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on January 30, 2011
I've had the Asus Slate for about a week now, and I've put it through its paces. Overall, I'm really impressed.

Summary:

Pros
+ It's like it was was made for OneNote - stylus input and handwriting recognition are incredible
+ Screen is very bright and crisp, great viewing angles
+ Touch input experience is good as well, supports pinch zoom, etc
+ Fast, responsive, boots quick, runs Win7 apps well, good experience with office suite
+ Email and Web browsing is surprisingly easy with either touch or stylus input
+ Can handle some higher end games, though not a gaming machine

Neutral
= Was expecting it to be too heavy but was pleasantly surprised that is was not
= Was expecting the Win7 touch experience to be terrible, but it wasn't bad
= Is expensive but not bad if you compare it to a laptop with a core i5 and active digitizer

Cons
- Battery life is dismal
- Password entry is not fun, wish it had a fingerprint reader

Important tip - make sure to install the optional firmware update to the digitizer from Windows Update.

Details:

I've been keeping an eye out for a machine like this for years to use at work. I don't like using laptops to take notes. The flipped up screen and noise of typing is distracting to a conversation. This machine offers an experience like using pen and paper with all the advantages of electronic notes.

The combination of a good digitizer, the great handwriting recognition and palm reject of OneNote, and the general design of the tablet itself help make it the best machine I've seen for taking notes. The tablet is relatively heavy but still quite comfortable to hold in the palm of my hand or crook of my arm. It also rests well on a table. The stylus pops out of the tablet itself so you aren't forced to use a case (I don't). The tablet is quite thin and there is a solid border for gripping that keeps you from inadvertently touching the screen.

The screen itself looks really good - very bright and crisp. It will likely be the first thing you notice when you pick it up. Touch interface is also snappier than I expected, though the pinch zoom is not quite as smooth as the iPhone/iPad.

I was surprised with the email and browsing experience (use Outlook, Gmail, and Firefox). Clicking on links and small icons really isn't as hard as I was expecting, the touch keyboard works ok, and windows picks up handwriting pretty well. You aren't going to write a page long email easily, but there is always the ability to use a bluetooth or usb keyboard and mouse if needed.

Windows apps work fine, similar experience to a core i5 laptop. Gaming isn't too bad. Civ5 works well enough, and I would expect most puzzle and strategy games to work. Will not do as well on games where you worry about fps. Videos look great, again much like a core i5 laptop.

Wish the battery life were better. On the highest brightness setting, I get about 3hrs. I can squeeze 4-5hrs if I lower it a bit. This means I have to charge it half way through the day, which is a pain.

Password entry is also not great. You have to use the touch keyboard, and for security reasons it doesn't light up the keys. Makes it easy to screw up. Wish the tablet had a fingerprint reader or some other support for easier password entry.

Overall, I am very happy with this tablet. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a machine to use at work or school (or at home if you use windows apps or the office suite a lot).

Observation:
I've been following the marketing from ASUS for this tablet, and I think they have it wrong. They've been comparing it to an iPad. That'd be like Toyota comparing the Prius to a sports car. It doesn't make sense. Both the Asus Slate and iPad are fun in their own way, but serve very different purposes. Use the right tool for the task.
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on April 11, 2011
I love this slate. I've been using it in my design work for over a month now. I was in the market for the 12" Wacom Cintiq when I saw this baby hit the market. I am so glad I waited and the the eee Slate. While it does not have the same levels of pressure that the Cintiq has, nor the matte (slightly grainy)surface of the Cintiq the stylus is great. I do notice a difference between my Intuos 4's accuracy and pressure sensitivity, but it does not negatively effect my work as the difference is not that big. For some digital painters they may find it limiting, but I sure don't.

The glossy screen is rough in the sun but that's not surprising. The glass does get very hot in direct sun, so much that resting your hand on it actually hurts.
I recommend installing Inkseine on this machine, if for no other reason than for the scrolling option it gives you. I fully agree that the Win7 scrolling interface is not ideal on this machine, but Inkseine gives you a great alternative. But even without it, I don't find the Win7 scroll bar too difficult to use even with big thumbs.

