19 June 2011 10:13 tonyrogerson

Impressions of my ASUS eee slate EP121 - Dual core 4GB, 64GB SSD

This thing is lovely, very nice bluetooth keyboard that has nice feedback on the keypress, there is no mouse but you can use the stylus or get yourself a bluetooth mouse, me, I've opted for a Microsoft ARC mouse which is a delight to use, the USB doors are a pain to open for the first time if like me you don't have any finger nails.

It came as a suprise that the slate shows four processors, Dual Core with multi-threading, I didn't really look at the processor I was more interested in the amount of memory and the SSD; you don't get the full 4GB even with the 64 bit version of Windows 7 installed (which I immediately upgraded to Ultimate through my MSDN subscription).

The box is extremely responsive - extremely, it loads Winword in literally a second.

I've got office 2010 and onenote 2010 on there now; one problem is that on applying all (43) windows updates since the upgrade the machine is still sat on step 3 of 3 on the start up configuring updates screen after about an hour, you can't turn this machine off without using a paper clip to reset it and as I have just found you need a paper clip :). Installing Windows 7 SP1 was effortless.

One of the first things I did on it was to reduce the size of the font, by default its set at 125%, my eye sight is ok :) so I've set that back down.

Amazon Kindle for the PC works really well, plenty of text on the screen when viewed portrait, the case it comes with also allows the slate to stand up in various positions - portrait, horizontal - seems stable enough.

The wireless works well, seems to have a better signal than my other two laptop machines which is good news.

The gadget passed the pose test at work :).

I use offline files to keep a copy of all my work stuff locally, I'm not sure what it is, well, its probably my server but whenever I try and sync it runs for a couple of minutes then fails with network name no longer contactable, funnily enough its fine from my big laptop so I can only guess this may be a driver type issue on the EP121 itself - very odd and very annoying.

I do a lot of presenting and need to plug into a VGA project because most sites that's all that is offered, the EP121 has a mini-hdmi output which is great except for this scenario, hdmi is digital, vga is analogue, you will struggle to find a cost effective solution, I found HDFury and also a device HP do, however, a better solution appears to be getting a USB graphics adapter for instance the one I've ordered is the ClimaxDigital USB 2.0 to DVI,VGA or HDMI Adaptor which gives everything I need - VGA and DVI output and great resolution as well - ok, so fingers crossed because I'm presenting next Wednesday in Edinburgh and not taking my 300kg lenovo w700 (I'm sure my back just sighed in relief) - it certainly works really well on my LED TV, the install was simple - it just works!

One of the several reasons for buying this piece of kit was to use it on my LED TV to remote into my main machine to check stuff whilst sat in my living room, also to watch webcasts and lecture videos in comfort away from my office, because of the wireless speed and limitation I'm opting for a USB network adapter from Belkin - that will also allow me to take advantage of my home gigabit network, there are only 2 usb ports on the slate so I'm going to knock up a hub so connecting it in is straight forward and simple, I'm also going to purchase a second power supply so I don't have to faff about with that either.

I now have the developer x64 edition of SQL Server 2008 R2, yes everything :) - about 16GB left to play with on the machine now but that will be fine, I'll put AdventureWorks on there so I can play and demo stuff which is all I'm after from this, my development machine is significantly more powerful and meets my storage needs too.

Travel test this weekend and next week, I'm in Dundee for my final exam for the masters degree.

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