usefull tidbits and answers to some questions about ep121

Discussion in 'EP121 Slate' started by homer1324, Mar 26, 2011.

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  1. homer1324

    homer1324 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi folks,

    I'm new here and this is my first time posting although I have been following the posts on this forum for some time now.

    Let me start off by saying that I am posting this thread from my ep121 using only the on screen keyboard.
    I currently have in my possession a 64gb ep121 and a 32 gb (which i am planning to return) and my roommate also has a 64gb one.

    I am a student at a university and the main reason that I purchased this is for the ability to take notes in class. Often times, when i take notes on my laptop, I am unable to draw the figures and equations on the board. Being a biology major who takes a lot of chemistry classes and anatomy, the ability to handwrite my notes is very important to me as is making sure that i can access them later.
    The first thing that I want to talk about are some of the common issues that alot of people are experiencing right out of the box:

    1) stuck pixels and blemishes;
    On my 32 gb ep121, i do have two stuck pixels on the screen as well as a blemish on the lower left corner of the screen. This issue is also present on my roommate's 64gb one. On the bright side, both the 32 gb one and the 64 were returned with ease when we told the seller about the issues. We weren't told to contact Asus; instead, the seller (fry's for my roomate) offered to refund 100% of his money and gave him the option of extending the return policy for him untill they get one in stock, at which point they would happily let him exchange it.
    On the other hand, my 64gb one is perfect and appears to have no issues with the screen.

    2) usb ports:
    Are the usb ports difficult to open? in all three slates in front me, the answer is yes. Is it a problem? I dont think so. the fact is, it seems like over time, the ports will be much easier to open as they are used more and more and frankly, i'd prefer ports that are tight over ones that are loose (giggity)

    3) the case:
    On three slates, only one case appeared to be perfect and free from any defects. the other two have bubbles from improper assembly or have imperfect allignments. Kind of annoying but eh.

    4) hdmi video playback
    all three slates have stellar hdmi video playback with no lag whatsoever.
    Now, it should be noted that on the 32gb slate there was an issue with streaming any video above 360p from or any other video streaming site. This was tested on several networks including a t1 line with no changes. futhermore, i updated all the graphics drivers and flash to the latest, tried different browsers and increased the virtual memory page size to no avail. This was tested with normal processes running right out of the box and after disabling all unnecessary services and processes as well.
    One thing i did do to resolve the issue was to upgrade the ram to 4gb. This instantly allowed for flawless 1080p video playback. Simply put, it appears that the 32 gb model just does not have enough ram to suitably run hd videos from youtube. kind of a bummer :/

    5) noisy fan
    none of all of the three slates that I have tried have any problems with the fan.
    I've also installed speedfan on them and all of them idle at about 45-55 C-- an optimal temp for a computer in my experience.

    6) battery life
    This issue has been talked about again and again so I wont beat the dead horse.
    I will say i am happy with the battery as i can squeeze six hours from it with wifi and bluetooth off and only onenote open with me taking notes.

    7) handwriting recognition and stylus input.
    the handwriting recognition and stylus input is frankly the best ive ever seen. i can take my notes in class while leaving only a few stray marks here and there. The lag in the input using one note is virtually none. In fact, i would say that taking notes on this is just as fast as writing on a piece of paper. That being said, I do notice an issue with erasing being kind of laggy on the 32gb one. In all fairness, this is on a massive 80 page, handwritten, notes file in one note and i have yet to do some extensive testing on this.

