Asus' Eee Slate EP121/B121: A Windows 7-Based Tablet PC

Touchscreen And Digitizer Pen: Asus Eee Slate

Asus provides two quick-access keys on the Eee Slate. The button to the right of the screen functions as a Windows Key + Tab, allowing you to cycle through programs quickly.

For easy access, you can use the keyboard toggle to expose and dismiss the Input Panel's writing pad or virtual keyboard (whichever was used last). Normally, you'd have to mouse-over and click on the hidden Input Panel tab to expose it.

You're either going to love this feature or hate it. If the keyboard is docked and set to a large size, the toggle button automatically resizes the open windows into a smaller work area so that the keyboard doesn't overlap. The desktop icons are also automatically sorted horizontally, so that none of them appear below the keyboard. If you set the keyboard to float, the Input Panel can be resized as needed, but the content of open windows is obscured.

Asus Eee Slate: Demo with Digitizer Pen

Asus Eee Slate: Touchscreen Demo

Our only complaint is that touchscreen functions aren't enabled for all programs. For example, you can zoom into Web pages using pinch gestures, similar to an iPad, but that's limited to Internet Explorer. The same doesn't work in FireFox.

Pressure Sensitive

Incomplete Portrait SketchIncomplete Portrait SketchIncomplete Flower SketchIncomplete Flower Sketch

Back at Computex, Asus demoed the Eee Slate with a painting program called ArtRage Studio (v3.0 is included with EP121). If you're an artist or doodler, this program is an easy favorite. The possibilities with this program are endless, but ArtRage really shines when you take advantage of its pressure sensitivity.

Incomplete Chalk SketchIncomplete Chalk SketchPressure Sensitivity in Photoshop CS5Pressure Sensitivity in Photoshop CS5

The concept is similar to writing on a piece of paper. The longer or harder you press down with your writing instrument, the harder the pen or brush stroke appears. When you're using the Input Panel, pressure sensitivity doesn't matter. But it does when you're trying to doodle.

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54 comments
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  • ... w
    hardcore_gamerIntel HD graphics..that ruined everything

    ... AMD's Fusion would be a better choice...
    13
  • Intel HD graphics..that ruined everything
    10
  • Other Comments
  • Looks good but IMO,Win7 isn't designed for touch screens.Hopefully Win8 will add a decent touch UI to the OS which makes the Windows tablets more useful
    4
  • Intel HD graphics..that ruined everything
    10
  • I think thats the worst idea in tablet world; putting windows 7 on a tablet... dealing with sidebars even makes me sick on 24" screen with a hi-res mouse... I cant think of it on 12" screen with fingers... and thats already tried and failed a few years ago; tablet PC's... Will somebody take any lesson from failed ideas? or even from Ipad's success? Grow-up and see what's happening... or leave it all to Apple...
    -10
  • All this tells me is that the inevitable rise of Fusion or Sandybridge with integrated graphics, or ION based tablets, Windows 8 will steal the show.

    When the hardware gets to a good enough standard then the peoiple will flock to a REAL operating system.
    1
  • ... w
    hardcore_gamerIntel HD graphics..that ruined everything

