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ASUS has released Windows 8 Drivers for the EP121 and B121

October 31, 2012 11 comments

Looks like ASUS released Windows 8 Drivers for the EP121 and B121 Eee Pad Slates.  New BIOS update and other drivers.  <10/30/2012>

 

ASUS B121

http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_Pad/Eee_Slate_B121/#download (stopped working)

updated:

http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=Eee+Slate+B121&p=28&s=3

 

ASUS EP121

http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_Pad/Eee_Slate_EP121/#download (stopped working)

updated:

http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=Eee+Slate+EP121&p=28&s=3

 

You will get the following pop up about some incompatibilities.

 

W8 Warning

ASUS EP121 and B121 have the same exact SanDisk SSD

May 28, 2012 Leave a comment

I was hoping to see an improvement in the SSD but the B121 is really the EP121 with a different Wireless/Bluetooth card and the TPM Chip.  Other than that they look to be the same hardware.

SANDISK 64GB SSD P4
mSATA 50mm
SDSA4D4-064G

EP121 Specifications here.
B121 Specifications here.

I have upgraded to an Intel 310 80GB which has increased the performance drastically.  You can buy here.  A decent upgrade, but may not be worth the cost.

 

CrystalDiskMark | faq

SANDISK 64GB SSD

B121 CrystalDiskMark Test 1 (201205071920) Sandisk

 

Intel 310 80GB SSD

B121 CrystalDiskMark Test 1 (20120526) Intel 80GB SSD

 

Windows Experience Index increased from a 5.9 to a 7.6

EP121

WEI (2011-09-03) 1348

 

B121

B121 WEI (20120526) after putting in Intel 80GB SSD

Install Windows 8 using USB Stick

March 18, 2012 3 comments

Use USB Stick to install Windows 8.

What you need:

1. USB Stick, a minimum of 4GB for Windows 8 (x86 or x86).

2. Download and Install the Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool here.

3. Download the latest version Microsoft Windows 8 beta (DP, CP, RP).

Steps:

1. Plug USB Stick into the Computer.  Note the drive letter associated with the USB Stick.

2. Launch the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool

3. In Step 1 browse and select the ISO file you download above.

Step 1 - Choose the ISO

4. In Step 2 click on the USB device button in the lower right.

Step 2 - Choose media type

5. In Step 3 select the USB stick you plugged in and click “Begin copying” button in the lower right.

Step 3 - Insert USB device

6. You will get prompted to erase USB stick, after confirming that it is the correct USB device click “Erase USB Device”.

Step 3a - erase usb stick

7. You will get another confirmation.  Click Yes to erase.

Step 3b - confirmation

8. In Step 4 it will format the USB stick, make it bootable, and extract the ISO files to the USB stick.

Step 4 - Copying files

9. Finally after about 8 minutes you will get successful message.  Click the upper X in the right corner to close.

Step 5 - Finished

Note: Depending on the type of Tablet/Slate you have you will want to enter the BIOS and change the boot order.  I did not have to do this with my Asus EP121, it automatically booted from the USB Stick.  However my HP Slate 500 and Samsung Series 7 Slate you had to enter the BIOS to change the boot sequence.

Happy computing!

Hey, turn off the (SSD) defrag dude!

March 3, 2012 5 comments

I have run across an issue that had me more than frustrated.  I was getting random crashes and the great new Windows 8 BSOD.  After some searches I found several references to defrag being the culprit.  Well after making the change I can happily report no more crashes and BSOD.

Turn off Defrag.
At the main Windows 8 screen (Tile Screen) click on Desktop
Hit the “Windows key” + “R” to bring up the Run and type in “Control Panel”
Up in the upper right corner type “Defrag” and hit enter.
Click “Defragment your hard drive” link under Administrative Tools.
On the Optimize Drives screen click “Change Settings”
Uncheck “Run on a schedule (recommended)” and click Ok button.

From Intel
http://www.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd/sb/CS-029623.htm#5

Installing Windows 8 CP on Asus EP121 Part 1

March 3, 2012 4 comments

I love trying new things and I especially love being a geek and trying out new operating systems.  I have thrown Windows 8 Developers Preview on an HP TC1100, HP Slate 500, Dell Latitude ST, and now my Asus EP121 and now trying out the new Consumer Preview.

Pre-Steps:

1. Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview 64-bit here (3.3GB)

*Note: Be sure to grab the Product Key from the download page. Key is required for installation.

2. Create a bootable USB Stick. Download Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool here. This allows you to create a bootable USB stick with the downloaded iso file. This makes the process so easy. Click, click, walk away and boom, you have a bootable Windows 8 USB drive. I used a 8 GB USB stick that you can get for $10 at Walmart. Note: A 4 GB will work for both 32-bit and 64-bit.

