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Motion J3500 - A Doctor's Perspective
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Thread: Motion J3500 - A Doctor's Perspective

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Philadelphia, PA, USA.
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    Default Motion J3500 - A Doctor's Perspective

    When one of my customers was considering the Motion J3500 for his practice, I agreed to lend him one free for two weeks in exchange for a review. He has done a great job and here is the review:

    MOTION J3500

    by Kirk T. Dodson, M.D.
    December 2010


    As a physician who is mobile in multiple environments, I was quite interested when Motion released their new slate tablet pc, the J3500, in June of this year.
    Im an Internal Medicine physician that practices in the office, hospital, nursing home, and personal care home. I occasionally do house calls. My computer is more than just a tool; its an essential part of my life in terms of managing both the medical practice as well as my personal life. As one who enjoys digital music, video editing, and e-books, I spend a large amount of time on my tablet computer.

    Why Tablets?

    I find tablet pcs vital to my practice, having used them since 2002. Tablets have been around for almost two decades though were utilized primarily in vertical markets and didnt attract mass appeal until the release of Apples iPad, which has sold just over 7.5 million since its release in April 2010.

    Given the move to electronic medical records (EMRs), tablets provide the ideal vehicle, allowing almost continuous face-to-face interaction with patients in a non-obtrusive manner. Patient perception of physician attentiveness is facilitated by tablet computers as the tablet resides between the patient and physician, much like a paper chart, serving as a digital clipboard. Contrast this with a laptop whereby the physician often types in front of the patient, focusing attention between the patient and keyboard. Worse yet, some physicians use a desktop, sitting with their back is to the patient during clinical documentation which detracts significantly from patient-physician interaction.

    Ive used Motions M1300, M1400, and LE1600. I also own a Fujitsu Lifebook convertible, Lenovo X61, and an HP TouchSmart tm2. Personally I prefer the slate secondary to the form factor. Given the lack of a keyboard they are lighter and smaller which is particularly useful when being mobile in multiple environments. The keyboard presents a dichotomy; its absence renders the machine lighter, smaller, and more conducive to mobility yet its presence is beneficial when needed for extensive data entry. Generally, entering text is slower when using the pen via handwriting recognition or entry with an onscreen keyboard. Thus, my goal ultimately is to find a slate that is powerful enough to handle the fastest method of data entry and computer control: voice recognition. Coupled with an EMR that allows documentation primarily via templates and macros on a touch screen interface, this for me is the functional panacea in my practice.

    However, I use tablets for all my computing needs, so Im interested in testing other functionality as well. Internet surfing, study, email, ebooks, communications, as well as manipulation of photos, audio, and video are all part of my daily routine. Motion also offers a docking station so that the slate may be used as a desktop, allowing a larger monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals.

    The Motion J3500

    The J3500 is an upgrade of the J3400 and now becomes their premier slate computing product. The J3500 is a 12 WXGA (1280 x 800) slate tablet reportedly weighing 3.5 lbs with 2 batteries. (The tablet actually weighs 4 pounds which is a full pound heavier than the LE1600, which is striking when first handling the tablet. If you decide to carry the attached keyboard, the weight increases to 6 pounds see pictures below).

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    The tablet has a rubber backing which prohibits the tablet from sliding off ones lap (as is the case with other tablets). It also makes handling the tablet easier. Upon unboxing, I was most impressed with the attractive case and rugged appearance.
    The tablet has a dual touch capacitive screen (Wacom) that allows the user to input data via finger touch or stylus. Alternatively, a stylus only option is available with Gorilla glass and ViewAnywhere technology for outdoor viewing. The Gorilla glass option is brighter with better viewing angles and reportedly the glass is five times stronger than any other tablet pc. The pen and finger as control mechanisms work together admirably. When the tablet senses the pen, touch input is disabled; conversely, when the pen is at a distance, touch input returns. You can also toggle between touch only and pen only modes when necessary.

    A number of accessories are available conducive for the mobile professional. The Flexdock docking station allows the J3500 to be used as a desktop. A Work Anywhere Kit makes the unit easier to carry and a mobile keyboard allows the tablet computer to be used as a notebook.