This machine is perfect for Photoshop. I do miss having a SHIFT or ALT key to easily hold while working (the software keyboard can be used but is kinda annoying just for a SHIFT or ALT) but after one day my workflow has adjusted and I hardly even miss the keyboard. I work from my desk at least half the day and use my slate as an addition to my desktop. I'll be working in Maya on my desktop and have my textures open on my Slate for quick adjustments when needed. Networking with Win7 is a breeze so there is little to no lag when I save a file on my slate to it updating in Maya. I also can just grab the slate and head off to a meeting. It's wonderful for sharing updated images with the team as well as Quicktime files. Most of the other artists that I work with are jealous of my slate (one even ordered an eee Slate from his iPad the other day, i found that very funny)

On the iPad topic, I think it's a complete mistake to compare these two devices. The iPad is great for what it's for. Browsing the web, running whatever apps you like, consuming media, taking notes and such. But the eee Slate is great for digital painting (it's the pressure sensitivity that sets it apart) and the fact that it's Win7 means it can integrate with enterprise networks without a problem. Also the fact that I get the full version of Photoshop is fantastic. eee Slate and iPad have two different uses in my mind.

I don't like that I had to update the Wacom driver in order for pressure sensitivity to work in Photoshop. The driver was released before the device so why was it not already installed? But once that was taken care of it's no problem.
As for battery life, I get 3.5-4 hours with Chrome , Photoshop and Inkseine all open. I have yet to find myself in a situation where I ran out of juice at a critical moment, but I'm not freelance anymore, I am based in an office environment where I am back at my desk at least every 3 hours.
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on August 25, 2011
31OCT11, (this is a follow up from the paragraphs below) I changed my review from 5 stars to one! Bottom line, I had the computer for 5 days, it broke, the back light when out. I shipped it to ASUS, no problem, I understand sometimes things happen, I got it back and 10 days later it broke again! I just plugged in an HDMI cable and it shut off and wouldn't come back on, no power light no nothing. Let me add before I go any further that you'll read below that I'm in the military and deployed to Afghanistan, but please don't imagine for a second that I'm dragging this tablet all over the country shooting at bad guys, sleeping in the field. I'm on staff (paper pusher) and living on BAF (Bagram Airfield). So other then getting IDF (Indirect Fire "rockets/mortars) every now and then I work in an office and sleep in a barracks room, very similar to living in the states; by that I mean the tablet pretty much stays on the desk in my barracks room, unless I carry it the one step to my bed. Anyway, naturally, the second time I was a bit irritated and when I called ASUS I expected them to at least pay for my shipping and expedite the process as a consolation for selling such a poorly developed product. I tried to return it for a full refund and they wouldn't do that either! So I called Amazon and they are taking care of me. Oddly enough, I just told Amazon that the product broke twice and because I'm in Afghanistan, military, it takes 20 days to ship the product back and forth and I have only had use of it for 15 days total. They, Amazon, told me to return it and send them the bill for shipping! I didn't even have to ask - no, it's not the money it's the principal of the matter. Well it's not the money for that last incident but I also don't want to pay an additional 300.00 in shipping charges shipping it back and forth every month. I can tell you this, because of the way Amazon handled this situation I will do my best to purchase through Amazon and recommend them to everyone I know; because I know their customer service is there for the customer. I will NEVER! purchase anything with the ASUS name on it. SAMSUNG is selling a similar tablet I think I will try theirs next.

I only received this ASUS Slate about two days ago so take these comments for what they are worth and check back later for updates. The product works exactly as I had envisioned it; way faster than the netbooks using the Atom processors, which is most, if not all, of them. Looks and feels similar to an IPAD, which my wife has and loves, but has the functionality of a laptop computer, which I love and need; surprisingly even my wife, who is a die hard Apple fan, has jealousy in her eyes as she watches me open programs she has to use her MacBook Pro to open because her IPAD does not have the ability. I have had a few minor issues installing updates, nothing a reboot didn't solve. I also had the same problem one of the 1 star raters noted in that the on screen keyboard didn't pop up to let me log in...but I just pressed the keyboard button on the top of the Slate and it popped right up; wonder if he tried that...Otherwise it has been a great experience. BTW, I'm taking this to Afghanistan with me, yes I'm in the Army, so I'll be really putting it to the test! I'll let you know how that goes. :-

Pros: Lightweight, very fast for a tablet/netbook, touch screen works very well for a Win7

Cons: I agree that the power supply connector is under par for a mobile device and should be either bigger/thicker, or have the magnetic connector similar to the Apple products.

