ASUS has a strong track record of well received tablets like the Google Nexus 7 (best selling Android tablet in the third quarter this year) and the Eee Pad Transformer Prime (first slate with a quad-core processor). Joining the impressive list is the ASUS VivoTab.
Combining solid build quality with elegance, ASUS VivoTab sports a brushed aluminum back, rounded edges on the glass, and a chassis made using state-of-the-art nano-molding technology. Under the hood, the slate features a powerful 1.8 GHz Intel Atom (Clover Trail) processor, 2GB of RAM, 10 hours of battery life, NFC capability, and a high-resolution 8MP camera (as opposed to the 5MP in the Microsoft Surface). The VivoTab's 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 resolution display boasts an amazing 600nit compared to the 400nit luminosity of the Surface. While the screen's pixel density of 135 pixels per inch is a fraction of the iPad 4 Retina display's 264 ppi, it tops than the Microsoft Surface's 148 ppi and the average 10.1-inch Android tablet's 149 ppi.
ASUS pioneered the concept of convertible tablets with its Transformer range of Android devices. Inheriting the design characteristics of the Transformer, the VivoTab "transforms" into a fully functional laptop. The optional docking station protects the screen when shut, provides additional 9 hours of battery life, keyboard, touchpad and MicroSD slot. Weighing just 1,340 grams and just 20.9 mm on the side with the keyboard dock attached, the device is thin and light as a mid-range notebook.
The VivoTab uses the full-blown Windows 8 -- not the Windows RT running on the VivoTab RT or the Microsoft Surface RT -- and thus will be able to run legacy or desktop programs available for Windows-running PCs. Windows 8 is also able to support true multitasking and native drivers for peripherals like printers and game controllers.
Unlike the VivoTab RT, the VivoTab comes with a Wacom dual digitizer which lets you use your fingers or a digital pen to interact with the tablet.
Need to know: Asus VivoTab
1. The VivoTab together with the docking station is a powerful device. (The Good)
2. Among the best designed and most durable tablet PC. (The Good)
3. Pricier than other high-end tablets. (The Bad)
4. Availability of Windows 8 apps still limited in comparison to the larger Apple and Android ecosystems. (The Bad)