Asus Eee Slate EP121
The first tablet from Asus
With its first tablet launched a while ago, Asus makes a striking appearance on the market. But their 12″ Eee Slate seems to forget something very important: the target public and the clients. Is it worth it in the end ?
The launch of the first Asus tablet, a 12″ one, couldn’t remain unnoticed to our review team. The tablet is now available on the web and it finally landed in our hands for a detailed test. At first look you can’t really say that this tablet was a good idea for Asus. However, once the company planned to release 10 new models and another 7″ model in the upcoming months, they wanted to mark the occasion with the launch of the first of its tablets: the Eee Slate EP121. We believe that Asus wants to test the market. Is this tablet a good idea ? Let’s see the test !
At very first look, the Asus EP121 Eee Slate tablet is a great gadget. With its multi-touch screen, 12-inch aluminum shell and plastic mixing with a very good finish, this tablet is impressive when you touch it. However, a weak point is that it does not compete in the featherweight category, because it has about 1.1 kg on the scale. It seems to be a product difficult to care with you on long roads compared to the iPad, for example. This model from the Eee Slate family is more like a tablet PC, but a swivel screen rotation body seems not to exist. However, all the components of a traditional computer appear to be present on this device. Is this a good investment in the end ?
Powered by Windows 7 OS and Intel Core i5 CPU
We believe you don’t know much about the Qualcomm processor or the chip called Tegra 2. This tablet uses an Intel Core i5-470UM processor and an operating system from Microsoft, the Windows Home Premium version. The OS is installed by default. However, it is possible to install any software on this tablet (for photo, music, multimedia, security software, other applications), which is a very good point for this device. And the processor has enough power and resources to allow you to perform video conversion or image processing with Adobe Photoshop.
Anyway, the Windows Operating System needs a lot of resources and the four-cell battery is not big enough to satisfy the processor’s energy hungry nature. The battery sucks about 23.4 watts when it’s in full operation mode. After our tests we can say that in video playback, with the Wi-Fi network enabled and the display at the maximum resolution, the EP121 is able to work for just about 2 hours and 50 minutes. However, for different tasks, like a lot of Internet browsing, the device can be used for about 3 hours and not very much beyond this value ! Another bad thing is the charger’s shape, which does not adopt the format of the tablet, because it looks like a traditional power supply for a laptop. If you want to carry the gadget in a bag, this charger is not the best option for that.
Hardware and connectivity options
The new tablet from Asus – the EP121 – has two USB 2.0 ports, but they are very difficult to see because they’re hidden by two small plastic covers. These ports are useful if you need to connect a USB key or a USB for a 3G connection. However, this tablet is able to connect to any device through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1. For the 3G SIM card you will find no connector. For the price this table comes with, this thing is really a bad point.
However, you can find here an SD card and MMC for easy connection to a camera or to increase the size of the storage capacity of the device. The miniHDMI port is also present and with it you are able to use the tablet as a media player or portable HD gadget to use the display and watch stuff on a PC screen, on a monitor or on a TV.
Near the buttons which control volume you will find another button. Through it you are able to call the virtual keyboard of Windows. Another key is used to lock the screen. The latter ensures that when you rotate the tablet, the display retains the landscape. However, if you open the keyboard it seems to extend to the entire bottom of the screen and is almost correctly proportioned for a good dimension.
A tablet with a keyboard for typing ?
Asus provides a leather case with wedge to raise the shelf, if you want to benefit from comfortable using of the tablet. Let’s imagine that you want to watch a movie while traveling by train, for example. The wedge will help you achieve that. The audio quality of the speakers is not impressive and we suggest you to use instead a good pair of headphones. If you need to type often, Asus delivers in the device’s package a physical keyboard (made by Microsoft). It is useful if you need to connect the machine via a Bluetooth port. This way you will be able to benefit from more comfort when you type in a front of the screen of the Eee Slate EP121.
Finally, if you look on the top of the tablet you will find that it has a pointing device – a pen – a bit more precise than the finger. An interesting thing is that you can use this pen for handwriting input directly in word processing and Sticky Windows.
After our tests we already have an opinion about his tablet. The gadget is available in two versions (with a 32 or 64 GB hard drive SSD). But the EP121 Eee Slate made by Asus is too big and not very autonomous compared with the competitors.
This tablet doesn’t fail entirely. It offers some nice software services like Media Sharing for “streaming” content, for example. If you need a professional tablet running a Windows Operating System and not a lot of portability, this gadget is a good choice.
|CPU||Intel Core i5 – 470UM|
|Operating system||Windows 7 Home Premium|
|Processor Frequency||1.3 GHz|
|RAM (MB)||4096 MB|
|GPU||Intel GMA HD|
|Internal flash storage (in MB)||6400|
|Support Memory Cards||SD / MMC / Memory Stick|