3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Asus Eee Slate EP121 review,
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. (Personal Computers)After my very dissapointing impulse buy of the Ipad1, I realised that I needed something far more sophisticated for work. I work in China and spend most of my time travelling around factories, so I needed something very portable, easy to load and send pictures (Ipad1 fail), but above all compatible with everyone else's system within the organisation around the world (Ipad2 fail).
After researching, I decided that the Eee slate was the closest device to tick all the boxes, but a) it was too expensive, and b) the delivery time kept getting extended. So, I started investigating the various Android options and ended up purchasing the Motorola Xoom 3G, I used this for a couple of weeks but soon found that whilst a lot better than the Ipad for business (compatability, ease of use), it still just wasn't good enough for my demanding environment. So I bit the bullit once the Asus finally became available and shelled out the grand needed to buy it.
And what an excellent decision that was. The Asus is the answer to 95% of my needs. Whilst not the lightest, the large screen is fabulous, wherever I take it, people ask what it is and what it does - once they realise that it is a full PC, they usually remark 'oh that's exactly what I've been looking for' - so Asus - whilst your product is great - your marketing is rubbish - get advertising!
The keyboard is a joy to use and easy to connect, the battery life of the tablet (I get 4hrs at most) is enough for a day's use, and with a 3G dongle it gives me a complete comunnication solution. The pen takes a bit of getting used to, and it needs re-calibrating a lot, but this is probably a Windows7 issue rather than a tablet issue. I've read other reviews on the W7 use, but quite frankly I find it quite easy to use, I think that people are so used to W7 on a laptop/desktop with a mouse that they just need time to adjust. Hopefully an upgrade to windows 8 will silence the W7 criticisms.
So after using it (the Eee slate) for a month, it does have one major and two minor shortcomings for me. Firstly the major - the lack of camera on the reverse. Whilst at factories I frequently need to take pictures and email. This really is an oversight, the cost of adding a camera on the reverse would have been minute, and would have taken very little space, you can't tell me that this could not have been included in the original budget? 'It'll probably be on the Eee slate2' I hear people say - but doesn't this (Apple) mentality really hack you off? I mean take the Ipad1 - the 3G version that I bought cost over £600 when new, and just a few months later out comes the Ipad2 with all the features that Apple already knew Ipad1 lacked when they launched it (Ipad1) - so you think that I'm going to shell out another £600 on Ipad2 less than a year later? I think not - so please Asus don't go down this route - if you do why not make a cool clip on camera for Asus Eee slate1 users at the same time? - this is way smarter marketing in my opinion.
So back to the review - the lack of rear veiw camera is a definate design oversight - if you ask me, a typical designer error, give it to someone that works in the real world to test and this would undoubtedly have been high on their wish list. To get over this, I take pictures with my phone, and bluetooth them over which is fast and easy to do on the Eee slate.
On the minor issue side, first the usb ports. These are in a daft position, I'm right handed so hold the tablet with my left hand - exactly where the two usb ports are located, so plug in the 3G dongle, or anything else and you have a problem, moving your hand down results in an uncomfortable position as the tablet is quite heavy. Turning 180 degrees results in a similar problem when balancing the tablet on your knee. higher up on the left or right would have been better, but maybe there is a techincal reason why this could not be done rather than a design oversight. The secod issue is one that I have come accross in previous reviews - no onboard 3G capability, which for the price you would also think should have been included.
At the end of the day, this product is not designed for entertainment, it is a business tool - and a good one at that, I just can't help thinking that most people that are attracted to it are the same as me - travellers that need capable, portable, powerful hardware that the Asus definately is - but they are most likely also in need of a camera and 3G connectivity just like me. Now I know that technology is constantly moving, but quite honestly 3G and a camera is hardly cutting edge is it?
All in all though - I am delighted with my Asus, It has made my working life so much easier and that, at the end of the day is something we all want - right?
I hope you find this review useful, and don't end up shelling out over 2 grand to find something that works for you, like I did!