    8) physical buttons.
    First of all, as kind of an FYI, in the POST screen and bios, the physical buttons on the slate allow you to do what you need to without the use of a usb keyboard. the volume buttons act as up and down buttons and the keyboard button acts as a tab key when presed once and as an esc button when pressed and held. the center button acts as an enter key.
    AS far as changing the effect of the buttons in windows, i would LOVE to be able to do that and am very sad that there doesnt appear to be any way to do so... :(

    9) Soft keyboard.
    Ugh.. just ugh...
    I hate how the soft keyboard is soooo good, yet is lacking in such small things that are incredibly important to me.
    I LOVE the handy popup that comes up whenever you click on a text box; its both unobstrusive and usefull. However, it seems that the keyboard that comes up when you click it, is NOT the windows on screen keyboard, but rather a very similar clone. this clone, for some reason, lacks the basic windows option to make click sounds as you type!!! What a frustrating thing it is to see that such a simple thing has been left out... The worst part is, I dont want to use the windows OSK because there's no option to make it pop up with the popup that comes on when you click a text box..
    To me, that popup button is sooooo important that i refuse to use any other keyboard that doesnt have it.
    This ties my hands as not only would i like to have click sounds, but i would like to be able to change the location of some of the buttons on the keyboard. for example, the CAPS lock button is freaking HUGE on this thing and i find myself hitting it constantly while trying to hit the letter 'a'. This is a soft keyboard-- so why not allow the user to customize the specific keys to their liking??? My fingers are crossed that asus will release an update that allows this, though i wont hold my breath...

    10)browser:
    Asus, it seems, when they shipped this thing, modified Internet explorer to make it much more usable on a touch screen. some of the changes include the popup button to open the OSK and finger panning (FYI, did you know that you can scroll up and down and to the right and left by dragging two fingers on the screen?)
    IE9 works great and is a fast enough browser for my liking. however, I kind of dont like that if i use any other browser, i would loose the native touch support that IE brings. Yes there are addons that do similar things, but i havent found an addon for any browser to bring up the OSK in the same fashion as IE9 does.
    I should mention that i have tried opera mobile 11 and i think that it has a lot of potential. however the lack of options and flash makes it unusable for me ATM.

    Well, I'll probably add more things to this post in the future but for now, i hope that someone benefits from this info.

    Thanks!
     
  2. 299792458

    299792458 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Good observations. I'm sure this will be helpful for anyone that's thinking about buying an EP121.
     
  3. Marsha

    Marsha Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you, Homer. Your analysis is also very useful to some of us ep121 owners that are still learning all the features - how to use them, and deficiencies - how to work around them. Keep teaching us.

    Marsha
     
  4. nnthemperor

    nnthemperor Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Good job dude, I agree with you on all especially the OSK CAPS LOCK button, like you I find myself hitting it most times I want to hit the 'a' button.
    Thanks for the tip on 2 finger scrolling, I use a finger & it's still smooth. IE9 provides a great browsing experience.
    I have bt & aero disabled, with the power saving mode, with only wifi I struggle to get 2.5hrs of batt. usage for just browsing, inking & emails. What configurations are you using?
    Once more thanks.
     
  5. CF77

    CF77 Love Tablet. Senior Member

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    The only thing I could think of that he could run the slate for 6hrs is that ASUS has updated some hardwares.
     
  6. nnthemperor

    nnthemperor Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Or maybe the times the device was in sleep mode is included on the 6hrs.
     
  7. Treytor

    Treytor Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I feel kinda dumb, but how do you even get to the bios? I never see a post screen on my slate, it just goes right to "Starting Windows" after a few seconds and screen flickers.
     
  8. CMMD-Z

    CMMD-Z Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hey Trey,
    you'll have to plug in a physical keyboard and I believe hold or constantly press the F2 button(?). That's the only way as far as I know. :/
     
  9. homer1324

    homer1324 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    hey guys,

    Thanks for the awesome replies!

    I actually managed to get the six hours with wifi off. (with wifi on, the battery life does last about 2.5 hours, although i notice that the last 30 minutes seems to last longer; correct me if i'm wrong but does i5 have to ability to downclock itself to conserve power when its not needed?)

    My configuration is on the power saver plan; i have windows aero disabled as well as effects in windows disabled. my max processor state with battery is at 5% (under the advanced settings for the power saver plan.)
    Finally, in the intel graphics control panel, i also have the settings configured foe max battery life when not plugged in.

    Hope that helps!
     
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