Asus Eee Slate EP121: The First Likable Windows 7 Tablet?

Here’s one way to address the ol’ Windows 7 tablet lag. Asus throws a low-voltage Core i5 processor at Microsoft’s resource-hungry OS with its new Eee Slate EP121, which will make this 12-inch tablet one of the fastest around. Business users should appreciate the 32GB or a 64GB solid-state drive, bundled wireless keyboard, and Wacom digitizer stylus for jotting down notes.

The EP121 also packs Bluetooth 3.0, a 2MP camera with LED flash,  mini-HDMI out, Wi-Fi, and a capacitive display with 1280X80-resolution and IPS technology. The Eee Slate EP121 most certainly beats most existing Windows 7 tablets on paper, but we don’t know anything about battery life (we suspect it will be short) or if Asus has done anything to address the Windows 7’s touch-unfriendliness.

More pics and full specs below.

Full specs:

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
CPU: Intel Core i5-470UM
Memory Options: 2GB/4GB DDR3
Storage Options: 32GB/64GB SSD
Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0
Display: 12.1 WSVGA 1280×800 with capacitive touch
Camera: 2MP with Flash LED
Ports: Headphone, Mic-in, mini-HDMI, card reader (MMC/SD, SDHC,SDXC), USB 2.0, internal mix, stereo speaker

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  1. iOSforDumbies Says:

    I know you’re not actually journalists. If your lack of professionalism and objectivity didn’t give it away, it would be your willingness to break the first rule of journalism: Don’t ask a question in a headline.

    Since you were dumb enough to ask, I’ll be smart enough to answer: No. There are plenty of amazing Windows 7 tablets. Please, when you get your review unit of the Asus Eee Slate EP121, arrange for Motion Computing to send you a J3500, which has been around for quite a while and is already quite likeable. Just pretend like it’s got an Apple logo on it and you’ll lurve it! Unfortunately, I don’t think Steve is going to pay you to hype Motion Computing.

  2. swanlee Says:

    Yea there are some good tablets out there already, The EXOPC and the HP Slate are very good ones that are in people’s hands right now.

    Win7 works well out of the box with a touch device and get this you can actually run real life programs on it. It is sad that the media continues to push this myth around that Win7 can’t be used on a tablet and that we need a stripped down mobile OS and a magical APP store.

    I’d rather have a choice of millions of Windows compatible PROGRAMS to use then 20,000 fart APPS.

  3. jb82 Says:

    To me the big news is that they have dropped the keyboard dock off this model that was shown with the prototype last year and moved it to the android “transformer”. A big disappointment as the versatility would have been fantastic with win 7, but with android it is wasted.

    Windows 7 isn’t touch unfriendly but it is so powerful in comparison with the phone os offerings that if you could add a decent removable keyboard/touchpad you would double the usefulness of the slate. There are things on a win 7 slate that I would wish for a mouse/keyboard but devices like the ipad just simply couldn’t do them anyway… you’d be reaching for a laptop. Slate uses like web-browsing, movies, e-reading, office, pdf annotation etc … are all easy to navigate with win 7 touch only.

    Just the on-screen keyboard that needs a serious overhaul in my opinion.

  4. Steve Gross Says:

    This is a non-technical evaluation of the EXOPC and Asus EP 121. As an owner of both units, the below is intended as an overall report and/or opinion, only.

    The EXOPC was delivered to me for $ 825.00 USD while the EP121 was 200.00 more expensive, $ 1050.00 USD. The EXOPC is now down in price and, offered to the general public for $ 700.00 or less.

    The EXOPC was delivered with a power supply and few other accessories. However, about 30 days after the slates arrival, a pen (non-digitizer) and stand did arrive. There was no restore CD/DVD and to ask unauthorized/authorized support personnel from a chat board for help in a restores regard, proved fruitless. One never knew who was authorized (or not) and, only a chat board exist for technical support. In fairness, those who did respond did so responsibly and expeditiously. However the files I requested from the EXOPC web sites were refused.
    In side by side comparisons:
    THE EXOPC’s battery life was to be expected at about 4 hours or less depending on usage. Not bad! It is very durable, well-built and in theory, should have been a delight to use however, this was not the case, After 60 plus days using the EXOPC as a mobile hand held device, the slate was filled with ghost button presses, unruly page flips (which were not user requested nor, controllable and with many momentary freezes from screen, mouse and keyboard. Unless it’s use was dedicated for simple gaming or, from a stationary position, this tablet is not for business usage, the tablet is non-viable and a hardship to use, in that regard. A bit smaller than the EP121, one fought to maintain stability in operational office/adobe programs. If one’s intended use of the EXOPC was dedicated to stationary use, using a separate mouse and keyboard, the EXOPC was acceptable and there were far fewer ghost presses and those irritating and unstable screen flips virtually vanished making its stationary use very acceptable. It was when using your fingers on the touchscreen and using the EXOPC as a portable hand hald devise was the EXOPC rendered useless for business use. I was one of the pre-purchasers, as it’s called. Actually, after comparing these two slate tablets, I believe all those pre-purchasers were simply participant fund raisers for a tablet prematurely rushed to market and sold to raise capital for a start-up company, EXOPC.

    On the other hand, the EP121 is a well thought out device. A carry case, digitizer pen, power supply and even a blue tooth keyboard was included plus, restore disc and, after a few 72 hours of constant use, the EP121 remains stable and without glitches. Screen rotation is solid and page flips strictly controlled by the user. There are no ghost button presses, period. Even while in use in my automobile and while the use of any electronic devise is discouraged while driving and not recommended (while driving), the EP121 was dead on accurate, stable and dependable for business or any use!! No problems of any sort; easy to control volume, opening of multiple programs and multi-tasking program selection a pleasure. In my opinion, This is simple! Asus did its homework and their engineers designed the EP121 slate referencing real world usage, and the end result produced an extremely well thought out Win 7 slate tablet.

    In conclusion, there is no comparison between the two slates. For what was in the beginning a simple $ 200.00 USD differentiation in price between the two slates, I advise the EP 121 is at minimum five times superior to the EXOPC.

  5. Dave Kohner Says:

    I have now owned and regularly used the Asus EP121 for almost 3 months. I purchased it in early February from the Microsoft Store, and I continue to be impressed with its build quality, performance, features and versatility. Asus has done an outstanding job with this product, and so far there is nothing that I can see on the market to compete with it in the Windows world.

    A comparison to the Ipad (which I also own and love) misses the point. I can now understand that the two products are intended for very different markets. The EP121 easily performs all of the media, gaming and artistic tasks that the Ipad handles, but it also has the power (thanks to its Core i5 processor) to efficiently run virtually any Windows program as well. Thus it provides the best of both worlds. The touchscreen is as responsive as that of the Ipad, and the on screen keyboard, the included bluetooth keyboard and the digitizer pen input offer lots of input choices. Due to the size of the 12″ screen, I find Windows 7 to be very touch friendly on this machine.

    Given the difficulty that every retailer seems to have in keeping the units in stock, and given the stellar rating that most users have given the EP121 in the reviews on Amazon, it seems to be a very popular tablet. My biggest disappointment is that so far LAPTOP MAGAZINE has yet to do a full review of the EP121. I put much credance in Laptop reviews and will await this one with interest. In the meantime, I dearly love and would unhesitatingly recommend this remarkable slate tablet.

  6. MercaLoday Says:

    What about the Fujitsu tablet – does anyone have experence with it (Windows 7)?

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