The excellent: With a sharp point and a commanding Intel Core i5 CPU, the Asus Eee Slate EP121 is a Windows dosage that doesn’t feel like a toy.
The terrible: Asus Eee Slate EP121 Early at about $1,000, this is a lot more high-priced than some other standard tablets, and no matter how excellent the hardware, Dialogue box 7 just isn’t made for fingertip input.
Asus Eee Slate EP121Underside line:
Asus has a fresh take on the oft-maligned Windows dosage in the quick-in succession Eee Slate EP121, a touch-cover slate coupled with its own Bluetooth upright.
At the very least Asus Eee Slate EP121 stands out from most of the Windows tablets we’ve reviewed over the years, the latest being the new Acer Iconia Tab W500P. Windows tablets have typically underperformed in comparison both with more commanding Windows laptops and with other tablets, such as Apple’s standard iPad.
That Core i5 CPU means that, disparate near every other Windows dosage we’ve laid a finger (or stylus) on, the EP121 responds instantly in most cases, with much less of the sluggishness that has plagued akin systems in the past. The CPU in question is still a bit of a negotiate. It’s a low-voltage Core i5-470UM, and not part of the upgraded 2011 line of Intel CPUs. That means it lacks the better integrated graphics and array-enhancing properties of the latest Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs. Still, next to the typical Intel Atom found in many touch-cover Windows devices, the difference is like night and day.
The body of the Asus Eee Slate EP121 feels solid and well-made, thankfulness to the edge-to-edge glass and thin metal bezel. The back is white textured plastic, but the trade-off is that the dosage only weighs about 2.5 pounds, which makes it feel very light in the hand. It may be the most iPad-like Windows dosage we’ve tried in terms of look and feel (even even if it’s a excellent bit better).
Along the top edge you’ll find a thrash to lock the cover rotation (as on every Windows dosage, the cover rotation is painfully slow, and occasionally overly insightful) and a quick-launch button for the built-in Windows 7 onscreen upright. There’s also a obscure sack for an included stylus, which is difficulty-insightful, a figure that’s doubtless only useful with supported painting programs, such as the included ArtRage Studio. The left edge has a number rocker thrash and most of the ports and connections.
Using that onscreen upright is a bit simpler than on some other tablets we’ve tried, since of the better cover size. But it’s never going to be anyone’s preferred input mode. Instead, we’d very use the bundled Bluetooth upright, which is designed to match the Asus Eee Slate EP121 and has a vaguely curved, ergonomic shape. The upright worked fine, but we wish it included any a tiny touch pad or even a ThinkPad-style trackpoint. Instead, your only pointer input options are a fingertip, the included stylus, or a USB or Bluetooth mouse.
The real culprit here is Windows 7, which is austerely not built to help finger input. Microsoft has hinted that Windows 8 will be much more dosage-friendly, but we heard the same claims about Windows 7 (and even Windows Vista).
The slate part of the EP121 can also fit into an included leatherlike folio case, which has a link of positions it can be folded into, much like an iPad case. The folio doesn’t match the slick look of the dosage itself, and a built-in kickstand could have been a much cooler way to set the cover and upright up like a habitual mainframe. Even if, compared with the painfully clunky upright-docking means of the akin Acer Iconia Tab W500P, we’ll take the EP121′s austere Bluetooth connection every time.