Review of the ExoPC Slate tablet PC
Get ready for the following statement because it’s going to blow… your… mind: the EXOPC is a good Windows 7 tablet (at least according to Joanna Stern from Engadget). Now before you hurl something at your computer screen that you’ll regret minutes later, hear us out. The ExoPC features a 11.6-inch multitouch capacitive screen powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, Broadcomm Crystal HD chip, 2GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD. What that means is that this is a large-screened tablet that’s powerful enough to run Windows 7 well — which may prove to be the breakthrough component to finally making a decent Windows 7 tablet PC.
Other attempts (or ditched attempts like the HP Slate) focused on putting the Windows 7 OS on a weak set of specs. Windows 7 isn’t a quality touch input tablet OS mostly because it needs real estate to work. Trying to open and use programs by tapping your fingers on a 7 to 9-inch screen is hard — especially when there’s no dedicated app icons. ExoPC goes a step further by creating a new UI that runs parallel to Window 7. This UI allows you to create peephole application icons and shortcuts by customizing them however you’d like. That goes a long way to solve a lot of the issues with Win 7 as most people only use a handful of programs. Still, you’ll be able to unlock the full capability of the tablet by switching to Windows 7 and using it as you regularly would.
Engadget had a lot of praise for this device — mostly centered around the sensitive and responsive capacitive touchscreen and ExoPC UI layer. There were a few issues with screen glare and viewing angles, but it appears that ExoPC has done the right thing when building their Slate: they didn’t rely on Windows 7 to be the sole interface option. They built upon it and offered better shortcuts, better UI’s and whole new apps to compliment the tablet experience (like an eBook reader, music and image gallery programs). In the end, it could prove to be the secret for success for those seeking a quality Windows 7 slate tablet.
The ExoPC will begin shipping in early September and the base model will cost $599. See the other options ExoPC plans from our previous post and the hands-on video by Engadget below.