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Touchscreen And Digitizer Pen: Asus Eee Slate

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

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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