I finally saw a Cannondale Slate at the Tour de Roxbury and I have to say that it is indeed a fine looking bike. I didn't have a chance to sit on it or take it for a spin but I wish I had.
This one had SRAM Gearing with an 11:42 cassette and a single chain ring upfront with 42 teeth. With Surly Gnards and that type of gearing, not only is this bike ready for dirt roads but it could also tackle quite a bit of singletrack as well. With the front lockable lefty fork, bombing dirt road descents must be smooth like butter!
This isn't the first time that Cannondale has had cyclocross styled bike with suspension up front. My very own 1999 Cannondale XS800 also had a little squish, too. Funny, how history repeats itself.