Samsung Series 7 Slate vs Asus EP121

I was originally in the market for an iPad/android tablet but I found out about these two and was completely blown away. Theyre expensive but I’ve decided to sell my 6 month old HP Envy 15 and my Intuos 4 medium to get one of these badboys and fix up my desktop to use for CAD work.

I’ve been doing a bit of research on these two Wacom enabled slates. Does anyone have some hands-on experience with either of these? The reviews of both seem to be very positive and I’ve seen some impressive artwork and sketches from both on youtube as well as some glowing reviews.

I’d wait a few months for Windows8 - Both Samsung and Asus are prepping upgraded versions of their slates to suit Win8 requirements.

I like the bigger screen of the Asus but battery life and a questionable GPU have held us back from buying a few. The Samsung seems better-put-together but is smaller (if we’re gonna sketch on it, bigger really IS better…).

I just saw the Windows Surface slates…interesting. I like the integrated cover/keyboard and the i5 non-arm version supposedly will have a stylus.

I’ve owned the Samsung for 6 months now and I have spent much of that time regretting it.
I had been scanning pencil sketches on legal paper and basically retracing everything for years, and had fantasized about the direct input of a tablet. What I did not count on was that the physical act of drawing on glass is much trickier than drawing on paper. Its like running on ice. I bought a separate set of nibs which only provided a very slight improvement. Then I bought some plastic binders, solely to cannibalize the slightly toothy clear plastic covers and place them over the screen - didn’t work out. If you draw sketchy and rough, or use vector tools for everything, you should be fine. If you have a flowing, precision oriented style this is torture.
The physical size of the tablet is also an issue for me. With a display size of 5 3/4" x 10 1/8" (14.5cm x 25.5cm) and the additional borders imposed by taskbars and software environments, the actual working area is only about 4 1/2" x 9 1/4" (11.5cm x 23.5cm). You would think that this would be very easily resolved with keyboard shortcuts, hiding toolbars, zooming, and dragging, but that requires a keyboard. The bluetooth keyboard that came with this tablet is fantastic but has one crippling flaw: it sleeps after 10 very short seconds and requires a keystroke to wake it - a keystroke that does not register but only wakes the keyboard. The result is that it causes many mistakes and much frustration.
All of this I might be able to forgive if it weren’t for the irritating realization that I paid too much for it. Now I’m trying to talk myself into spending more money on a less stupid keyboard.
Or make me an offer. I’ll throw in the tablet, dock, keyboard, charging cord, stylus, extra nibs, a cordless USB mouse, and a nice bag to carry it all.

Damn that’s kind of discouraging. I wish I had bought one of these back in January when I was in the market for a new laptop and it was still fairly new at that time. Right now I’m using an Intuos 4 with my 15 inch laptop. It’s kind of a hastle to get everything set up and I’m sooo far away from the screen with the tablet on the desk in front of me. How would you compare the experience to sketching/rendering on a Cintiq? I’ve used the ones at school a bit and wasn’t that impressed honestly. Its just not very comfortable to use and you cant rotate the thing very easily.

If you want the best scenario of an all-in-one unit (available today), get a Toshiba Tecra M7 (either factory refurb’d or a gently used one from eBay - but make sure it has the Nvidia GPU) - it’s a 14.1" Wacom screen flip tablet and had a speedy processor. We have a few of them in the studio. They run Sketchbook Pro, Rhino, SW, Adobe Suite, Office, etc with no issues, but the best feature is that the screen is great for sketching, it has the least feeling of ‘disconnectedness’ of the flip screen laptops and was the largest of the group (Fujitsu, Dell and Gateway made competing units but they didn’t have the Nvidia GPUs and I never felt their screens were as good as the Toshiba’s).

I’d bet you could pick up a Tecra M7 for $300-500.

Here’s an update on Windows 8 tablets; I’ve been disappointed with the light duty specs and small screens trend I’m seeing on these newly introduced Windows 8 tablets - and only few support a Wacom stylus …but, here’s a nice Dutch product that at least comes close to the size of the EP121, but with apparently better spec’s.

Looks like the of the 12" Paceblade price is around 1800 Euro. Nice that it doesn’t have a bezel around the screen though I wonder what the graphics card setup is. The more options, the better though!

Yes, it appears to be pretty well equipped for our kind of work. Their website still shows the model as coming with Windows 7 but I’ve seen two ads and a video promoting it with Windows 8. Like you I’m interested in what kind of video card it can be spec’d with…and whether it has stylus storage.

Here’s more for consideration;

You may have seen a commercial lately with a little girl ‘painting’ on a 20" Sony VAIO tablet PC - she’s using a digital paintbrush and the computer comes with ArtRage…so, I wondered if it supports use of a more accurate stylus.

The word from Sony tech support is ‘yes’.

Here’s the PC (ho hum specs, wimpy integrated graphics engine, questionable resolution - BUT it’s 20" :slight_smile:

And tech support pointed me to these styli and said they will be compatible (what is the plural of stylus…styli, stylus’…hmm) Sony Electronics - Televisions, Audio, Cameras, Mobile, Video Cameras

I’m skeptical but curious…would love to see this in operation vs. an EP121…they’re both spec’d wimpy for our uses but man oh man would be awesome to sit down and sketch anywhere with a 20" screen.

Anyone who has used an EP121 - I’m guessing there’s little to no lag with SBPro, but has anyone tried Rhino? SolidWorks?

The EP121 only had the older HD3000 graphics which I wouldn’t really expect to be valuable for any serious 3D use…I’m also not sure how good the compatibility is across the board with most 3D tools (I have an I5 desktop with a video out I could probably rip the GPU out one day and do some tests)

The new Sony is still a capacitive screen, so it’s larger but you’re still going to be limited to those mushy rubber styluses compared to a traditional Wacom Pen.

My thoughts exactly, except the Sony uses the HD4000 (still trash compared to an Nvidia). Interestingly, their tech folks took me to that page of stylus’ that are pen point.

I don’t think a single tablet PC marketing exec understands the value of the words ‘wacom enabled’.

I saw that, but then I read the description…it actually looks like it’s an actual ball point pen that just has a rubber cap for acting as a capacitive stylus.

Simply pop the cap of the deluxe stylus and you’ve got a real pen in what feels like no time at all.

Unfortunately the nature of every capacitive touch panel means that we’ll be stuck with these cludgy styluses for a while. There are technologies bubbling up that allow for thing like pen/brush input, but they are not ready for primetime.

I use my Asus EP121 for 3D work constantly. Rhino, 3DCoat, Moi and a number of others. It performs well enough for most light to medium duty 3D tasks but I suppose that is all relative. If you end up with a EP121 for some reason you should take a look at the case I designed for it. Way better than the case that comes with.


Good luck in your search!

Isaiah Coberly

Nice job on the stand/case Isaiah - Hopefully Asus’ follow up to the EP and EB 121 (geared for Win :sunglasses: will use the same housing so we can get one of your stand/cases.

Tell you what, I’ll let you find the best next gen slate for us, buy one myself and design a version of the case for that. It only takes me a few hours to modify the design to fit anything. It sounds like you have about the same needs as mine when it comes to a slate. Make sure I know what the best slate is and Ill make sure you get the best case… :slight_smile:


Isaiah Coberly
NewPencil inc.