Fujitsu steams ahead with Stylistic
Fujitsu PC Corp. christened the flagship of its pen-based computer line
in 1999 the Stylistic 2300, an innovative hybrid of digital assistant
and notebook computer. It was lightweight and transportable while able to
harness the power of desktop PC operating systems and components.
Now, amid a sea of other pen tablet challengers such as Aqcess Technologies'
fleet of Qbe products, Fujitsu's new flagship the Stylistic 3400 has
set sail. It retains all the wonderful features of its predecessor while
offering enough enhancements to keep Fujitsu ahead of the competition.
Like the Stylistic 2300, the Stylistic 3400 relies on a pen-like stylus
and a touch screen rather than a keyboard for users to run applications
and enter information.
The Stylistic 3400X we reviewed supports Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 98,
Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 operating systems. It employs a 400 MHz
Intel Corp. Pentium III processor and 64M of synchronous dynamic RAM (expandable
The 10.4-inch SVGA indoor/outdoor thin film transistor screen provides
an impressive, clear display at 1,024 x 768 dpi resolution, and you can
easily manipulate the screen orientation from horizontal to vertical with
a few clicks. The Stylistic 3400X also features a 6G shock-mounted hard
drive, a microphone jack, a headphone jack, an infrared port, a PC Card
Type III slot (Type II slots can be added at extra cost), a built-in 56K
V.90 modem and an Ethernet local-area network adapter.
These specifications are more advanced than those of the Stylistic 2300,
and Fujitsu has made a major enhancement to the Stylistic design that hampered
the functionality of the 2300. The connector for the floppy drive, formerly
located within the battery compartment of the 2300 and requiring the removal
of the battery to access it, has been relocated to an easily accessible
port on the side of the Stylistic 3400.
Hot-pad keys along the lower portion of the 3400's display are convenient
pen-active buttons that enable the user to change display and speaker volume
settings, simulate a right-mouse click or temporarily disable the on-screen
touch capabilities of the unit with a tap of the pen. Although the Stylistic
3400's 11.2-inch x 8.5-inch x 1.1-inch dimensions make it slightly larger
than the 2300, it weighs only 3.21 pounds, which is less than its predecessor.
It is also about half the weight of Aqcess Technologies' Qbe Cirrus personal
Although the Qbe's core unit houses a bounty of useful hardware that
must be added externally to the Stylistic 3400, the Stylistic earns accolades
for running smoothly and error-free, unlike the Qbe we tested previously
tablet not a cure-all," FCW.com, July 5, 2000]. The Stylistic 3400's systems
seem more streamlined and integrated, likely because of Fujitsu's experience
in the mobile PC market.
An additional bonus for users of the Stylistic is the enormous line
of accessories Fujitsu offers, including a mobile slipcase with carrying
strap that makes the unit easier to transport and hold. These accessories,
while providing Stylistic users with many ways to customize their 3400,
come at an extra cost, which may be a negative for budget-strapped organizations.
On the software side, the Stylistic 3400 ships with Computer Intelligence
Corp.'s Handwriting Recognition System software, which provides very good
text recognition with a little bit of assistance from the included handwriting
tutorial. The tutorial helps the unit recognize your writing style, and
a helpful floating editing palette provides quick access to common editing
Overall, the combination of quality hardware and easy-to-use software
makes the Stylistic 3400 the complete package for mobile computer users
who require the power of a desktop PC. Any agency interested in creating
a mobile workforce with equipment that packs a punch will want to give the
Stylistic 3400 a close look.
Gray is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at