Asus officially unveiled the Eee Slate Ep121 Windows tablet with a 12 inch capacitive touchscreen display and a Wacom active digitizer at CES earlier this month. But before the show even began, Blogeee’s Pierre LeCourt got his hands on a pre-release unit. Today he’s posted some more unboxing photos and detailed impressions of the $999 tablet.

The machine stands out from many of the tablets expected to hit the market in the coming months in a few key ways. I’ve already mentioned the screen, which may seem a bit large at a time when 7 to 10 inch tablets seem to be all the rage. The active digitizer for optional stylus input will also help with handwriting recognition, drawing, and hover/mouse-over controls. The tablet also has an Intel Core i5 processor, a dual-core chip which packs much more punch than the ARM-based chips found in many tablets, and it runs Windows 7 Home Premium. Oh yeah, it also has 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 32GB or 64GB SSD, and more connectivity options than you can shake a stick at including HDMI output 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and bluetooth.

All those features definitely explain the relatively high starting price — but the EP121 is actually rather cheap compared to the Windows tablets of yesteryear.

Blogee’s unboxing photos also provide a pretty good look at the relatively compact power supply, the not-so-compact Bluetooth keyboard, and the carrying case that comes with the tablet. Overall the tablet an accessories seem to be very well designed. Unfortunately they’re not particularly light weight.

Pierre weighed each component. The tablet alone weighs about 2.6 pounds, making it a bit heavy to hold in one hand. Things get a lot worse if you decide to throw the tablet, keyboard, case, and power adapter in your bag — something you’re likely to do given the estimated 3 hour battery life. The whole kit and kaboodle tops that scales at just under 5 pounds.

Sure, you can still find laptops that weigh more than that, but the EP121 could be the heaviest mobile device to wear the Eee name when you take all the accessories into account.

You can find more details and a ton of excellent photos and videos at Blogeee.

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17 replies on “Asus Eee Slate EP121 unboxed, weighed, tested”

  1. I am using one as we speak. I have the 4/64 version. Although it is very powerful and the screen is gorgeous, it is a bit heav to handhold

  2. I’m an Apple fan boy and I want one of these. The pressure sensitivity is key. You can by a small Wacom video tablet for about $900, but it’s wired to your PC, this is a whole computer for the same price. If you’ve always wanted a digital sketch pad, this is the best thing I’ve seen.

  3. i will juz wait for the windows 7 slate from lenovo. Sure, it might be a little less powerful with an atom processor but battery life should more than double that of the ep121.

  4. 3 hour battery life ain’t too grand gotta admit that. When you look at this monster though it is pretty sweet. What other Slate tablet PC’s out there have an i5 processor and 2GB’s DDR3 ram in them? Some crazy stuff there and this slate is not marketed towards consumers or people that use an iPad, it’s marketed towards those who actually need to portability of a tablet with the power of a laptop. Another plus for it is the fact that it comes with a bluetooth keyboard, a stylus (made by the amazing Wacom peeps), a case, and all the normal stuff you receive. Other features that take it out of the iPad category include: 2 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI outport, a PC operating system compared to a smart phone os, both front and rear facing cameras, SD/MMC slot. Sorry, but again the iPad is great, yet it is not even in the same category as the Slate tablet pc’s.

    I myself am looking to purchase one for college. Get all the usefulness of a laptop in the classroom, with a relatively large screen to be able to read text books, but a heck of a lot more portable than lugging around a laptop and 3-4 text books a day. Also the ease of the note-taking process with a program, like office one note, can not be found on something like an iPad (yes there are note taking apps, not Microsoft Office to its full extent though).

    I believe this product is definitely going to be the Slate I am going to purchase, but if the price scares you off look at the HP Slate 500 which is $750 and still has a heck of a lot of kick and if you don’t need the computing power then don’t look at slate tablets go buy an iPad or Galaxy.

  5. This will be a total failure. Like netbooks, 10 inch would be the sweet spot. Netbooks too started doing 11 and 12 inch but only the 10 inch shot to the stars.

    The battery life on this is crap. When the Apple gives 10 hours, who the hell wants 3 hours?

