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Fujitsu challenges Lenovo’s ThinkPad tablet with Stylistic M532: hands-on photos

As anyone who can remember back past 2007 will remember, smartphones were once the sole domain of business people and crept over to consumers as they evolved. Tablets, meanwhile, have followed the exact opposite track. What were once seen exclusively as devices for play are now showing potential as ultra-mobile work platforms, and a number of companies have capitalized on that opportunity with business-focused tablets. Fujitsu will join the likes of Lenovo with a new Android-based business tablet, the Stylistic M532, unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2012.

What makes a tablet a business tablet? In the case of the M532, software. It comes with Norton Tablet Security to keep those malicious Android apps at bay, Absolute CompuTrace installed to track it down in case it walks off, and full disk encryption to keep those blueprints under wraps, should you be unable to recover. It also supports Citrix, VMWare and Microsoft Virtual Desktop right out of the box, so you can potentially have remote access to your work desktop through whatever software your company already has installed. Office apps (Fujistu didn’t specify which) also come standard, along with NitroDesk TouchDown for managing corporate Exchange email and calendars.

Software aside, the Stylistic M532 could easily pass for a consumer tablet on the spec sheets – and nice one. It runs a 1.4GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, comes with 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, along with 8MP (rear) and 2MP (front) cameras. The 10.1-inch WXGA display comes under Gorilla Glass. It’s also a reasonable 8.6mm thin and 560 grams (1.2 pounds), making it both thinner and lighter than Lenovo’s ThinkPad tablet.

Unlike Fujitsu’s surprising array of waterproof smartphones, the Stylistic M532 adds no durability features like waterproofing, but it felt stuff and solid our hands. Unfortunately, that’s as far it goes for first impressions, since Fujitsu wouldn’t allow the tablet to be turned on at the show.

Fujitsu plans a major marketing push for its mobile devices this year, which is big news for the little-known company. It doesn’t currently plan to bring the Stylistic M532 to the tablet-saturated United States, but it will go beyond its native Japan to offer it in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India shortly.Priced at 549 euros, it will certainly come on the high of post-Kindle-Fire Android tablets, but business users may find it to be a better value than purchasing all the software it comes loaded with individually.