The 10.1-inch, 1280-by-800-pixel IPS display offers a great 160-degree range of viewing angles. In my hands-on use, the matte screen helped eliminate glare when I used the tablet outdoors or under bright office lights. The pixel density nicely balances fitting enough information on the screen and keeping elements big enough to touch easily.
Fujitsu's Stylistic line of slate-style tablets has historically been Wacom-based and pen only. But with the Q550, the company turns to N-trig for the four-point capacitive multitouch screen and active digitizer pen.
The Stylistic Q550 is relatively light and easy to hold. The baseline model weighs 1.7 pounds if you opt for the two-cell battery, and 1.9 pounds as tested with the four-cell battery. The soft-touch rubber back and curved edges make the tablet comfortable in the hands. Though it's a bit heavy for extended holding in one hand, the Stylistic Q550 felt light enough to hold in one hand or in the crook of my arm while I used my other hand to write with the stylus.
The fanless design means that some heat accumulates, but the areas that get warm didn't hinder my holding it naturally. In everyday use--for Web browsing and note taking--the heat buildup wasn't uncomfortable. Only the back grew warm, while the screen areas that my hand touched while writing remained at room temperature.
The Atom processor kept up with my day-to-day tasks fairly well. Exporting a OneNote page to PDF took a little longer with the Stylistic Q550 than on a typical Core2Duo-based machine, but not so long that it interrupted my workflow.
In the PCWorld Labs' performance tests (a subset of the WorldBench benchmarks that we use for desktops and laptops), the Stylistic Q550 performed in line with other Atom Oaktrail-based tablets, but not as well as the AMD-based Acer Iconia Tab W500. It was faster, though, on our Heaven Photoshop image-editing test and WebVizBench test. tests. With the four-cell battery in place, it delivered the second best battery life of any Windows tablet we've tested: 6 hours, 21 minutes.
Though the Stylistic Q550 handled office work smoothly, it stumbled a bit when used for video playback. The Intel GMA 600 integrated graphics are supposed to provide hardware acceleration for many types of video, and if your video is properly formatted to play back with hardware acceleration, even high-def video should be okay. I found that the tablet handled my 720p test videos ably.