Follow up (20 Sept 2010): I deployed to Afghanistan and did my best to protect the computer from any sort of damage, knocking around etc... and thought I did a great job; pretty much kept it in my hands. Anyway, it made the flight to Manas (stop in route) but, by the time I settled on BAF (Bagram Air field) the backlight was broke; I remember reading a few complaints prior to purchase referencing backlight problems. Anyway, I called ASUS, got right though and naturally was told to send my computer in, which I did and am currently waiting for them to receive it. I'll be curious to see what they do.

Follow up (11 OCT 2011) My computer arrived at ASUS and they had it repaired, so I believe, and right back out the door the next day. However, because of their shipping method (FEDEX non-priority) it did take about a week to get back home; well to my wife in the states anyway. She did boot it up and told me that they had reformatted it. Therefore, because of the speed of the repair, I believe that ASUS either one, removed the back cover, which had my name on it, and replaced it with a front unit or 2. used an internal reset button. If it was the latter, I wish they would have just told me how to do it. Now, I'm waiting for my wife to send it to Afghanistan, so that I can start using it again. I must say that I was "somewhat" impressed with ASUS customer service because I didn't have any problems contacting them on several occasions; once the guy I talked to did seem kind of rude and for whatever reason the number they had listed online as my contact number they, the agents, could not change! Naturally when they told me they were going to reformat it, I just agreed, having read a few comments by other users complaining about ASUS telling them the same thing. Also, there interactive customer tracking worked pretty well, it was updated the day after the US postal service told me it was delivered and when it went out they sent me an email with a tracking number so that I could track it to my house in the states.
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on March 8, 2011
Am writing using Wacom. Response is excellent. For a business pro this is a strong tool: I loaded GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting and works perfectly.

Also downloaded a Blackberry app that allows me tether direct to Slate via Bluetooth. Took a while to figure it out but worked perfect and now I can tether w/o needing to add expensive wireless modem and just use data plan on my BB.

Upgraded to Windows 7 Pro and download only took about 5 minutes.

Installed MS office 10 and works fine.

Tested Home Group@Home office and swapped files instantly.

Purchased P Rage 64 Gig high speed USB drive and tested file transfers from note book to State and speed was awesome. Between the 64 Gig SSD and USB I have 128 Gig total and will never need more for a mobile device.

Sound: Good response

In comparison to the HP 500 Slate, even though the 500 is smaller, the Asus is far more user friendly. The Wacom responds better and the larger screen, for me, is easier to work with. Add 4 GB Ram and the 2 USB and tether to your BB and add an Automobile power inverter and you have an entire remote office.

UPDATE

Did an executive level meeting wtih a business protege who was literally blown away. As a corporate type, he and his staff cannot use the Ipad features. However, when I did a presentation at a breakfast meeting, he immediately saw the use and was especially impressed with screen quality. I think also the Wacom is far superior to other Slates.

Need a backup Pen?

I was concerned about losing the pen and after reading some reviews about customers who lost their pen, I ordered a Penabled Wacom from Amazon for about $30 and it works perfectly and also fits in the slot. For road warriors, you might want to order a backup.

Phone from Slate

Download Google phone and make free phone calls all over USA from your slate, and also free video conference
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on November 3, 2011
This is a fabulous tablet, to me it's just perfect. I wanted something portable that would enable A: working with Microsoft Publisher; B: working with Photoshop; C: changing out sd cards to different music or videos so as not to take up all the memory with many files; and finally D: had an HDMI output so I could watch movies on my big TV. Oh also, I wanted to be able to print.

I tried out the Xoom tablet which was pretty cool in many ways but I discovered issues that are better left for a review of that tablet some other time and place. I returned the Xoom I originally bought.

The Asus Slate I have now is SO COOL!! First, the OS is Windows 7 so the programs I am used to will work on it. It boots up from zero to fully ready in just a few seconds. Also, it seems that although this is a touch tablet and it is about as big as an Ipad, it is a full fledged computer. I haven't bought a wireless printer yet but this tablet has the ability to print directly, without having to go through Dropbox or some other program like that (or at least so it appears). I had no problem installing my Photoshop CS2 on it and I have been happily drawing away with the included stylus pen that comes with the Slate. By the way the Slate actually comes with a very cool program called ArtRage Studio that is similar to Photoshop and has a million really great features.)

