Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Asus Eee Slate EP121 - creativity yes, productivity no, 3 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Asus Eee Slate EP121-1A019M 12.1 Inch Tablet PC (Intel Core i5-470um,4GB, 64GB SSD,Bluetooth, 2.0 Mega Pixel Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium) + Bluetooth Keyboard and Case. (discontinued by manufacturer) (Personal Computers)
If you are considering buying this product I advise you to bear in mind the following; if you needs are mostly productivity based like e-mailing, creating and editing dcuments, working with Excel spreadsheets and similar and you think the Ep121 is going to provide a full-on Windows working environment with touchscreen capability, think again. Whilst the machine is reasonably fast and responsive most of the time, it has some peculiarities such as the apparent inability to accept plug and play devices - instead it launches Windows dialog boxes looking for drivers for anything at all you plug in and then spend hours - and I do mean hours quite literally - trying to located, install and configure these. I cannot get an external harddrive to connect to it at all. On any 'normal' Windows machine these things are no problem. It seems to run out of memory much earlier than you would expect - opening multiple browser tabs causes it to freeze up which presumably is a memory releted limitation. What I am trying to get across is that I have ended up with the feeling that this machine is not quite the direct equivalent of a similarly specified laptop made into two discrete parts - it just seems to have too many odd little quirks.

The touchscreen is good but in practical terms, you are trying to be as accurate with a finger as you would ordinarily be with a mouse and that is very difficult and in certain situations, impossible. So the problem with a Windows machine using touch interface is no longer the laggy performance - as it was in years gone by - it is simply that Windows was not designed with touch as the primary means of interaface- bottom line is that it is pretty responsive - nearly as good as an iPad - but not as usable as that might suggest because the areas you are trying to touch are simply too small. Many reviews I had read on Amazon before my purchase had talked about the great build quality - it is nice enough but not as great as I had expected. What is noticeable is the way the glass becomes very dirty very quickly and this is more of an issue than you might think. The Slate can creak a little from time to time when you pick it up and there is some - admittedly very small - movement corner to corner if the machine comes under any twisting force.

If you want to work seriously with the Asus Slate, you will need a mouse as well as the included keybaord - you cannot expect to work in the usual way you work now substituting fingers prods for mouse clicks - you will become frustrated and the same work will take longer. If you use a mouse you will find you have a portable, reasonably powerful machine that can do everything your laptop can do - unless your laptop is a desktop replacement type - that also gives you a tablet you can use for media consumption - watching videos, etc. - at other times and that gives you some of the advantages of touch without actally arriving at iPad type levels of touch user interface. Given the price of the Slate you could easily buy a good laptop for working on and an iPad for media consumption and get 10 hour battery life into bargain..........

Conclusion: the only reason I can see to buy this machine is if you want something that gives you the abilty to write or paint or draw directly on the screen. Although it is charming in its own way and is interesting and innovative, ultimately its appalling battery life and quirky performance in certain areas make it useful only for tasks that cannot be achieved without pen input. Although I am reasonably satisfied, the fact is that had I been able to have the experience I now have - having owned the Slate for several weeks - prior to purchase, I would not have bought it and used an alternative method to achieve on-screen paint and drawing input. In the end, it is just more hassle than it is worth.

I hope the above helps you.
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