Motion recently released their newest Tablet PC, the F5. The F5 is similar in design to the C5 tablet. It is durable and targeted toward the vertical market. It weighs in at 3lbs and sports a 1.2GHz Intel Core Solo processor and 40GB hard drive. Although, they offer a 32GB Solid State Drive, which I am sure sky rockets the price. However, the F5 may just be the perfect solution for making your business paperless.
The F5 Tablet PC. (view large image)
Motion Computing F5 specs as reviewed (price as tested: $2,699)
- Intel Core Solo processor 1.2GHz
- 945GM chipset
- 2GB DDR2 SDRAM
- 1.8″ 40GB hard drive
- 10.4″ XGA TFT (1024 x 768) View Anywhere display
- Windows XP OS
- Magnesium alloy casing
- Integrated EV-DO Rev.A Novatel Wireless
- 2.0 megapixel camera
- Optional barcode reader and RFID reader
- Docking station with three USB ports
- Dimensions: 10″ x 10″ x .95″
- Weight: 3.3lbs
- 3 year Field Warranty, they stand behind the ruggedness
Design and Build
The F5 is obviously aimed toward the vertical market with its military standard specs, but it’s still consumer friendly. Companies can adopt this slate tablet for construction sites or warehouse distribution. The integrated bar code scanner and webcam are perfect for scanning those products on the go or snapping photos on site.
The F5 with optional dock and keyboard. (view large image)
It has a solid design and is very sturdy. The highly sealed chemical resistant chassis can definitely take the bumps and bruises of the daily grind. It can be dropped and wiped clean, all without losing your days work. Weighing in a little over 3 pounds it’s one of the lightest semi-rugged tablets on the market. It has a textured rubber coating on the outside so holding it is comfortable. The handle helps as well.
Right side view of the F5. (view large image)
Since the F5 is similar to it’s sibling the C5, which is made for the medical field, they share some of the same accessories like the docking station. The dock lets you charge the spare battery and the entire slate, while giving you access to some ports including three USB ports, a VGA port and 10/100 Ethernet LAN. A convenient feature for mobile workers.
Left side view of the dock with USB ports. (view large image)
The 10.4″ (1024 x 768) screen is quite impressive. I was surprised on how bright and vivid the colors were. The view anywhere screen comes standard now and the viewing angles are good. Although, the screen size is smaller I had no problems reading it. The F5 is the perfect mobile desktop set-up when used with the dock and detachable keyboard. By this, I mean the slate sits in the dock like a monitor, but yet can be taken out to travel anywhere you need it to go.
The F5 display. (view large image)
The screen responds to the pen well. I enjoyed navigating with the pen and taking notes. Don’t worry this is one pen you won’t loose though since it is tethered to the backside of the screen. I did hit the display a few times and forgot it’s not a touchscreen. You would think it would be, but since it is durable and rugged the screen is protected, so it can get wet or be wiped off.
Performance and Benchmarks
The F5 sports a 1.2GHz Core Solo processor and a 1.8″ 40GB hard drive. If you want to spend the extra money though, a 32GB solid state drive is available. My review unit has Windows XP as the operating system, but Vista Business is available, but not sure I would recommend that unless you get 2GB RAM or more.
I had no problems with lag during boot-up or surfing the Web. The F5 isn’t a gaming machine or a business tablet, but it is made to run any software your business needs. The battery life is impressive as well.
Comparison Results for PCMark05
PCMark05 measures the systems performance as a whole.