    The price is so so stupid. When you can get a great tablet for $400, only a fool will pay $999

    The machine is heavy and over powered. Nobody wants a core i5 to surf the net. Manufacturers are so dumb and come out with products without doing market research at all, thus wasting their money on failed prototypes.

    They have to finally realise netbooks and tablets are ONLY used to surf the net and any intensive cpu stuff is done ine one’s primary home PC which is usually a Core i3, i5 or i7.

    That is why top end super light notebooks costing $5000 from Fujitsu and Sony have zero sales and nobody buys it anymore.

    1. People do want longer run times but at 12″ this slate isn’t going to be carried around to as many places as a smaller and lighter tablet would.

      Also those who want this Slate wouldn’t be satisfied with just a iPad.

      Really, comparing a iPad to the EP121 is like comparing a pocket lighter to flame thrower. The EP121 may use up its batteries faster but it’s also a heck of a lot more powerful.

      While people also use laptops at home. So the EP121 can still find a niche. While Asus also offers the 10″ EP101 and EP102, though not Window systems they more directly compete with the Apple iPad and offer far greater run times.

      1. I have an iPad, a desktop, a laptop, and an iPhone. I’m looking to slim down to just 2 of those. I believe the Eee EP121 will allow me to do so. The iPad did not. Good post!

    2. Total failure…NO WAY! This looks excellent t me. It’s just the Apple fanboys who desperately defend their toys that continues to say such crap. And if you had bothered to read the actual review article you would know that the reviewer got about 5 1/2 hours worth out of it. But you didn’t read it did you? You had already decided that you wanted to spew out some crap about it.

      Personally I look forward to this one which seems to be a useful tool for me and not just a oversized smartphone toy.

      1. This is probably the greatest tablet on the market. One it has all the ports that the Ipad lacks, Glass screen like the Ipad, full OS which allows you to use full Office programs not cheep apps that arn’t functional in a real society, Great speed, Expandable space, and the battery life sure it’s not a Ipad but the Ipad runs the Iphone OS and is built to run apps not fully functional OS.
        This tablet is amazing. Everything I’ve been looking for and loved about the Ipad and dissapointed that the Ipad and projected second gen Ipad doesn’t have.

    3. The first commercial netbooks, from Asus, were 7″, not 10″. The comment generally is a “fail.” It assumes that because the commenter has no use for a netbook or tablet with more than minimal capacities, no one else could either.

  6. Weight is a big question for tablets and actually weigh isn’t the biggest issues as much as form factor.

    It comes down to how you would use and hold something. Instinctively a human being will hold something wide & heavy in the crook of one arm, and something small and light either gripped or in the palm. Those three holds determine EVERTYTHING about how you will use & can use the device in question.

    I think for bigger tablets the form factor must be made to ‘cradle the tablet’ in the crook of your arm like someone would use for a textbook or ledger –the device resting on forearm close to the body with the free arm acting as input manipulator. For a smaller tablet the size of a paperback 7″ the expectation is it will be light enough to hold away from the body with one hand within the palm with some functions accessible from the grip hand and the rest done by the free hand.

    Thus when we talk about weigh there is a question to be asked about how and where the device is held. In the crook of the arm holding a 2.5 lb device is manageable especially if it is sized to be held easy by the forearm close to the body. But if the device is meant to be held in one hand ideal the device weigh a pound or less. Truthful these heavy 12” tablets might actually be ergonomically better even if they do weigh far more because of how they can be held. Some of the WORST design tablets are those that require you to grip them because they are too small for the crook of your arm but weigh too much to be comfortably gripped by your hand.

    1. I just want a Sandy Bridge i5 and also the reviewer on netbooknews claimed a 5 hour usage.

    2. Don’t confuse this with a ATOM or ARM tablet, this is a full notebook system in slate form.

      You’re not going to get anywhere near the performance of this system with anything that will give you a longer run time, at least not without it also being bigger and much heavier.

      Besides, the original intent of this Slate is as a laptop replacement and most laptops won’t give you better run times either, and most people will likely wind up using the system with the accessory dock.

      Though, if they eventually provide the laptop accessory dock they originally showed off during Computex 2010, then it will contain it’s own battery for additional run time.

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