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147 posts

Master Geek


  # 541370 5-Nov-2011 07:35
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Edwood: I used to use the HP TX2, but some dork stole it, and I've been tabletless for 6 months or so...

I need to buy a new tablet, preferably a slate (or slate-convertible), and I need to be able to use it outside, and to handwrite notes on it...  Seems like the EP121 is the machine for me.
Pity I can't walk down the road and buy one!

Questions for you guys who have gone to the trouble of getting one...

[1] - Outside use ok?
I need to use the tablet outside - ie the EP121 screen ok in this environment? Do i need to buy an anti-glare thing as well?

[2] - Power issues with USA
Presumably, when I buy it from AMazon, I get shipped a US power supply.  How do I get around the US / NZ power incompatibility issue/s ?  Do I need to buy an adapter at the same time?

[3] - Final words of advise?
Anything else I should know or consider before taking the plunge and giving Amazon my credit card details?


EDITS:
 -  I just had another thought - looks like I might need to buy a spare battery for it.  (Assuming my in-car usb charger wont do anything)
 - I've also just spent the last hour trying to work out how to get an Amazon retailer to ship to me... looks like i'll have to figure out the re-shipping thing too. :(.

Thanks kindly!


Ed.



Sorry for the delayed post and I have replied to your PM, but I can post here too so anyone who is considering an Ep121 gets some benefit. 

To answer in order: 

1. I don't use it a lot outside, but the screen is fairly bright, careful if you go for anti-glare because it will probably effect the touch and pen interface, lot's of info here: http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/ep121-slate/ 
 
2. Power won't be a problem as the adapter brick is 110/240 and has a detachable US cable and you can just use an NZ one. 

3.  I use the Ep121 as my day to day work PC I plug it into a usb port replicator (this one http://www.pctronix.co.nz/product_info.php?products_id=27726) and just use it like a desktop, if I want to take notes I just disconnect and carry it around, the hand writing recognition is awesome and means I don't retype anything using Onenote or Ms Word 2010. I have just come back from a 2 week, 5 country IT study tour and the Ep121 was great - light and good for travel and note taking. 

4. You can't replace the battery or use a spare, so a cigarette lighter to power converter might be best in the car.  The guys on the tablet review forum recommend an external battery brick but you have to get the right adapter tip as the ep121 has a very non-standard one - however I think they are available now. 

Other things that are useful: 
  • I have a USB to ethernet adapter for fast transfers as the Ep121 has no ethernet port. 
  • I also have a USB to VGA adaptor, the first one didn't work with the Ep121 but the second one I got does and has the the same drivers as the USB port replicator. (it's at work and I can't remember the model just now)
  • I use a wired mouse directly into the Ep121 in desktop mode, wireless or  connecting to the port replicator was a little laggy - no problems for ports as the Ep121 has 2 USB ports, like a real computer should, ahem, Ipad...
As for shipping I used a reshipper in New York, although I didn't know Amazon was going to ship it from the west coast by road, so that was a fun wait - not.   

Good luck with your fast shipment Ed - anything else you need to know just ask... 

200 posts

Master Geek


  # 541390 5-Nov-2011 09:01
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Thanks for the response(s)...

I have had a few nightmares... I ended up purchasing a Motion CL900, which despite being slower, more expensive, smaller, uglier, and heavier, was highly recommended by several theoretically unbiased professionals...  Oh, and it came with local support / warranty etc...  (It's also ruggedised, has GPS, cellular, and a better screen for outside)
However, within an hour of opening the box, I had established the CL900 was far too slow for the use cases I had explained to the salespeople, and I sent it back... paying $200 for the privilege.

So... tail between my legs, I went back to e-bay, found a guy with lots of trades and 100% good feedback - He'd been given his EP121 as a gift, and decided after a day or so he wasn't really a tablet-guy.
So I bought his 1-day old Ep121 for $790 USD, and paid $290 for uberfast shipping.
The package was returned to sender at the US border, and is now being resent with a few extra letters added to the description so the lovely customs people can tick their boxes.
The seller paid me a little goodwill refund to apologize for the hassle, and I'm confident that I've got a top-quality seller.
I figure I've had enough bad luck so far, so I look forward to reviving my shiny new toy work tool next week!


More on topic(ish)...

Shipping:
I just added 'Shipping cost' to the fields that e-bay displayed, and this let me see any/all sellers who would ship to NZ.  (ie. if they have a price, then they ship to NZ).  ...so, whilst it limited my sellers, I didn't have to bother with a reshipper.

Power:
Detachable US power cable - Sweet! 
I will have to track down a car charger of some description.  For $50 this looks like it will do the trick (12-150v inverter) - or for $70 from DSE, I could get a more versatile one (12-230v inverter).  (Oh, and If I went to DSE, i'm sure Id find way to justify the need to buy this)
I will wait and see, but I think it's a 'given' that I will need this.

Use-case:
Unfortunatly, my primary use case involves entering data and notes into tables whilst on the road...  I think I will just use tables within OneNote, and copy & paste the data over to excel once i'm sure it's accurate.



Anyhooo...  The Asus EP121 promises  to be a great tablet that offers all the goodness of my old HP TX2 in a slate form factor... I'm awaiting its arrival with much anticipation.


edit: strikethrough font not working
edit2: strikethrough DOES work if you use bbcode

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