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