When comparing xplorer² vs Altap Salamander, the Slant community recommends Altap Salamander for most people. In the question“What are the best file managers for Windows?” Altap Salamander is ranked 9th while xplorer² is ranked 11th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Faster than most similar applications
It's hard to find a free or low cost alternative that is as quick, and stable, especially managing NTFS volumes on a remote NAS. It still freezes and chokes, just not as often as newer applications, like XYplorer, Free Commander, etc.
Pro Good all-purpose file manager
Pro Execute DOS commands
Pro Supports TotalCommander plugins
Pro Free version available
There is a free version available, xplorer² Lite, for non-commercial use.
Pro Ability to save state
xplorer² gives users the ability to save the state, so the program will open with the same state the next time it's used.
Pro Very stable, even preview versions
Pro License is good on multiple machines
Can be used at home and work.
Pro Very feature-rich
Pro Looks very polished and consistent
Pro Intuitive two-pane interface
The program features a dual-pane interface that allows you to easily move files between views.
Pro Very fast
No delay is noticable in the user interface.
Pro Copy and move operations can work in background
Pro Built-in archive support (zip, rar, etc)
Pro Extensive keyboard shortcut support
Pro Powerful bookmark support
Easy bookmark usage, e.g., Shift+1 selects the first directory. The bookmarked directories are also available in the usual popups to switch the left/right drive (Alt+F1/F2).
Pro Built-in FTP and SFTP
The program has built in support for a variety of common network protocols (such as FTP, FTPS, SCP and SFTP) for file transferring over the internet.
Pro Customizable with own external tools
Pro Customizable colors
Different colors can be assigned to compressed files or files with a certain name pattern.
Pro Built-in undelete plugin
Pro Automation plugin
Enables user to automate repetitious actions via JScript and VBScript (via windows script engines already installed). There is also support for Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby (Arton's ruby must be installed to have the Action script support)
Con Stagnating rate of development
Any improvements to the software are happening at a glacial pace which is making this software more and more outdated for a long time now.
Only a few minor improvements a year. User suggestions for improvements are routinely rejected or explained away. As for suggesting new features -- you'll quickly abandon all hope. Only realistic reason to visit their support forums (http://netez.com/bbs/) is to read Kilmatead's posts -- for anything else prepare to be disappointed.
UPDATE (and slightly offtopic): Kilmatead seems no longer active on the forums, so the next best thing is xplorer2 blog: https://www.zabkat.com/blog/index.htm which seems to often feature interesting technical topics.
The interface is essentially unchanged since it's Windows XP days, with very little customization possible. Organization of features is convoluted, with some simple ones, like individual icons to quickly switch views missing. i used and licensed for years but the stagnant cluttered design finally made me drop to program.
Con No Unicode support
Unicode was promised many years ago, but due to slow development, still nothing.
Con Winscp not available for x64 version
Winscp plugin is available only for x86 version and missing @x64.
Con Hard-coded shortcuts
Shortcuts are hard-coded and therefore can't be changed by the user.
Con Text Viewer does not support UTF-8
Con Slow development
Con Is only available for Windows
There is no full replacement for Linux or OS X.
Con No tabs in dual panes
There are no tabs available in the dual panes view, which can be a time-saver for some users.