Let’s face it, there aren’t a lot of Windows 7-running tablets on the market today as most manufacturers are preparing for the next iteration of the operating system. The Kupa X11 Lux is a rare breed among tablets nowadays as it runs on Windows 7. If you were thinking that this is cheap, you’d be wrong as the tablet costs no less than $1,069 and comes with an Intel Oak Trail CPU and 128GB of SSD. Since it has a fingerprint scanner and TPM, this can be considered as a business-oriented tablet.
The Kupa X11 Lux measures 10.7 x 7.3 x 0.6 inches and weighs 2.2 pounds. This means that we’re dealing with a pretty bulky tablet which has a dark gray plastic finish and comes with squared edges which give it an industrial look. However, it doesn’t look as good as those premium tablets on sale today, such as the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 or the third-gen iPad. The wide bezels give the tablet a rather cheap feel, especially since these are widened by extending the tablet’s chassis below the screen.
At the back of the tablet is a big vent which has the shape of a teardrop but there’s no fan inside so you won’t have to worry about the noise. The Kupa X11 Lux has a 10.1-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels (720p) that unfortunately is not as bright as we would have hoped. The good thing is that the colors are natural while the level of detail is great. On the flip side, you’ll probably don’t like the glass surface sitting on this screen as quite often you will be bothered by reflections and glare. In addition, another important drawback would have to be the limited viewing angles as the colors start inverting even if you slightly tilt the tablet.
The bottom of the tablet holds two generous speakers which are not that great, despite their big size. The volume is not as high as we expected, while the sound is quite tinny and lacking any hint of bass. In addition, the position of the speakers is not that great because the sound will be muffled when you put the tablet against a pillow.
When it comes down to typing, the Kupa X11 Lux features the usual Windows virtual keyboard that is decent but nothing to write home about since the response of the buttons while you are typing is not that great. The tablet’s capacitive touchscreen will let you perform two simultaneous touches so basic multitouch gestures for rotating and zooming photos is supported. This screen manages to be fairly responsive as the noticeable lag is minimal. We appreciate that the tablet comes bundled with a stylus but the bad news is that there’s no built-in storage available for the pen. The orientation of the screen will change automatically but you need to know that this happens quite slow as it can take up to two seconds, while sometimes it’s also inaccurate.
We should mention that the digital pen is pressure sensitive and manages to be quite useful for taking notes, drawing or filling out forms. It comes together with the ArtRage 2.6 software which gives you the possibility of making thicker or thinner lines, depending on how hard you press down on the screen.
Due to the limitations of the CPU, the Kupa X11 Lux can only run on the 32 bit edition of Windows 7 Professional. Compared to other tablets running on Microsoft’s OS which come with a custom interface, Kupa has decided to stick with the stock user interface and make a few tweaks here and there. It is important to mention that the tablet doesn’t have an app store in comparison to Android-running tablets and the iPad. The good news is that it can run software compatible with a Windows PC, as well as web applications and desktop widgets.
The right side of the tablet holds two USB 2.0 ports, a headphone and microphone combo jack, miniHDMI port, along with the power input. There’s a SIM card slot so the tablet offers support for 3G mobile broadband. You will notice that on the tablet’s bottom there are two switches; one for the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, while the other toggle is for turning on or off mobile broadband.
The back of the Kupa X11 Lux holds a modest three megapixel camera for grabbing still photos or recording videos. For video chat you also get to use a front-facing two megapixel camera. To our surprise the camera on the front grabs better photos with brighter colors, but both photos and videos look a bit grainy. The one at the back is terrible as most of the photos are shadowy and with dull colors. Some users have reported that the included Web Cam application has some software issues which can freeze the tablet from time to time.
At the heart of the Kupa X11 Lux is a rather modest Intel Atom Z690 processor clocked at 1.70 GHz which works combined with 2GB of RAM. That CPU is considerably less powerful than what netbooks have nowadays so don’t expect a great performance. The tablet will score only about 900 points in PCMark 07. The graphics power is handled by the built-in Intel GMA 600 video chip which is also quite poor in terms of the offered performance.
On that 128GB solid state drive there are a few programs installed which luckily are full programs rather than those annoying trials. You get Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Word 2007, Microsoft Security Essentials and Daum PotPlayer which is a nice media player.
You might want to know that this tablet is available in three flavors. The entry-level model called X11 Classic will set you back $799 and for this money you’ll be getting the Wi-Fi-only version with a 64GB SSD. The mid-range X11 Pro costs $899 and it brings a 3G-ready SIM card slot, while the high-end Kupa X11 Lux is $1,069 and comes with support for 3G and a bigger 128GB solid state drive.
One of the few areas where the tablet really shines would have to be in the battery department as the Kupa X11 Lux will survive for about seven and a half hours in LAPTOP Battery Test which consists of browsing the Internet by using a Wi-Fi network.
We end by mentioning that all three versions of the tablet will be available starting with this fall with the upcoming Windows 8 operating system which should improve the overall performance but don’t expect any significant changes as the hardware inside can’t match today’s premium tablets or even some of the more affordable ones, despite the rather hefty price tag it carries.