    The tablet submitted for review had the following specifications:

    Intel i7 Ultra low voltage CPU @ 1.20 HGz
    4 GB of RAM
    120 GB SSD drive (approximately 25% of the drive was occupied by the operating system and a few applications, including Microsoft Office)


    Although Ive read several reviews critiquing tablet performance (chiefly secondary to poor graphics), the J3500 was extremely responsive in everyday use. This tablet easily handles tasks that most business users would need to perform. I was able to multitask several business applicationsincluding the very demanding voice recognitionwithout difficulty. Just for kicks, I installed Pinnacle Studio 14 and played with video editing and the tablet performed very well, rendering videos expeditiously.

    Motion asserts a 40% improvement in performance as compared to the j3400, which when looking at the specifications seems a bit overzealous but this assertion has been confirmed by others who have compared the tablets via objective means.
    The Windows Experience Index base score was 3.5. With this grading scheme, each hardware component has its own subscore. Its important to note that the total score is not the average of subscores but rather a reflection of the lowest subscore. Thus, Motions overall score was 3.5 since the graphics subsystem score was 3.5.

    Unlike the ipad and many other new tablets, this is a fully functional, powerful machine with the ability to readily manage virtually any business application. In contrast to the ipad, the J3500 supports Flash; has a camera for video chat or conferencing; allows multitasking; has Bluetooth; and has multiple USB ports. In fact, using Motions docking stationthe Flexdock--this tablet could easily serve as a desktop computer (with the capacity to add a larger monitor, storage, and other accessories).

    Pen input

    For those who use the stylus for input and are still running Windows XP, the upgrade to Windows 7 is a must as the handwriting recognition has markedly improved. In fact, its hard to get handwritten text recognized incorrectly with Windows 7. As an adjunct, I also use ritePen (http://www.ritescript.com/Products/ritePen.aspx) which allows entry of text into any document by writing anywhere on the screen as opposed to the Windows native tablet input panel. RitePen also allows for the use of gestures which assists with navigation.

    I use One Note, Windows Journal, and PDF Annotator for taking notes and studying medical resources. Inking is very smooth and paper like on the J3500. Motion uses larger pens as compared to other tablet manufacturers such as HP and Lenovo.
    Motion also offers a keyboard that attaches to the tablet magnetically. The slate rests upon the keyboard and docks, offering a laptop-type experience. Again, this adds significant weight to the tablet and would be cumbersome to transport for all day computing.

    Touch Screen Performance

    In the past few years, touch screen computing has taken the forefront largely due to the success of Apple devices in the mobile environment. Microsoft made the touch SDK available to developers at the end of 2008, yet there are very few touch optimized applications. Touch allows your finger to serve as the pointing device and perform various controls via gestures. As one who has computed essentially for 20 years without touch, I deliberated about its utility initially though now deem it a must have.

    When mobile, its cumbersome to transport accessories for computer use (keyboard, trackball, mouse, external hard drives, etc). Thus, my goal is to eliminate the keyboard via optimal speech recognition performance and utilize touch to eliminate the mouse/trackball. The J3500 nearly succeeds with both of these objectives though with some caveats.

    Touch on a Windows 7 device is not without problems. The J3500 is no different in this regard. Android and iOS were designed from the beginning with touch. Although hard to quantify, youll notice touch on these devices are a bit more responsive and smooth as compared to a Windows 7 machine.

    Unlike the iOS and Android devices Ive encountered, scrolling on the J3500 often leads to inadvertent clicking and sometimes the interface peruses a text highlight attempt then a drag and drop. This was particular problematic when working in Word. Care must be taken to keep to active window of certain applications centrally located on the screen so that scrolling and gesturing can occur in the margins. But like anything else, I was better able to control the tablet with practice.

    Lastly, many controls in the Windows environment are too small for finger manipulation. When watching Windows 7 touch demos, youll often see the presenters missing targets given the small size of the interface controls. I noted this as well on the J3500. Touch will certainly improve in the future as developers optimize software for such control. In fact, Asus is working with Microsoft to enhance touch control of the user interface in their new 12 tablet due to arrive in early 2011. As one who will live in an electronic medical record system essentially all day, it will be important to have software optimized for touch.

    External controls

    The J3500 has 3 programmable buttons on the bezel as well as a D-pad for navigation. Like Motions previous models, its powered on/off via a slider mechanism. Some tablets are button powered which can lead to inadvertently powering the tablet off when striking the button accidentally. For those of us who use computers as media centers and e-readers, external controls (scroll wheel & media control buttons) are handy though not presents on the J3500. Furthermore, it lacks an external button to power on/off wireless radios.


    The J3500 has 2 speakers at the top of the unit. The audio was surprisingly crisp and music quality was satisfactory. Recipients of phone calls via Skype noted the sound quality was acceptable when using the array microphones. Furthermore, the arrays performed admirably with respect to voice recognition as noted below, obviating the need for an additional microphone when mobile.

