A Tablet or Laptop? 

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When is a tablet not a tablet? Or maybe I should rephrase the question and ask when is a laptop not a laptop? After all the two questions have a close connection. In fact the answer to both these versions of the latest conundrum is the same. A tablet is not a tablet and a laptop is not a laptop when it is a hybrid device that brings together a tablet and a laptop into a single package. This situation occurs with the Fujistu Stylistic R726 offering.

Fujitsu STYLISTIC R726
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Aimed at the mobile business user who is constantly on the move, this Stylistic  R726 product consists of the screen element with a kickstand (that’s the tablet element) and a magnetic keyboard.  You also get a digitised stylus pen, two-piece power lead and various items of documentation plus a backup CD.  Applying the virtual glue to bring these hardware items together is a copy of the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows Pro 10 operating system.

As the dominant face of this Stylistic R726 product, the tablet element houses a 12.5-inch PLS (Plane to Line Switching) screen within its grey magnesium-aluminium chassis which measures 319 x 201 x 9.5 mm (W x H x D) and weighs in at 830g.  Surrounding the screen is a bezel measuring 30mm at the sides and 34mm top and bottom when held in landscape orientation. 

Powering the Stylistic R726 is an Intel Core™ i7 6600u processor running at 2.6GHz with 8GB of RAM in association with an Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU.  Support is provided for pen & touch functionality.  Both mains and battery power, with the latter delivered from a 34W lithium polymer unit, are available.  The battery gives an estimated just under 10 hours of use for the tablet alone.  With the keyboard attached this time is reduced by an hour.

Positioned along the left side of the screen are various connection options.  Headed by a 3.5mm headphone jack socket, there are further connections for USB 3.0, Mini-Display and AC power.  Concealed behind the kick stand are a couple of slots for the insertion of Micro SD and SIM cards.  The right side of the tablet houses a volume level rocker and the power button which sits flush to the body of the unit.  I found it rather fiddly to access this button when turning on the device. 

Front and rear mounted cameras are provided.  In the case of the front unit, this is a 2MP model while the rear camera is a 5MP offering.  Image quality is about what you would expect from cameras of this type.  They are not going to win any awards for their output but they should not disappoint users too much.

The slate shaped keyboard, with a black top and grey back, has dimensions of 320 x 202 x 5 mm (W x H x D).  These measurements do not include the flexible bracket with three connection hinges that hangs of the rear of the keyboard.  Being more use to keyboards with greater depth of movement of the key presses, the rather minimal movement of the individual keys took some getting use to as did the built in touch pad with separate left and right mouse action keys.  Integrated into the right side of the keyboard layout in a numeric pad while specific keys for Home, End, Insert and Delete can be found attached to the right side of the function key row.

With the flexible nature of the bracket element linking the keyboard to the tablet / screen element, I was expected to have some problems, however slight, when linking the two elements together.  But this issue did not occur, even when working by touch alone.  I found it relatively easy when making the necessary connection.  In fact, as already mentioned, I struggled more when adjusting to the lack of movements with the keyboard keys.

When controlling this hybrid device, with or without the keyboard attached, you are giving a choice of methods.  These choices include the use of the supplied pen-style battery-powered stylus or a finger on the capacitive screen, not forgetting the use of the touch pad cursor.  For more traditional users, there is the USB 3.0 port to which a wireless mouse can be attached to give you control over the Windows desktop and installed applications.

However, whichever method you opt for, the position at which the Stylistic R726 is held or placed will play a part.  In tablet mode, a finger or pen stylus will be the preferred option for many.  You do need to make sure you have not misplaced the stylus as there is no place to store it on the device.  When switching to the combination of the tablet / keyboard hybrid arrangement, I found the traditional mouse or occasional track pad use were my preferred choices of control.

Due to the arrangement of this hybrid device, with or without the kick stand extended by its full 90 degrees giving the user a 45 degree viewing angle, I found that balancing the product on my knee was rather uncomfortable.  Using a firm flat surface was more convenient. 

While on the subject of a firm flat surface of sorts, Fujistu has developed a cradle unit.  This product provides a firm steady base for mounting the tablet while in use or charging.  The cradle also provides the dual functionality of increasing the connectivity options available with the Stylistic R726.  Along with a pair of USB 3.0 ports, you get an audio, LAN, Display port, HDMI and VGA connections plus a Kensington lock and power connection socket.

Currently Amazon has this product available with a price tag of £1543.46 which means it will not be regarded as an impulse buy.  The cradle unit is priced at £187.94.

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OverallFujistu Stylistic R726 rated 76 out of 100

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