Asus Eee Slate – an excellent Microsoft Tablet PC

Asus is one of the major manufacturers of IT technology like PCs, laptops and now even a Microsoft Tablet.

 

When Apple released the iPad in 2010, many were surprised that Asus did not have an adequate device ready to compete in the new market niche.

Asus unfortunately made the mistake to go first in a different direction within the planned Eee product family, namely they produced the Eee Top first and released it in 2008, way before the iPad was mass production ready.

The concept of an all-in-one desktop computer featuring a touchscreen was a great idea and it was somewhat popular, but once the iPad came out any residual interest waned.

Asus did not wait, the Eee Pad Transformer was already in development, but they also decided that a Microsoft tablet, a symbiotic incarnation of an iPad analogue and the Eee Top, would be also a great idea and thus was the Eee Slate concept derived.

Rather than developing a Windows CE version, or a Windows Phone 7 version, or even using the Windows Thin PC in some version, nor a full but stripped down version of Windows 7, Asus decided to produce a real Microsoft tablet featuring the least likely operating system, the Windows 7 Home Premium.

Apparently the Eee Pad Transformer with the Android 3.0 platform is a completely different pathway for the company, because this Microsoft tablet is a further development of the Eee Top, rather than a Transformer twin.

There are certain advantages, but also certain disadvantages of creating a Microsoft tablet PC, instead of an Android, iOS, webOS or Blackberry Tablet OS.

The obvious immediate advantage is the processor power. Instead of having an nVidia Tegra 2 or the Intel Atom N450, the Microsoft tablet PC Eee Slate features a dual core Intel i5-470UM. The downside is, of course, the consequent lower battery life, the i5 uses much more power than one of the Atom cousins. 

Asus Tablet PC, Microsoft Tablet PC, Asus Eee Slate with penThe additional stroke of genius was to use an SSD drive, the more reliable, durable and in reality much faster solid state drive adds to the speed that is required and expected on a tablet. Additionally, having not only a capacitive multi-touch screen, but also a Wacom Digitizer thrown in as a freebie, that was really remarkable, extending the potential uses of the Eee Slate almost indefinitely. But since that most of other characteristics mimic the performance capabilities of other tablets available, like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, HD video playback and such, it may be more of service to examine the essential difference, namely the operating system. The question here is, when and why would a Microsoft tablet PC be a better choice for the user?

Asus Tablet PC, Microsoft Tablet PC, Asus Eee Slate keyboard

The Asus Eee Slate comes already with a Bluetooth keyboard. Therefore, the immediate answer would be that a Microsoft tablet would automatically allow the user to add all the goodies that can be used on a regular PC, all the accessories that people are not only used to, but have been using for decades in the past, starting with the Microsoft Office and ending with the Adobe Photoshop – where the pen enabled screen may be a real blessing. Simply adding 1 TB or more storage per USB is a “Plug and Play” task, installing any software per USB DVD drive or flash drive is as easy as doing it on a regular desktop or laptop PC. You can just as easily print, connect to an existing PC network and attach any PC compatible device, just like you can do with your laptop.

The already existing compatibility with any and all software and hardware solutions that are Windows compatible are at your disposal. No additional Flash support is necessary, no incompatibility with Microsoft Silverlight exists, you can open and convert any files that Windows can manage, you can download and install any codec that you fancy. All pesky limits that particularly the iPad has, but also Android devices have, fall off; furthermore, any and all files, documents, audio and video files that you have on your Windows desktop or laptop computer can be easily transferred and used on your Microsoft tablet device. You can even watch PPS presentations, or if you have a DVD RW drive attached, even burn disks, without any additional software. You can even use Skype without trouble or hassle.

While iPad and Android have really worked hard to develop and make available applications and games for their users, the proud owner of an Eee Slate can simply install the already available application or game in the Microsoft tablet. Yes, there are some graphic card related limitations, but many of the games that are now already available for the PC can be installed on the Windows tablet just as easily. Ever wanted to play one of the classic games on a tablet, like Doom 3, Splinter Cell, Medal of Honor, Plants vs. Zombies, or whichever game that you already own for your PC? Well, now you can.

Asus Tablet PC, Microsoft Tablet PC, Asus Eee Slate

It is definitely a matter of taste, personal preference or even whim, whether you are going to buy an Android device, an IPad or a Blackberry Pad. It is a very different decision if you are going to buy a Windows tablet or go for any of the other options. Yes, you may have a laptop computer that you can take on the road already pre-loaded with all your software and games. It is a completely different experience to have a touchscreen tablet. Having a Windows tablet is not comparable to any other tablet devices that are available. This is exactly what Asus is trying to create here, filling a market niche that will become without a doubt a prominent one. People can abandon their laptops and desktops for a while, using their pad devices to surf the web or watch some videos. But once they need to use any of the Microsoft Office features, or edit photographs in professional manner, edit music or video, or similar, then any non-Windows devices just simply will not do the trick. A Microsoft tablet PC, like the Asus Eee Slate, was created for exactly that purpose: For people who want a tablet PC, but are not prepared to switch away from their favorite operating system. 

Asus Eee Slate pros and cons