The ExoPC Slate by ExoPC
A little while ago we announced the arrival of the windows based ExoPC slate, and now, we got our eager hands on it. ExoPC is a Canadian company from Trois-Rivières and the slate is very similar in capabilities with a netbook. It is powered by an Intel Atom CPU running at 1.66GHz with 2GB of RAM onboard. We tested the 32GB version however, a 64GB solid state drive version will be available. The screen is a very large 11.6 inch capacitive multi-touch widescreen display with a native resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels.
The slate uses 802.11 b/g/n wireless and Bluetooth 2.1 for connectivity. The other onboard features include a built-in 1.3MP webcam, two USB 2.0 ports, a headphone jack, an HDMI port, SD card slot, a SIM card slot and a power socket. The slate also has a bottom socket for the upcoming dock. This will very appreciated by the frequent user since, at just over 2lb, writing on it can be quite long. However, the optional stand could also come in handy for long usage.
What we loved the most about the ExoPC slate is the added user interface. This UI is based on pages on which there are 77 circle locations for different apps. You can easily add additional apps from the app store or shortcuts to different websites. It is very important to point out that, as with most of the software on the market at the moment, the ExoPC UI is still in beta. For now, the user still has to revert to windows for some tasks, which is fantastic for anyone that wants to install or use specialized software. The main drawback of the ExoPc is the time the screen takes to refresh once rotated form landscape to portrait and back. The whole screen goes black for about three seconds, which is quite distracting at the beginning. Despite this, overall, we are very satisfied with the amount of detail that was put into the user experience..
On the other hand, the browser is a good example of the work in progress status of the software. Currently there is no bookmarking or tabbed browsing support, as these are coming soon. Also, the pinch zoom is not smooth, in fact it’s quite shifty and has limited settings. On the ergonomics side, the UI is very well organized, with a permanent home button in the top right and a Windows key in the bottom left should you need to switch back to Windows. The running apps appear on the right side from where you can slide them off the screen to shut them down, which is a lovely feature. Removing icons from the UI is very simple, you just slide them to the left and a recycle bin appears. Small problems aside, there’s a quite lot to like about this UI. It’s very polished already and it should be even better as they improve it over the next few months.
One more great feature is the simple updating of the UI, it can be done with just a few clicks and you don’t need to sync the slate as you would do with other tablets. Overall, the ExoPC slate covers well the gap between notebooks and smartphones; it is powerful enough to run some heavy software and light enough to carry in a purse. Keep looking through our kloset, we’ll keep on adding news, kool ideas and gadgets to it.