I am currently using my external hard drive and/or sd cards to keep all my data, music and videos and I still have tons of room left on the Slate hard drive. Also this tablet comes with 4 Gig of RAM which is the same as my big old Dell Studio desktop.

I would recommend this tablet/laptop to anyone who cant decide whether to get a netbook or a tablet. I am just loving this tablet. Oh by the way, it comes with its own bluetooth keyboard also. I may be disappointed down the line someplace, because I admit the price is pretty hefty, but for now, I am a very happy camper.

NEW ADDED NOTE: Since i first posted this review I have now bought a wireless printer (Canon MX882). I actually haven't used the wireless feature though, I just have it hooked up to my tablet with a regular usb cable. It works perfectly with no difference whatsoever in the way my old printer printed from my big old clunky Dell desktop. This is a very important feature - to me anyway - since most of my friends that have tablets are unable to print from them without going through Dropbox or Cloud or something.
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on May 15, 2013
I bought my ASUS EEE Slate one year ago. One of my colleagues had it and loved it. I also love the touch and pen feature. It's the best in the industry, imo. My work is very meeting extensive and very mobile. Having a laptop, which serves both as a laptop and tablet with the ability to write and draw is huge.

Unfortunately, this is where the positives end. 4 months into my purchase, the laptop suddenly stopped working. It won't turn on. The customer service required that I send the laptop to Texas, with having to pay shipping. During the whole process, there was very little in terms of updates offered. 3 weeks later, the laptop shows up in my office. No explanation offered on what was wrong with it or how was it fixed. I even called. Nobody had any idea or clue what was wrong with it! One of the problems was with the Bluetooth, which was never fixed.

A year into the purchase, it breaks again! The same customer service experience ensues. Asus took a week just to acknowledge that the product was received. Then, took another week to tell me that I was out of warranty. A couple of flustered phone calls later, I find out that they have the wrong date of purchase. Throughout the whole back and forth, it is evident that their responses are clearly read from a script.

I still haven't received my laptop, with little or no information being offered by their support team.

I just placed an order with a different manufacturer as I will never purchase another product by ASUS. They may have great laptops if they keep running. But if it breaks down, you are in for an adventure trying to get it fixed!
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on March 15, 2011
I've had this for a few weeks and immediately installed Win7 Ultimate. Purchase was for complimenting my media center, playing recreational games, and using while traveling. People compare this to other tablets because that's how ASUS have advertised it. I originally thought there was a problem hooking it up to my plasma and 5% of the sides being cut off but it was a TV overscan problem which I fixed with the Intel software. I would wait and get the 4/64 model, I filled mine up within a few days of use. Also make sure you turn off Flash hardware acceleration for 1080p YouTube videos. I will try and mention some +'s and -`s that others have not mentioned.

Pluses
- Light
- Mini HDMI output
- It's a real computer
- Fast boot (will run games up to about 2005)
- Works with PS2 controller adapter
- Easy and fast to reinstall Windows
- I can now use it as a giant cell phone with Google Voice and call + text anyone for free.
- Sturdy feel
- Slim power supply with USB charging port
- Auto rotate and rotate lock

Minuses
- Problems once in awhile with touch not responding or not responding correctly. Keypad doesn't pop up all the time for text boxes. It should auto pop-up like android phones if you're touching. Sometimes I have to touch a text box multiple times before the keyboard icon pops up and then I have to click on that before I can start typing. So I decided to just have the keyboard pop-up when I touch the icon on the edge. It also has problems sometimes discerning between dragging, flicking and scrolling. I have a hard time playing Angry Bird on it. It should know only to have flicking on when I am browsing.
- I'm a lefty and the palm reject is wonky. Sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. I must be dumb because it doesn't like my typing and frustratingly translates incorrectly more often than not. Hopefully the training will fix it. Also, sometimes when I hover my finger over an area, it thinks I'm trying to select.
- Delicate power tip
- Extremely difficult to insert and remove USB devices on lower USB port. USB cover always gets in the way so I have to use a USB cable coupler.
- The folio could have been designed better. It should have been designed to stand like an A frame. Instead it sometimes slips and folds into itself and doesn't prop up to an appropriate viewing angle so I have to jerry rig it with something to keep it up. I hardly ever use the two tiny flaps it comes with because who uses those kinds of angles while on the computer? I will probably be buying the 3M stand soon to compensate.
- I have a Netgear dual band 2.4/5.0 ghz gaming router. My 5 year old Dell 1505 can connect to my 5.0 range. This only connects to the 2.4.

