphics are not the best or the weight is high, but what I can say for certain is that of all of the tablets that I have owned and tested, the J3500 is far ahead of any other tablet, and many laptops, on the market today.

Oh, and lest we forget, the J3500 is TOUGH. Given my history of running through airports and from place to place, I have had occasion to drop or slam my various computers into walls, car doors, etc. And the J3500 is the only one that took the abuse and showed no signs of it, either functionally or physically.

Well done, Motion!

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