Tested Windows 8 on the EXOPC Slate

first_imgMicrosoft did a pretty good job at their Build conference to put their best foot forward when unveiling Windows 8. They demonstrated the upcoming OS on everything from ultrathin laptops (I refuse to call them ultrabooks), massive watercooled desktops, and the amazing Samsung developer tablet. Now that the developer preview is out, many users are downloading Windows 8 and installing it on familiar systems. Virtual boxes, laptops they seldom use, maybe even their personal computers are all testing the mettle of Windows 8 this morning. With that in mind, I decided to install Windows 8 on a less familiar device, the EXOPC Slate. This Windows 7 tablet did not get a whole lot of love when it came out, and with good reason, but I think Windows 8 might change that some.The EXOPC Slate is a 1.66Ghz Atom processor with 1GB of RAM. It’s not nearly as powerful as the Samsung developer preview device, but still exceeds the minimum system requirements. Take a look at the brief walkthrough of the UI.Many aspects of this early Windows 8 build work well. The keyboard is nice and the primary animations are smooth even on the EXOPC’s hardware, though background ones (see 2:39) do need work. Many of the UI components are in place and are quite functional when using the slate’s touch/gesture-friendly screen. While the boot up is quick and many operations are snappy, some are slow, clearly missing the Samsung developer tablet’s Core i5 processor. Almost all drivers worked well with the EXOPC though, though the front-facing camera did not and the touch-response was very slow in the drawing program.As you can see, the road to Windows 8 being completely ready is a long one. Over the next few weeks, we’ll start to see more and more third party additions to the MetroUI system and Microsoft will undoubtedly be offering updates very soon. Windows 8 needs to succeed where Windows Phone has decidedly failed up to this point, in being able to allow the MetroUI to be a complete experience.  Once the Microsoft store is available on Windows 8, the OS will begin to take shape.last_img


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