There’s an interesting little tablet on display on Intel’s stand at rAge this weekend, if you happen to be passing by. It’s a South African-branded take on the Microsoft Surface Pro, and it hearks from Midrand-based Mecer computers.
Called the Mecer Xpress, it’s a fairly straightforward Windows 8 tablet with a small kickstand to support it when you want to stand it in front of you. It has USB, HDMI and MicroSD connections and a fairly hefty body.
What sets it apart from most 10inch slates – other than the Surface Pro – however is that it has a fully fledged Core i5 inside.The vast majority of Windows tablets at the moment are using an Atom processor – this is an ultrabook in tablet form, much more practical for work.
The bad news is that the processor is an older Ivy Bridge model, rather than a swanky new Haswell chip – we should see many more of those coming onto the market soon.
The CPU isn’t the only similarity with the Surface Pro, either. Mecer’s tablet also comes with a rigid keyboard cover that’s almost identical to the Type Cover for the Surface. It ha a soft cloth back, just the same, and attaches to the screen via a magnetic docking lock.
There’s no confirmed launch date or price yet – apparently the machine on display is an pre-production model. Will update soon. According to Intel, however, Mecer isn’t the only company producing home grown tablets like this – there’s more news coming from other corners of the country regarding Haswell machines over the next few weeks.
There will be two models of the Xpress Executive. An Atom-powered version is on sale now for R6 999, while the Core i5 model with 3G will be available in a couple of weeks for R10 899.