Reviews

Xplore XSLATE R12 assessment: A high-quality rugged Home windows pill, however beware battery life

Xplore is a specialist maker of rugged tablets to be used in demanding environments. Final 12 months I reviewed the corporate’s XSLATE D10, an Android pill. Nonetheless, Xplore’s core enterprise is Home windows-based tablets such because the XSLATE R12, which runs Home windows 10 Professional.

As is anticipated of a pill designed to outlive the harshest of working situations, the XSLATE R12 is appropriately licensed. It meets the MIL-STD 810G normal for a broad vary of environmental elements, has an IP54 score for mud and water resistance, and is C1D2-compliant to be used in hazardous areas. The display screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 4.

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Xplore’s 12.5-inch XSLATE R12 runs on both Seventh-generation Core i7 or Sixth-generation Core i5 processors. It is a rugged Home windows 10 pill weighing 1.34kg.

Picture: Xplore

After all, these necessities rule out any risk of a skinny, mild or svelte system. The XSLATE R12’s 12.5-inch show is wrapped in a protecting chassis that give the pill general dimensions of 328.5mm huge by 207.5mm deep by 19mm thick, and a weight of 1.34kg.

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The again of the XSLATE R12 is rubberised and stippled for further grip. The battery is each detachable and hot-swappable.

Picture: Xplore

There is a sizeable rubber buffer throughout the sting of the system. Together with a rubberised again this could assist with safety towards drops in addition to when the pill is rolling round in a car. The again may be very closely stippled, to help with grip, even by gloved fingers. The lengthy edges are angled inwards at their corners, mitigating an in any other case pretty slab-like look.

The 12.5-inch display screen solely provide FHD decision (1,920 x 1,080 pixels, or 176ppi), however textual content is legible, and video appears to be like positive too. The display screen offers a beneficiant 800-Nit brightness, which makes for good viewability in most lighting situations. There’s an anti smudge end to the contact panel, and an ambient mild sensor helps set brightness to an applicable stage for the prevailing situations. For all that, I discovered the display screen to be slightly reflective.

A stylus sits in a housing on the higher proper fringe of the chassis and is hooked up to the physique by a wire so it might’t be misplaced. The stylus solely matches into its housing in a single orientation (I can think about the pissed off outbursts of some customers as they battle to stow it away).

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The optionally available Companion Keyboard clips magnetically to the again of the pill when not in use.

Picture: Xplore

There’s an optionally available Companion Keyboard that was supplied with my assessment unit. When not in use this fixes to the underside of the XSLATE R12 by magnets, with the keys on the within and the identical rubberised stippled end because the underside of the slate itself on the skin, in order that it appears to be like like an integral a part of the pill.

The magnets are fairly powerful, however I am unsure they’re completely safe and would have appreciated some kind of clip for added safety. The keyboard provides 460g of general weight.

The keyboard is nicely made. Keys are responsive and there is little or no flex throughout typing. The touchpad permits for cursor management and is conscious of Home windows gestures. The keyboard incorporates a kickstand from which it may be completely eliminated. The stand holds the keyboard very securely at a relatively excessive angle that’s splendid to be used whereas standing. Connection between keyboard and slate is wi-fi, and the keyboard is charged immediately from the slate.

The Xplore XSLATE R12 physique homes protruding rubberised triangles designed to be simple to hit with gloved fingers for energy on/off, quantity and a ‘safety button’ that gives entry to the lock display screen (equal to Ctrl-Alt-Del on a keyboard).

A battery cost indicator on the left brief edge glows inexperienced when the battery is full and amber when it is low or charging. A bay of 5 LEDs on the battery pack offers extra granular details about energy standing when a small adjoining button is pressed.

My assessment pattern lacked the optionally available RS-232 serial port and RJ-45 Ethernet connector, which, if current, are protected by a hinged rubber cowl. A bigger hinged cowl protects the full-sized HDMI port, USB three.zero port, three.5mm headset jack and energy connector.

MicroSD and MicroSIM slots are positioned beneath the detachable battery on the again of the pill. This makes it trickier than normal to swap exterior storage, however it additionally makes for further safety. There’s additionally a SmartCard slot below the battery. If the battery is eliminated there is a reserve of 1 minute’s energy earlier than the system routinely goes into sleep mode.

A fingerprint reader is built-in into the suitable edge just under the stylus housing. There’s an Eight-megapixel digital camera on the again and a 2-megapixel front-facing digital camera.

Varied configurations of the Xplore XSLATE R12 can be found. I used to be despatched a unit primarily based on a Seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7500U with 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, WWAN assist, Home windows 10 Professional and the Companion Keyboard. The price for this configuration was a hefty £three,208 (ex. VAT).

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An alternative choice, the SlateMate, provides a barcode scanner and an RFID reader.

Picture: Xplore

Configuration choices embody a Sixth-generation Core i5-6200U processor, Home windows Eight.1 or Home windows 7 Skilled, and 256GB or 128GB of SSD storage. An possibility referred to as the SlateMate provides a barcode scanner and an RFID reader.

There’s a cooling grille on the left fringe of the system. I did not do something notably difficult to the system throughout testing, but the fan kicked in relatively loudly, and pretty usually. At occasions it was moderately quiet, at others irritatingly loud as air was pushed out by means of the vent relatively fiercely. Even with loads of fan motion occurring, the underside of the system was not completely cool. The warmth stage was by no means a priority, however it was discernible.

There was some additions to Home windows 10 together with an app referred to as Xplore Pill Centre, which offers management over varied settings — referring to energy and contact options, for instance. Three comfortable buttons on the higher left display screen bezel can be configured through Xplore Pill Centre to offer fast entry to features or apps with faucet and tap-and-hold responses. You may set these to carry out totally different actions relying on display screen orientation, offering for plenty of permutations.

Xplore quotes battery life at over 9 hours, however it’s tough to determine how nicely the battery will carry out in real-world conditions as these will range broadly. That mentioned, I discovered the battery depleted relatively quickly. For instance, in a single two-hour session I set the display screen to 100 % brightness and spent about half the time searching the online and streaming video, the opposite half doing nothing greater than leaving the system on with no net or app exercise in any respect. Throughout this time, the battery went from 95 % to 55 %.

The Xplore XSLATE R12 is correctly rugged, and the tactic of carrying the Companion Keyboard is nicely thought-out. The keyboard can also be a well-made piece of equipment in its personal proper, and the trio of configurable comfortable buttons will show helpful within the discipline. Nonetheless, battery life was disappointing on our Core i7-powered assessment unit with the 800-Nit display screen set to 100 % brightness.

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