    ... AMD's Fusion would be a better choice...
    13
  • I'd like a W8 tablet that could simply change interfaces between the WP7-esque look in tablet mode and a W7-like interface with the addition of a keyboard dock (basically a W8 Transformer).
    0
  • I current own a ASUS slate. For those who are interested in this tablet. Here is my suggestion. Get the 2G ram/32G SDD one. and upgrade the ram to 4G and intel X310 series 80G. the final price will be abour $50 more than 4G/64G one; however, u gain better SSD performace as well as more storage. I have been using this one for 3 monthes now, I would say, compare to wacom's other drawing table, this one still a little beyond, however, when u compare with Wacom's Cintiq12WX, Slate does provide the same function, without an extra computer. I would say 256 level vs 1024 level is a little trade off for convenience and price. As a graphic designer (not illustrator), i dont really find the 256 level is a huge issue. Tho if ASUS intend to relseae 2nd Gen of this product' i will be really interested in seeing them switch to AMD fusion. intel's HD chip is simply a joke. I would trade off some CPU power for more powerful graphic. Anyway, final thought.. this is the only table with pen function that can run Adobe CS5. I only hope it wont be hard to find the replacement battery...
    8
  • A tablet with Intel graphics and Windows OS? What a waste.
    -6
  • Why is there no page for battery life? Was this thing such a poor performer you were to embarrassed for it to post the info Tom?
    -6
  • @spsfinest -> Page 9
    4
  • Why wasnt the acer icona w500 included? It uses the AMD Fusion cpu. I think that would have been better than using the acer icona a500 for comparison.
    4
  • A very profitable software company needs to take the lead and design / build the hardware and release it as a loss, regaining revenue from the software. Taken from the current line-up of console game systems. That may be the only way to capture the market. In a case like this, price is everything, and this product won't survive.

    I just bought an Asus Transformer 16gb for $394. It's a gift to my mother. It'll do everything necessary while on the go or while on the couch. Printing will be done through Google's cloud printing. Anything she can't do, can be done on a pc.

    You can buy an Asus Transformer (substitute with most tablets / netbooks / some notebooks), and build a custom desktop PC for less than the cost of a single Asus Tablet PC. I think it's a no brainer.
    0
  • I was actually really interested in this tablet- but for $1300 (there's no way with 20GB Windows 7 that you can buy a 32GB) there are simply too many problems with it. I love the idea with the tablet but it looks like I'll be waiting for the Eee Slate 2.
    5
  • I would have prefered a write up of the Acer w500 or MSI 110W. Both of these systems are around $500 and use fusion based processors. The Eee Slate is just to over priced.
    3
  • Want one similar, but want to be able to do signature capure, so my question is all about quality of the digitizer- how does the w500, the MSI, others, compare to this one with that in question? CPU horsepower is not really relevant as long as it runs win7 pro "good enough" as you can just RDP back to a more powerful machine or VM.
    Ideas?
    0
  • This review is about six months late - the EP121 debuted early this year. Back then, there was no Fusion option (though I will grant, that might be a solid choice now). In fact, the Slate was out before ultra-mobile Sandy Bridge processors hit the market.

    The only real complaint I have about the one my wife uses is that the SSD performance is poor compared to what was available at the time. It has also been a little buggy in places, relating to the touch input, but hasn't acted up for a while at this point.
    0
  • I don´t see how a slow-performing, extremely overpriced flat piece of cheap plastic without the proper OS can be sold to anyone, that have heard of the thing called "a laptop".

    This is a real good example of how the industry is constantly trying - with a fair success - to create new "needs" and launch products, that are miles away from being good enough.

    People must be very bored and have way to much money these days...:-)

    Good thorough review though.
    -1
  • To those who do not see the need.. how about a service tech going out to estimate/quote/service jobs? being able to pull real time inventory and capture signatures electronicly is great. without having to dind a place to put the thing down so you can type. touch screen option and inventory selection rules.
    2
  • suha67I think thats the worst idea in tablet world; putting windows 7 on a tablet... dealing with sidebars even makes me sick on 24" screen with a hi-res mouse... I cant think of it on 12" screen with fingers...


    ZzzZzzz.

    Something tells me that you haven't used a Windows 7 touch based tablet at all otherwise you'd know that you have gestures or can even touch 'hold' then move up or down, side to side.
    3
  • "To those who do not see the need.. how about a service tech going out to estimate/quote/service jobs? being able to pull real time inventory and capture signatures electronicly is great. without having to dind a place to put the thing down so you can type. touch screen option and inventory selection rules."

    My mailman/GLS-driver have hed a little hand-held thing for that for years:-)
    0