We're glad to report that the Slate's capacitive screen is as responsive as you could wish, and its larger-than-usual size also helps to make navigating with your digits a more pleasant experience than on many rival Windows tablets. However, the fact remains that Microsoft's OS isn't particularly touch-friendly to begin with. Therefore, it's actually much easier to navigate using the included stylus, which is stored in a nifty spring-loaded compartment at the tablet's rear.
Wacom's built-in digitizer means the stylus doesn't require batteries, as it uses magnetic resonance to detect the pen's position and pressure level. The pen itself features a replaceable tip at its base and a rounded eraser at its top. Though it's a plain white plastic affair, we prefer the feel of it to the more aesthetically pleasing effort that accompanied the Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet.
For handwriting it works flawlessly. However, as an artist's tool it's not without its limitations. For one thing, drawing on the Gorilla glass surface does take some getting used to, especially if you're used to the paper-like feel of a proper Wacom Intuos 4. It also lacks the tilt sensitivity of dedicated tablets, and only registers 512 pressure levels compared to the Intuos 4's 2048.
On the other hand, being able to draw directly on the screen holds an undeniable appeal. To get a similar experience with a 'proper' graphics tablet, the only option right now is the 12.1in Wacom Cintiq, which will still set you back around £700 on its own. Much like the £1,380 X220 Tablet then, Asus' Eee Slate EP121 is a flawed but nonetheless appealing proposition for artists and designers.
Getting to typing on this tablet, again it's made easier by the screen's larger size, and we appreciate the inclusion of a handy dedicated button to bring up Windows' built-in touch keyboard. However, quite simply we prefer the onscreen keyboards of every other OS but windows. So if you're planning an extended typing session, the included Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000 is a godsend.
To get the full low down on this award-winning little keyboard you should click through to read our review, but suffice it to say that it's compact and light yet very ergonomic. It offers a superb typing experience that we doubt any of the keyboard docks for competing tablets can hold a candle to.