Williams Illustration, LLC

    Freddie E. Williams II, DC Comics illustrator, piloted the ASUS Eee Slate B121 to meet his need for a portable yet powerful graphics art slate tablet.


    Inspired by a copy of "The Uncanny X-man #272" featured in Jim Lee's artwork, Freddie Williams began drawing comics seriously at the age of 15 and was set on pursuing a career as a comic book illustrator. In 2005, at the San Diego Comic Con, he submitted a portfolio to the DC talent search. Later that same year, he was hired to complete the Seven Soldiers Mister Miracle series and soon thereafter, signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics. In 2006, he became a regular artist on Robin from issue 149 and in early 2008, began illustrating the Flash comic. Williams owns and operates his own business, Williams Illustration, LLC, frequently participates in comic book podcasts, and uploads digital artwork tutorials to his YouTube page . He is known for working almost exclusively in Digital format and has also authored a book about digital artwork, The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics.

    The opportunities

    Williams was looking for a graphics art tablet that could serve as an electronic sketchbook. He kept several factors in mind while testing out different tablets. To create his comic book illustrations, Williams begins by creating a rough layout composition and works digitally until the structure and proportion of the page are finalized. Once finalized, the drawings are printed out in light blue or grey, inked traditionally, then scanned back in, and sent to DC Comics. Since most of his work is done digitally, Williams needs the versatility offered by Adobe® Photoshop® tools. When Williams tested the iPad, it was only capable of running a scaled down version of Adobe Photoshop. A scaled down version proved to be insufficient as Photoshop is heavily used in experimenting with line qualities, silhouettes, lighting, and texture. Photoshop layer and the lasso tool are also often used. Williams also works heavily with Google SketchUp, a 3D Modeling Program, so a tablet that had the power to run full Adobe Photoshop and Google SketchUp was essential. Prior to considering adopting a graphics tablet, Williams relied on a mobile setup which consisted of a laptop and a tablet. The setup did not support the flexibility to work from anywhere and created ergonomic challenges.

    The outcomes

    While testing the ASUS Eee Slate, Williams found that it met many of his needs for an electronic sketchbook. Incorporating design tools within a portable form factor, Williams no longer faced the ergonomic challenges from the previous laptop and tablet setup and could continue working on illustrations from anywhere. Sketching with the Eee Slate was easy and intuitive, thanks to its ability to switch from portrait to landscape orientation simply by rotation and the Eee Slate's proportionate size to that of a comic book page. The tablet's included Wacom® Digitizer stylus, which neatly stowed away in the back, featured a thin tip and was pressure sensitive to capture the variations of every stroke and offered greater precision. Wacom products are preferred by illustrators for their ability to allow the digital creation of artwork without compromising the natural feel of pen on paper. Williams also liked how his old Intuos stylus, which featured a large, comfortable grip, was still compatible with the tablet.

    Equipped with an Intel® Core™ i5-470UM processor and Windows® 7, the 12.1" Eee Slate delivered the power needed to run the full version of Adobe Photoshop, granting access to the program's full toolset for refining illustrations and Google SketchUp, used to create and modify 3D models. The tablet's power and portability not only equipped Williams with the tools necessary to let his creativity flourish but also let him stay creative and productive while on the move.

    Eee Slate

    The 12.1" Eee Slate B121 features the power, security, and performance that professionals need to get more done. Equipped with an Intel Core i5-470UM processor and a Windows 7 Professional operating system, the slate delivers the processing power and business productivity tools of a notebook PC in a portable tablet form factor. Confidential data is protected with an onboard Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and the slate's Computrace®LoJack® (subscription required) is ready to protect your data in the event of theft. A bundled Bluetooth keyboard, an integrated Wacom Digitizer stylus, and a multi-touch screen built with durable Corning® Gorilla® Glass provide users with multiple data input options.