The Eee Slate EP121 is the largest tablet Asus introduced at CES this year. It’s also the most powerful, with a 1.33GHz Intel Core i5-U470 CPU and 4GB of RAM, and the only one to run Windows — or Windows 7 Home Premium to be exact. The computer also has a capacitive multitouch display and a Wacom digitizer for use with a stylus.

Asus says the EP121 is the most powerful Windows tablet around, and while long-time tablet enthusiasts may beg to differ, this model definitely comes closer to the traditional view of a slate PC than many of the other new models we’ve seen.

I got a chance to spend a few minutes with the EP121 the other day, and the build quality seems excellent, the screen is quite responsive to both finger and stylus input, and there’s even a spring-loaded slot in the case for storing the stylus so that it (hopefully) won’t get lost. The demo unit was also connected to a Bluetooth keyboard, just in case you had any question about whether that would be possible or not.

An Asus rep suggested that the final unit was supposed to have 10-finger multitouch, but the demo unit clearly only supported two simultaneous inputs. That’s enough for pinch-to-zoom and other two-finger gestures, as well as enough to make typing with on-screen keyboards easier, but we may have to wait and see if 10-finger support shows up in the finished product.

In my demo video I was unable to get the screen orientation to rotate, but it’s possible I may have missed a locking mechanism on the side of the computer.

The Asus Eee Slate EP121 is up for pre-order for $999 to $1099 and is expected to ship in the next few weeks.

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9 replies on “Hands-on with the Asus Eee Slate EP121 Windows tablet”

  1. On another site it stated the pre-sell was going exclusively to PC World, but I checked Amazon and it is pre-selling. I am really excited about the release but hope they have the bugs worked out when it does. Seems no one has used a prototype without one thing or another being off. I will be signed up as soon as they release them! I’ve done a lot of research and this is one of the very best tablet pc’s I’ve seen. Question…Does anyone have any input on the Solid State hard drive in this design? I have heard that the one they are using has had some reliability problems in the past.

  2. such a nice machine, Why oh why does it have to ship with an outdated non-sandybridge core i5?

    1. Timing, it’ll still be bit longer before we see Sandy Bridge shipping out.

    1. Full Windows system and Core i5 level performance do not come without a cost. You get a lot more performance but it also uses a lot more power.

      This isn’t an ATOM or ARM system that sips power but a Slate with a full notebook processor and thus notebook like run times.

      Also at 12″ it’s not intended to be carried everywhere you go and so you won’t be far from an outlet when using it.

      If they offer the laptop dock accessory they showed at Computex for it, basically the same as the one showed for the 10″ Transformer, then you’ll have an extra battery for extended run times.

    1. You can pre-order now from Amazon and Microsoft store, if u r lucky to live in the us,

  3. There is an accelerometer, that automatically changes the orientation.I have seen it’s ces videos on youtube as well as in it’s unboxing video, which showed the accelerometer.Actually there is an orientation lock button on it’s side.I hope to get it as soon as it is released in the UK, no word on it’s Uk release as of yet, sadly.

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