|Motion Computing F5 (Intel Core Solo 1.2GHz, Intel 945GMS chipset)||1,557 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook P1620 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2GHz ULV, Intel 945GMS chipset)||2,113 PCMarks|
|Asus R1E (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, GMA 965 chipset)||4,679 PCMarks|
|Gateway C-140x (Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz, ATI X2300 HD graphics)||4,342 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||4,171 PCMarks|
|HP tx2000 (AMD Turion 64 X2 2.3GHz, Nvidia Go 6150 graphics)||3,738 PCMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||3,473 PCMarks|
|Toshiba Portege M700 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, GMA 965 chipset)||3,399 PCMarks|
|HP tx1000 (AMD Turion X2 2.0GHz, Nvidia Go 6150)||3,052 PCMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X60t (1.66GHz LV Core Duo)||2,860 PCMarks|
|Toshiba Tecra M6 (1.66GHz Intel T2300E, Intel GMA 950)||2,732 PCMarks|
|Asus R1F (1.66GHz Core Duo, Intel GMA 950 graphics)||2,724 PCMarks|
|LG C1 (Intel Core Duo 1.2GHz, Nvidia Go 7300)||2,568 PCMarks|
|HP Compaq 2710p (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||2,453 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T2010 (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||2,334 PCMarks|
|Gateway E-155C (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.06GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics)||2,205 PCMarks|
|Toshiba R400 (Intel Core Duo ULV 1.2GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics)||2,187 PCMarks|
In the below results of Super Pi, where the processor is timed in calculating Pi to 2 million digits:
|Notebook||Time to Calculate Pi to 2 Million Digits|
|Motion Computing F5 (1.2GHz Core Solo)||1m 56s|
|Fujitsu LifeBook P1620 (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo)||1m 49s|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (2.2GHz Core 2 Duo)||54s|
|Gateway C-140x (2GHz Core 2 Duo)||58s|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (1.6GHz Core 2 Duo)||1m 10s|
|HP TC4400 Tablet PC (2.0GHz Core Duo)||1m 13s|
|Asus R1F (1.66GHz Core Duo)||1m 20s|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X60t (1.66GHz LV Core Duo)||1m 24s|
|HP tx2000 (2.3GHz AMD Turion 64 X2)||1m 33s|
|HP Compaq 2710p (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo)||1m 39s|
|Fujitsu T2010 (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo)||1m 40s|
|LG C1 (1.2GHz Intel Core Duo)||1m 49s|
|Gateway E-155C (1.06GHz ULV Core 2 Duo)||1m 58s|
|IBM ThinkPad X41t (1.5GHz LV Pentium M)||2m 02s|
|Toshiba R400 (1.2GHz ULV Core Duo)||2m 10s|
|Dell Latitude D420 (1.06GHz Core Solo ULV)||2m 11s|
|Fujitsu LifeBook U810 (800MHz Intel A110)||6m 22s|
Besides the dock the F5 comes with an optional USB attachable keyboard. The keyboard isn’t anything fancy, but it is lightweight and the perfect size to stick in your bag and travel with. I put both the F5 and the keyboard in a tablet sleeve and had no problems.
(view large image)
The pen is accurate and great for checking data and taking notes. It is very responsive, which is a big plus since the F5 doesn’t have a touchscreen. You can calibrate the pen’s sensitivity and the digitizer as well. By doing this you get more of the pen/paper feel, which makes it more comfortable for individual users.
Heat and Noise
I didn’t experience any issues with heat or noise. The F5 has a protective coating so I never noticed any heat issues or it feeling too warm to hold. There isn’t an optical drive, so the F5 doesn’t have any reason to make noise. The fan kicks on every once in a while, but I didn’t even notice it. The speakers are even minimal on this tablet, meaning you can’t even turn up the volume very loud.
The battery life on the F5 was impressive. I was easily getting four hours and the battery wasn’t even completely charged. That is why it’s made for field work and on the go professionals. The dock charges the tablet as well and there is a spot on the dock to charge a spare battery.
The F5 in its dock with spare battery slot on the back side. (view large image)
This way you can have one battery charging while you are on the go and then just replace it when you stop back in the office. Having the optional dock, which costs $349.99 and the spare battery at $159 are well worth it for businesses.
Check out the videos below from Motion Computing. They take pride in demonstrating the durability of the F5. The first video demonstrates the F5 being dropped. I actually tested this myself, but I noticed the few times I dropped it onto carpet the vent cover popped off the back. I am sure it’s no big deal though and the cover snapped back on.
The second video demonstrates the F5’s water resistance. It can be wiped cleaned and sprayed with water, but not submerged. I wiped the computer down with no problems, but you have to be careful.
OS and Software
The F5 runs Windows XP as the operating system and didn’t come with any bloatware. Remember it is made for businesses to install their own software and run business applications. It didn’t have any problems running benchmarks and installing new software was easy.
The F5 has Bluetooth and the option of Sprint’s EV-DO Rev. A Broadband service. If you don’t get Sprint’s wireless broadband then it comes with Intel PRO/Wireless 3945a/b/g. This way you can stay connected everywhere you go. My review unit had Sprint’s Broadband Service and I had no problems staying connected everywhere I traveled.
Overall my impressions of the F5 are good. It’s magnesium alloy chassis is durable, but still lightweight. The design is solid and fun to play with. Keep in mind the F5 is not meant to be a consumer tablet. It is for business use and field work. Motion states” It’s the right tool for the job.” Don’t get me wrong it’s great for taking notes, but a little pricey just for a student to use. The F5 is a great tablet for the vertical market and since it has rugged features that is why the price is so high, but it’s really not that expensive compared to other rugged tablets.
- Semi-rugged design
- Water resistant and can withstand drops
- View anywhere screen
- 3-year field warranty
- No USB ports on the body, have to have dock
- White and grey color gets dirty easily