Purchasing an EP121 now...

Discussion in 'EP121 Slate' started by Deathlike, Apr 2, 2012.

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  1. Surfer Joe

    Surfer Joe Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I bought the ep 121 about a year ago and it is an ok tablet.
    Today, I would opt for the samsung 700t slate.
    Both of these tablets are actual computers, with connectivity options and a real os, unlike the android and ios systems, which are really designed for media consumption and play.
    The ep 121 is not really powerful enough to run serious apps like photoshop or premiere, in fact, no tablet currently is, but at the time it was the best one around.
    If I'd had the choice with a 700t, I would have gotten one of those instead.
    The worst things about my ep 121 are the abysmal battery life and the fact that the interface is still quite glitchy. It often goes into some weird freezes when I first turn it on and I am forced to restart it again to get it to clear up, although it doesn't always. From my experiences, the os and the hardware are not compatible enough and there are a lot of glitches.
    Maybe win 8 will make it better.
    The last thing that is poor about the ep 121 is the miserably small hard drive.
    The minimum size should be a 128 gb ssd.
     
  2. ThornyJohn

    ThornyJohn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    TL;DR Warning: I tend to be long-winded but try to provide a lot of info along with a lot of words.

    I've had the EP121 for close to a year now and it remains my one Windows 7 "go to" PC day-in, day-out. I use it more than my desktop PC and way more than my laptop these days. Even with this "glowing endorsement," however, I will say that it does have its handful of annoyances and I look forward to an upgraded version.

    I originally bought the EP121 because of the Wacom digitizer pen functionality. I needed to get a Wacom Cintiq 12 and decided to "spend a couple hundred more bucks and get a whole computer attached to that digitizer instead." Overall, I remain happy with that decision. Now, I must stress that my artistic pursuits are of the photo editing, doodling, thumbnail sketching (graphic design) variety, so the 256-level pen sensitivity is plenty fine for me. My formula for choosing the EP121 was Cintiq + iPad + Windows Compatibility = Win! YMMV.

    These days, when I look at the Samsung Slate 7 I almost want to choose that instead...almost. If pressed to make a choice today I'd still purchase an EP121 for my own needs. One main issue I have against Samsung is that they appear (to me) to think that everything they make is a TV, meaning they seem more consumer than tech-oriented. I say this from personal experiences with Samsung TV's, dishwashers, refrigerators, and a couple of smaller devices. On the other hand, I simply love Asus products, having owned three tablets, a laptop, two monitors, and several graphics cards and motherboards. I must posit a caveat here: I love Asus hardware, but have never had much luck with Asus customer service/tech support. I have gotten way more answers by reading forums like this than by ever talking to Asus. Thankfully, their hardware has been pretty bulletproof for me.

    With that said, let me move on to the annoyances and a few points the Samsung Slate 7 has over the Asus EP121.

    The processor in the EP121 is *okay* though I'll be glad to see something like a faster Ivy Bridge processor in a follow-up product.

    The battery life sucks overall. I think that my 9 pound gaming laptop has a longer battery life, which is pathetic. I would like to see something closer to the Samsung Slate's 4-7 hours.

    I have the 64/4GB version of the EP121 and I'm glad I got that one, because Windows 7 (and I'm sure other versions of Windows as well) is a freaking monster. After dealing with Android tablets and their OS taking up 1 GB or less of storage space, being hit with a 15-18GB storage requirement for Windows 7 is a shock. If I had gotten the 32GB SSD version I would not have been able to run the software I use on the EP121 day-in and day-out. I think any follow-up WinX tablet *must* have a 128GB SSD option available.

    The touch capability of the EP121 is only two-finger as far as I can tell. Thankfully, I've not had need of more, but if there are future apps out there that will benefit from more than two fingers, that's a concern. I believe the Samsung Slate supports up to 10-finger touch(?).

    I use my EP121 with the digitizer pen instead of touch 99% of the time. This is not by choice, but because my unit has that "touch cursor jumps to the upper right corner of the screen, starts clicking like mad, and hilarity ensues" issue. I've tried everything short of opening the case and adding more electrical shielding, like tape between some of the boards, but the issue keeps coming back for me. In the end, I installed the deceptively excellent little TouchControl utility that is floating around somewhere in these forums and keep touch turned off 99% of the time. That solves my issue with it, but I admit it's a hack and I'd rather the damn thing not have a dancing touch cursor.

    I considered sending my unit back to Asus for repair of the touch cursor jumping issue (others seem to have had success with returning their units for repair) but this brings up one of my Asus support issues: The serial number sticker on my unit was only half-assedly attached and has, over time, totally rubbed off. With the serial number missing, Asus will not honor the warranty, or so my local dealer has stated, so I've not tried. I tend to use my EP121 a lot while laying down in bed or on a couch, and the placement of the serial number sticker at the bottom of the unit is what has caused it to rub off over time.

    Even with all that, I would still buy an EP121 over a Samsung Slate right now, but I am eagerly waiting for a real updated model from Asus to come down the pike, hopefully sometime around or soon after Win 8 makes its debut.
     
  3. Shards_x

    Shards_x Pen Pal - Newbie

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    @ThornyJohn:

    Just a quick reply to your issue with the serial number sticker on the bottom of your tablet rubbing off; on the bottom of your bluetooth keyboard, there's also a serial number sticker there next to your Windows 7 serial key. That serial number corresponds to your tablet, not the keyboard, so you can reference that when dealing with Asus tech support.
     
  4. ThornyJohn

    ThornyJohn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Oh! Excellent! I was unaware that there was another s/n sticker. The guys at Fry's (where I bought my tablet) sure didn't mention anything about it.

    Time to try again!
     
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