Backup

1. Run Windows Image Backup and take a backup of your Windows 7 system so you can restore back if you want.

Install Process

1. Plug USB into Slate and start.  The Slate will automatically recognize the USB stick and boot from it.  No need to get into BIOS.  I am also using a USB hub so I can run USB Mouse, Keyboard, and USB Stick.

2. Go through the usual installation options. I selected fresh Install (not an upgrade).

3. Once complete this is the lock screen.  Love the blue…

2012-03-03_21-19-31_186

This is the main screen.

2012-03-03_21-14-22_753

In my next post I will go through getting drivers installed and configured.

Update: I no longer have the EP121. Traded up for a Samsung Series 7 Slate.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview – Feb 29th

February 15, 2012 1 comment

If you are a geek like me you were probably pretty excited with the recent news that Windows 8 Consumer Preview (CP) is slated to be available on February 29th.

I have been playing around with Windows 8 Developers Preview (DP) on several of my Tablet PC’s (HP TC1100, HP Slate 500, Asus EP121, and Dell Latitude ST) since September and have been really impressed how they have all performed.  I am excited about the new touch features in Windows 8.  Looking forward to the CP.

I find it interesting that in recent software releases by Microsoft they are not calling things Beta any longer. You have the Community Technology Preview (CTP), Release Candidates (RC), and now with Windows 8 they are calling it a Consumer Preview (CP). I guess the word Beta has the stigma of being buggy. Anyway, I must say that I have been more than happy with the Windows 8 DP version.

Well, I am anxious to download it and to get it on my machines. Why you say, because that is what we geeks do.

My impressions of the Asus Eee Slate EP121

November 6, 2011 1 comment

The Asus Eee Slate EP121 is the most powerful Tablet on the market (as of 10/2011) with an Intel Dual Core i5 processor (x64), 64GB Solid State Drive, and 4GB Ram.

You can get the full specifications (here).

EP121

I have always loved the concept of the Tablet PC.  I like the idea of being to use the computer and also the ability to use it as a Tablet with the stylus pen to write/ink.

My first introduction to the Tablet PC world was the HP TC1100 Tablet PC.  This came out around 2003 era with Windows XP Tablet Edition.  The Wacom digitizer and inking was fantastic.  I still own and use this Tablet to this day and even have Windows 7 rocking on it.  This definitely gave it new life.  I always thought if this basic design was updated with today’s technology it would be the best Tablet PC ever.  Still waiting.

When I heard that HP was releasing the HP Slate 500 I couldn’t wait, I thought this was the update to the TC1100 that I was waiting for.  I was quickly disappointed with the inking.  The N-trig digitizer and pen wasn’t a fluid as my old HP TC1100 and it was noisy to boot.  Then I heard about the Asus Eee Slate EP121 having the Wacom digitizer and I thought that maybe this is the one.

I have had the Asus Eee Slate EP121 device for just over two months now.

Grade A:
The Wacom Digitizer and Pen.  The fluid inking with the Wacom pen make it a real pleasant writing experience.  It is really like a hot knife cutting through butter.  It is that smooth.

The CPU power (Intel Dual Core i5 processor, x64), Ram (4GB), and Solid State Drive (64GB) that really make this a workhorse.  This is more powerful than my Dell Latitude E6400 that I am running at work.

Touch screen and brightness are really outstanding.  The wide viewing angles are great.

Grade B:
I like the included Bluetooth keyboard.  It is a great addition to make this very nice to use at your desk.  The included case also allows you stand the Tablet upright.

Includes 2 USB ports, Full SD Card slot, and mini HDMI port.

The pen silo.  This is huge having a slot where the pen can go in.  Very nice and really under rated in my opinion.

Grade C:
The wireless card seems to be a little weak in reception.  I am not getting great connectivity or speed.

I may get a little heat on this but the size of the display is too big (12.1”).  I wish this was more around the 10” range.  Fitting more of a page in portrait without the blank edges and wasted space.  Might be just me.

Grade D:
The noise coming from the fan being constantly on.  I understand that this is a Dual Core i5 processor, but the fan is annoying.  I feel like I need to tape up the exhaust fan cover when I go into a meeting.  It is very noticeable.

The battery life states 4.5hrs, but I am getting around 3hrs of use and that is mostly notes, and web browsing.  Using a better power mode setting like balanced mode would definitely increase this time.  Again I can understand some of that with the power that this has.  Just a little disappointed.

No rear facing camera.

Missing TPM Security.

Windows 7 Home Premium.

Update: I see that Asus has released a refresh model BP121 which looks to be more Business related and includes the TPM Security and Windows 7 Ultimate edition.

OVERALL GRADE
I would give this an overall score of a C+.  It is definitely on the right track, but at the price of this unit I would find something else.  It is missing some key components for me to really recommend.