    Battery Life

    Motion notes a battery life of 7 hours which I knew was an outlandish claim. I ran the unit simulating work conditions with all wireless radios on and 2-3 programs running simultaneously (one being Dragon Naturally Speaking in listening mode). With settings at maximum performance, I got 2 hours and 45 minutes on 2 fully charged batteries. This improved to approximately 4 hours when running in power saver mode.

    Although Motion claims this tablet has hot swappable batteries, it does not; at least one battery must remain in the tablet at all times or power will be lost (unlike their F5v which is truly hot swappable, where an internal battery gives approximately a minute to replace the battery). The batteries have 5 LEDs externally indicating remaining battery life.

    Given the poor battery performance, youll need extra batteries and an extra charging station if you plan to work all day, adding $658 to the cost. Youll need to purchase 2 batteries and 2 charging stations since Motion no longer offers a single charging station for 2 batteries.

    For those who own previous motion slates (M1300, M1400, LE1600), the same power adapter can be used on the J3500. The batteries and docking station, of course, cannot be interchanged.


    The Motion J3500 has Integrated Gobi 2000, the technology from Qualcomm that allows high speed internet access from around the world offered by 3G network carriers. Thus, theres no need for external cards. Standard Bluetooth, WiFi, and Ethernet are also present. The unit has 2 USB ports. You can get a DVI-D port on the FlexDock but there is no HDMI out on either the tablet or FlexDock. Unlike previous tablets, there is no media card slot.


    The J3500 has a 3 MP camera. I was disappointed with the quality of both the photo and video output of the tablet. Pictures were of average quality with adequate lighting and images degraded rapidly in poor light conditions. There are many small, handheld devices that allow superb picture quality and even high definition video. Given the price point of this tablet, I would expect at least an adequate camera for documenting skin lesions/wounds and the like.


    You can purchase the J3500 with a conventional hard drive with 160 GB capacity or 128GB SSD. This is my first experience with an SSD drive and was surprised by the rapid boot time and overall snappy performance of the OS. The speed increase was particularly noticeable when running programs in Windows XP virtual mode. The SSD is certainly a nice, though costly, addition to the configuration.


    The J3500 has been tested using standards developed by the U.S. military. It is water and dust resistant and has been drop tested up to three feet. This protection occurs irrespective of the chosen hard drive (160 GB mechanical versus 128 GB SSD). Such ruggedness is apparent grossly when initially handling the tablet.


    My goal was to put the tablet through its paces with the software I use the most: MS Office 2010, PDF Annotator, and voice recognition software (Dragon Naturally Speaking 10.1 and Windows Speech Recognition). I am also working on a custom electronic medical records package that will be optimized for tablet/touch use though it was not available at the time of this review.

    Ive owned each version of Dragon Naturally Speaking since version 7 though I have not used it consistently for a number of reasons. First, the recognition was sub optimal in earlier versions. In addition, it often was quite demanding in terms of system requirements. Furthermore, I abhorred wired microphones and didnt really want the air traffic controller look with the wireless microphones. Lastly, many of the wireless microphones did not work well. Thus, my goal was to find a device that would allow me to work with speech recognition software via the built in array microphones on the tablet. The J3500 has three multi-directional array microphones that automatically switch depending upon screen orientation.

    After brief training, I read the following history and the results are as shown. As you can see, the tablet performed commendably with regards to computer control and voice recognition with just the array microphones. It wasnt perfect, but for my requirements (computer control and using voice recognition as a supplement only to a well-designed, template-driven EMR), this is sufficient. Should I need to dictate large passages of text, the tablet could easily be docked and a desktop or wired microphone used for improved recognition.


    Mr. Jones is a 57 year old African American male with history of hypertension and diabetes who presents to the office with complaints of chest pain. The pain started approximately one hour ago and is characterized as being substernal in location, pressure-like in quality, and lasting approximately two minutes. The pain was brought on with ambulating up his driveway and alleviated with rest and the administration of a nitroglycerine tablet. Associated symptoms included shortness of breath and diaphoresis. Coronary artery disease risk factors include hypertension, diabetes, and tobacco abuse.
    Motion J3500 with Dragon Naturally Speaking Medical 10.1 and Array Microphones:

    Wish List for the J3500

    External controls such as a scroll wheel and media control buttons
    Lower price
    Media card slot
    Forward facing cameras for video conferencing
    Lighter weight
    Longer battery life
    HDMI out
    Thinner form factor


    The Motion J3500 is a powerful machine. If you are looking for a rugged slate tablet that can also serve as a desktop replacement, the Motion J3500 has no competition. It has the ability to perform almost all tasks one might perform on a personal computer.

