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ASUS is certainly not a new entrant into the technology marketplace. They are a long-standing manufacturer of hardware internals for devices such as personal computers and mobile telephones. Their products include motherboards and other components for companies including Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HP), and even Apple.
Presented on CES Show 2011, Asus is entering a tablet pc market with 4 new models: Pad Slider, Pad Transformer, Pad Memo and Slate EP121. Latest model is targeting users that need highly portable device. With its Core i5 processor and Windows 7 Home Premium OS, it is also siutable for business users.
The EEE Slate comes well equipped and compares favorably to the competition in terms of hardware. Main tasks are handled by an Intel I5 dual core processor. There are two available memory configurations, with 2GB of DDR3 RAM as standard, upgradeable to 4GB for an additional cost. Internal storage has two options as well. 32 GB is standard, but a 64GB version is also available. Users must consider the use of the device and buy accordingly, but it is recommended to buy the highest specification that the budget allows. Additional RAM in particular can make a noticeable difference in device performance.
The tablet is preloaded with Windows 7. This is one of the features that separate this tablet from the competition, which is heavily biased currently towards Android OS tablets and the Apple standards. The use of Windows 7 allows an additional feature for the interface, in that a digitizer pen is supplied with the product. Instead of using only touch, the pen allows more detailed and precise note taking or drawing.
As for touch, the 12.1 inch screen is covered by Gorilla Glass to ensure longevity and protection. The touch screen is capacitive, and the display is a high-contrast 1280×800 HD with LED backlighting.
This tablet is positioned in the market to bridge the gap between the tablet mainstream and the laptop. This means that the Bluetooth support allows connection of a keyboard, and the mini-HDMI allows connection of an external monitor as needed. Additional ports on the machine allow the connection of all necessary external peripherals, meaning that this tablet is more focused on productivity and less on entertainment.
The ASUS EEE Slate EP121 is working hard to break free of the tablet crowd. While it includes some standards (light weight, thin profile, cover doubles as a stand, etc), the additional features mean that this product stands out (connectivity options, Windows 7, etc). On the downside, the price is relatively high compared to some other options, and the battery life could be better. For business users, or for personal users who spend a lot of time in MS Office Suite, this tablet deserves serious consideration.