Knick nacks
- Took 1 month to ship
- Not easy to replace the SSD and memory
- Non-removable battery/battery life (The XP18000 is still not a viable solution because the tip for the EP121 is not available yet and requires McGyver'ing from Walmart)
- I don't like the bluetooth keyboard layout. I always mistype keys on my right hand because they seem to be shifted one key to the right or left (I forget). I also had a hard time pairing it, the instructions didn't work correctly.
- Slightly costly
- The button on the right for Aero flip / Flip 3D is nearly useless. I use the taskbar to switch between programs. Why can't I program it to make it hibernate, , change power settings, change brightness or right-click instead?
- Would be nice to login with a touch sequence like Androids. I know there is software out there that can do it.

Even with all these minuses, I am overall happy with my purchase because I know it's bleeding edge technology. I'm sure in a few years they will make everything right.
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on June 13, 2011
The Asus EEE Slate, in my humble opinion, has everything that anyone needs from a tablet format device.

The Intel i5 processor is no slouch; this thing moves.

I have IE9 installed and the browsing experience is quite good, although not as swish as the iPad or Android browser experience. The screen resolution is great, watching movies on this are a treat, and on a twelve inch screen, the Kindle app for E-Reading books and magazines is also a very sattisfying experience. But I don't want to digress, the point I'd like to make here is that this product is not just about entertainment--it's more than that: it is about Productivity. Without a doubt, the EP121 allows me to do everything I need (or want) to do.

I'm not a cloud convert yet, I'm going to play the watch-and-see game for a while before I make up my mind on that score, so the built-in 64GB solid state drive, dual USB and SD card slot suits me just fine: I can install and run all of my usual Office programs, sync my documents and media files to USB or SD, no problem. Or if it floats your boat, sync to the cloud as well--happy?

The Wacom digitizer and inking technology is fishkin brilliant. I do a lot of writing, sometimes I like to type, sometimes I like to swing it long-hand. Either way I'm very happy. I can pull out the bluetooth keyboard and mouse (not a fan of on-screen keyboards) or kick back and use the digitizer--Office OneNote and MS Journal Writer are excellent products for hand-writing recognition.

But there is a downside, and it is (as is almost always the case with tablets) battery life. It is ... well, not fantastic. If I turn off wifi and bluetooth and turn down screen brightness all the way, I can squeeze three to four hours out of it. And that is the main negative. So to mitigate this, I purchased an Energizer XP18000 portable battery which, once I get my EP121 tip, will give me an additional three to four hours. So, completely mobile, I am able to run eight hours without a wall plug. Not bad.

But weigh it up for yourself. If it's purely for E-Book reading, fuhgeddaboutit, nothing comes even close to the Kindle. I, myself, have a Kindle, and cannot speak highly enough of it. For electronic media and entertainment, app variety and web browsing, you have a choice: the Ipad or the many Android devices out there. Personally, if I was spending my money on a device for pure entertainment, it would be on the Ipad.

