Below is a transcript of the video in which I give a rambling good-bye to the world’s best Wacom alternative, the ASUS Eee Slate b121. It seems like it’s been with me forever, having featured in one of my first videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=troInC0IEyo
And here is its final video appearance:
Willing to give the world’s greatest Wacom alternative a home? Here’s the eBay listing: https://www.ebay.com/itm/WACOM-ALTERNATIVE-ASUS-Eee-Slate-b121-4GB-RAM-Wi-Fi-12-1-pressure-sensitive/273772784358
This here is one of my favorite tech pieces of all time, the Asus EEE Slate b121. Once upon a time, before there was a https://www.tabletsforartists.com/, it was near impossible to determine which tablets were pressure sensitive, pressure sensitivity being pretty much a necessity for any professional digital artist. You can find evidence of the difficulties of touch sensitivity identification in my series of posts that combine the words “living nightmare” and “Lenovo” and by checking the Amazon community Q&A of older generation tablets.
One problem was that manufactures like Lenevo seemed to purposely obfuscate the specifications of their hardware. Compounding the issue, manufacturers that did offer the functionality didn’t market it properly. Take for example, the Slate b121. Asus did nothing to tout the fact that this tablet was Wacom penabled. At release, the tablet was a mere $1400. That’s right, instead of buying a Wacom monitor you could get a Wacom monitor with a free, nearly future-proof powerful laptop built in for less than half the price. Wacom realized that licensing their tech out to companies that could produce it at many multiples cheaper would soon put them out of business. So they stopped that and instead produced their own many multiples more expensive type tablets.
Meanwhile the b121, again, not being marketed properly, didn’t do great. I was able to buy this one, brand new, half-off, for $700. So essentially it was like buying a free Wacom monitor at 75% off and them throwing in a powerful laptop. It’s on this tablet that I first learned to use zBrush. Here’s a feathery T-Rex I created. There’s a post somewhere explaining why I put a bird on it, but I think I’m going to redo this because gigantatherm.
Anyways, after many years of service I’m going to sell this workhorse. It has one of the earlier generation i5s, 4GB of RAM, which you might not think is enough but here it is running OBS for video capture AND zbrush, we’re subdividing up to, I dunno, however many million polygons and it’s going smoothly, you can see the pressure sensitivity in action. Some caveats; the fans are always engaged and noisy and there’s a tiny bit of case unindenting because that’s the first point of entry for any spooge tool. Finally, I’m selling it without an mSATA (and obviously, an OS), the reason is it’s difficult to sanitize data-laden sata for safe re-sale so I’m just going to keep it. Comes with the PSU and a brand new bluetooth keyboard. I might even have the original box!
Probably will sell it for around $120. And if you think that this video/blog is just a clever excuse for trying to sell it, you’re wrong. If you can find a decent one for cheaper then buy that one because it is definitely a worthy Wacom alternative. And then when those sell out, buy mine, because I truly believe every digital artist should have one of these. (It’s so choice, if you have the means I highly recommend it).
And that’s the curious story of the curiously named Asus EEE Slate b121 Tablet, a highly capable Wacom alternative!