Asus Eee Slate EP121 review: first look
Not wanting to let Android have all the fun with its new Transformer, Asus has also introduced a Windows-powered tablet: the Eee Slate EP121.
It’s a hefty piece of kit, with a massive 12.1in screen and a 17mm-thick chassis weighing 1.15kg – almost twice as heavy as the iPad 2. Still, that makes room for some impressive hardware, with an Intel Core i5-470UM running at 1.33GHz and bringing two cores, Turbo Boost technology and Intel’s latest integrated graphics within a TDP of just 18W.
It has 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD but, despite the lower-power parts included, battery life inevitably takes a hit. Asus claims that the EP121 will last for two-and-a-half hours when playing 1080p video.
The screen itself is bright and, using either a finger or the supplied stylus, our time with the machine revealed that the 1,280 x 800 panel is both responsive and accurate, and there was little lag to speak of. It feels a big step up from the sluggishness of Windows 7 tablets with Atom chips.
While we’ve never been keen on tablets sporting Windows 7, at this size it works quite well, and Asus will hopefully introduce some neat features to try and make the experience easier. For instance, an iPad-style home button at the bottom of the screen uses the Windows Aero theme’s 3D scrolling effect to switch between apps.
Asus ended our meeting by dropping a rather large bombshell, though – the Eee Slate EP121 will cost £999 inc VAT. At more than twice as much as an iPad 2, all that processing power inside will have to do the tempting.
We’ll have a full review next week, so keep checking the site for our verdict.