For productivity, I have found this marvellous Eee Slate EP121 more than sattisfactory. But if I want to watch a movie, play music, browse the Internet, share my content, draw (Art Rage is the best goddamn artist program around), type, write free-hand or Skype it with my overseas relatives (forgot to mention it has a camera), I can do that.
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on March 6, 2011
I've had my new ASUS EP121 for the weekend now and I must say that I am quickly falling in love with this little device. However, if you are not familiar with owning a Tablet PC you might find your new toy to be much like purchasing a Backhoe. You can do a lot with it, but you need to learn how to operate the thing to really enjoy it. The USB ports take some getting use to. They can be difficult to work with but my advice is to not try and force a connector into the slot. You need to take your time and line it up before trying to connect. Be careful proping the device up in its "monitor" position and then trying to connect a device into the USB slot. I actually caused the computer to flop over onto the desk and this gave me the ebbie geebies. Fortunately the device does not have a rotating hard drive. The harddrive that you have on the system is one of the fastest that I have seen but it is small and you will fill it up if you are not careful. I strongly recommend getting at least a 64 GB smart card. I would also recommend getting a Microsoft bluetooth mouse just to make life easy for you. You will not always be using the touch display and the mouse comes in very handy. I also absolutely love the Microsoft keyboard. Excellent tactile touch. Wish the home key had greater accessibility but other than that I am ok with it. For both the mouse and keyboard I strongly recommend everyone purchase energizer ultimate lithium batteries so that you don't have to keep replacing them. I also purchase a new Axiotron Digitizer pen off ebay for about $10. Keep in mind that not all digitizer pens will work with the Tablet PC so be careful and do your homework before pulling your wallet out.
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on March 16, 2013
Most of the reviews I've seen for this tablet are for more general uses--email, web surfing, et cetera. There are only a few reviews geared specifically to artists, which comes as a surprise given the utility of this tablet for content creators.

Let me tell you a bit about myself: I'm a cartoonist who works digitally, and I was tired of being chained to my desktop and Wacom tablet. Yes, I could have dragged out my Wacom tablet and laptop for some work outside the house. And I did, a few times, but the whole setup was so cumbersome that I preferred to avoid this. So there I was... Housebound. Not even just housebound--deskbound. All I wanted to do was sit on the sofa and draw, but I was stuck at my desk while the rest of the family hung out in the living room, watching TV.

So I wanted an all-in-one solution. Something with all the power of my digital setup, with the ease and portability of a sketchpad. It had to have a good screen, Wacom sensitivity, and a decent battery.

And getting to draw directly onscreen? Fuggedaboutit. Almost every digital artist I know dreams of owning a Cintiq, but with the base model coming in at around $1000, I wasn't getting one of those any time soon. And again, portability would be an issue. I also looked into buying a Modbook Pro, a tricked-out Macbook that's been converted into a tablet with a touchscreen and pressure sensitivity. But for all that, they ask several thousand dollars, which is way above my budget right now. I also considered the Samsung Galaxy, but I needed to be able to use all my usual programs, and those weren't available in the Android ecosystem.

Enter: the Asus Eee Slate.

Here it was. A Wacom-enabled tablet with a full operating system! I am in love with this machine. It's everything I hoped it would be. I now have the portability of a sketchbook with the ease and flexibility of a digital environment. The base model runs Manga Studio 5 without any hiccups, and I can create finished pages with multiple layers, at 600 DPI. Please bear in mind, though, that this is pretty much the only thing I use this machine for, aside from some light web browsing for reference photos. I guess I wasn't shopping for a tablet PC so much as a digital sketchbook, and at this, the EP121 excels.

Re: the Wacom digitizer. I was a little worried that it only had 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. I'm used to working with 1024. But honestly, after I futzed with the pressure settings in my home program (Manga Studio) for a few minutes, the experience is as natural and responsive as ever. I don't see a difference between the lines I create with the EP121, versus my supposedly more-sensitive Wacom tablet. I also needed to get used to the fact that the cursor registers just a hair off of where I rest the pen tip, but all I needed was a few days to orient myself.

I'm pleasantly surprised at how roomy the screen feels. I was used to working on a 20-inch monitor, so I was afraid that 11 inches would be a severe downgrade. It wasn't--the aspect ratio is a little odd, but it gives the illusion of more room. Also, the screen does rotate between portrait and landscape mode, which helps a lot.

Battery is ok... It's about the same runtime I get with my laptop while running Manga Studio. The power brick is pretty light. I typically don't carry it unless I know I'll be parking myself at the library or coffee house for an hour or two. For drawing during my lunch break, I'm fine.

So yeah... It's pretty clear I'm a fan of this machine. If you're an artist who's considering making the leap and buying this, I hope this review has helped. Even used, this thing isn't cheap. With the lack of artist-centric reviews out there, forking over the money was a little nerve-wracking. If you do decide to buy, I suggest buying an SD card for extra storage (my 32 GB model had just enough space to hold Manga Studio 5 and AVG Anti-Virus, though I had to delete poor ArtRage to do so). Also, think about buying some new pen tips for the stylus. I've found that any Wacom replacement nib will do. I like the Hard Felt Nibs.
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