Asus Eee Slate EP121 review: Asus Eee Slate EP121

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent

Average User Rating

3.5 stars 4 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good All the flexibility of Windows in a Tablet. Includes Art Rage 3. Pressure sensitive stylus. Sound is surprisingly good. Well-built. Included case is quite useful.

The Bad The same old Windows-touch frustrations. Definite lag between pen stroke and on-screen result. Rotation is horrifically laggy. 125% default DPI causes undesirable scaling with some programs.

The Bottom Line We've had reservations about Windows 7 as a touch OS ever since Microsoft announced it; however, the Eee Slate EP121 goes some way to alleviating those. It'll likely take Windows 8 to go all the way, and by then, it may be too late. Until then, the Eee Slate EP121 is the best Windows tablet you can get.

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While there were several Windows tablets promised at CES this year, the only one we've seen to date has been Hanvon's BC10 , a 10.1-inch tablet that felt like it lacked a bit of polish.

Asus is the next to play the game with the Eee Slate EP121, and as one would expect of the company, the product has excellent build quality.

A 12.1-inch screen is the main attraction, with a disappointingly low resolution of 1280x800. Still, the touch is quite sensitive and, thanks to the Core i5 470um processor, 4GB RAM and 64GB SSD, the machine's performance is rather snappy too.

To get around some of Windows' touch difficulties, Asus has opted to increase the OS' default DPI to 125 per cent, making elements larger and easier to interact with. While this works well for the most part, it has the unfortunate side effect of making non-DPI scaling enabled programs, like Adobe Acrobat, look blurred. You can always scale it back down to 100 per cent, but at the cost of ease of use.

Asus Eee Slate EP121 scaling

125 per cent DPI scaling in action. Background text: sharp. Foreground text: blurry.
(Screenshot by CBS Interactive)

Mitigating this somewhat is the included stylus, a Wacom pressure sensitive one at that. The Eee Slate is also bundled with Art Rage 3, a wonderful inclusion that should keep the creative types rather enthralled. While we managed decent results through Art Rage, what won't captivate is the perceptible lag between pen stroke and what's rendered on the screen. There's definitely a delay between pen press and the registered effect on-screen.

Sound is surprisingly good for a machine this thin; while it lacks in bass as would be expected, clarity and volume is decent. It also packs in the connectors, with two USB ports, one mini HDMI and an SD card reader.

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Where to Buy

Asus Eee Slate EP121

Part Number: CNETasuseeeslateep121

Typical Price: $1,499.00

See manufacturer website for availability.