    Although Motion tablets have been very useful in my practice, I generally I find them to be overpriced. Typically Ill purchase them used on eBay as a cost saving measure. Likewise, cost is the major barrier to adoption of the J3500; this unit, properly configured with one docking station, extra batteries/chargers; and accessories could easily reach $4000 and beyond (my unit configured at $4315). This--coupled with the poor battery life and weight--means Ill wait for other Windows 7 touch screen slates to appear in the upcoming year before making a purchase.

    Much appreciation to John Hill of Allegiance Technology Partners (www.alltp.com) for graciously providing the J3500 for this review. Also special thanks to Lunis Orcutt of Knowbrainer (www.knowbrainer.com) who assisted with the utilization of Dragon Naturally Speaking. Lunis is a certified Nuance dealer, offers 3rd party applications to improve voice recognition performance, and provides customer service that is unmatched.

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    I bought the J3500 with its steep pricetag, because as a Psychologist working with patients I wanted to get away from the keyboard and write as if it were just a yellow pad, as I have been doing for the last 18 years. I have been using it for more than 8 months and I find the screen hypersensitive. Although I do have Windows 7, it oftem misspells words or writes them wrong. This really slows me down and i'm beginning to feel that the stylus isn't ready for prime time. I'm not computer savvy; am I doing something wrong? I really want a paperless office and smooth interface with patients. Thank you so much!

  3. #3


    Have you trained the handwriting?

    Formerly known as violajack.
    Intrigued by my ideas? Wish to subscribe to my newsletter?

  4. Default

    Thank you very much for responding, Michelle, I really appreciate it. The training seemed just a few minutes to me. I did it and didn't feel it changed anything. For example, when I type in the link you sent above, it records correctly until after microsoft.com. then the /en-Us/w becomes Jen- ENE. This type of thing has been happening for 8 months! I have not found their tech support helpful at all. Any ideas?

  5. #5


    I've heard some reports that people actually get better recognition with cursive writing. I generally just switch over to the keyboard when I have to write things like URLS, file names, proper nouns, or things with odd characters like [] or /\ | in them - they just look too much like letters. I have a very international array of students, and Windows doesn't always know what to do with some of those names. I also leave most of my student notes as handwriting in OneNote and don't even bother with the conversion to text. What program are you using to track patient records? Can you leave your notes as handwriting, as if it really were just a digital yellow pad?
    Formerly known as violajack.
    Intrigued by my ideas? Wish to subscribe to my newsletter?

  6. #6


    Write your letters larger and train for the alphabet. Usually the HW is very accurate. Are you using medical terms or mainly lay terms? Alternatively, try this free trial at www.ritescript.com. You can use it or turn it off. No conflict with native HW.
    Chris M. Wilkerson, D.C.

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    Thank you Chris, I thought only a program within the motion tablet would help. I will go to this site and try it. I feel confused that when I called an IT pro and motion help no one mentioned any of these options to me. So this is a software program? Thank you, I'll let you know how this goes. I appreciate this so much.

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    Thanks again, Michelle

    Yes, I can use the keyboard for URLs, files, etc. I have been frustrated for so long, I think I had given up with the obvious. I am not familiar with OneNote. Is that soft ware I download? I have mainly been using this for email and Adelphi, a medical software for psychologists. I should be able to leave notes on that program, but the window is small and I can't see the whole document. If OneNote allowed me to do this it would definitely ease my patient interaction as I write. Thank you.

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    BTW, the site you sent me to, http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...on-a-Tablet-PC, has a much more extensive personalization and I have completed it, so am optimistic. Anything else I should be doing or looking into? This is so helpful; it really impacts my life dramatically.

  10. #10


    One Note is a part of Microsoft Office and is included in most of the versions. It installs a printer, so you can create a print out from most applications to then edit in OneNote. I'm not finding much information about Adelphi software, so it's hard to offer much advice.

    Here is the website for OneNote: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/
    Here is more information about Office tools for tablet PSc: http://blogs.office.com/b/office_cas...ch-screen.aspx
    Formerly known as violajack.
    Intrigued by my ideas? Wish to subscribe to my newsletter?

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