Asus Vivo RT
The Asus Vivo RT, proved to be something of a mixed bag, its up to someone else to provide the first truly great Windows 8 tablet, so can Asus deliver it?
By Chris Messenger | Published 01/12/2012
Great build quality. Very sturdy
Great at being a tablet or a laptop
Includes Office RT
Standard display. Not the best available
Slightly awkward typing with dock
Metro apps only. No legacy support
Small amount of apps in marketplace
Windows RT, the tablet-friendly version of Windows 8, has now officially been launched. After RT’s flagship product, The Asus Vivo RT, proved to be something of a mixed bag, its up to someone else to provide the first truly great Windows 8 tablet, so can Asus deliver it? We sent our reviewer into the field to find out.
Borrowing its look from the Asus Vivo RT, the Vivo Tab has the same, ‘slab with a keypad’ look, but has smoothed over quite a few of the Surface’s clunky edges. In fact, it is lighter, thinner and better looking than its rival. The metal back casing is nice as well and adds to the tablet’s ‘quality’ feel.
The screen is nice and bright and is again better than the Surface’s screen, although that doesn’t mean that it comes anywhere near the iPad’s ‘Retina Display’ in terms of quality. Meanwhile, the inclusion of a stylus is very welcome indeed and is probably going to be one of the Vivo Tab’s major selling points when all is said and done.
Since the disappointment of the Surface, I’m not overly convinced that Tegra and Windows are the best combination in the world, but I’m willing to try anything twice. In addition to the 1.3 GHz processor, we get 32GB of storage capacity (complete with SSD function to boost that if needed), Micro HDMI output and an 8 Megapixel camera.
£374 is a bit too much for this tablet. Yes, its nice, but it isn’t nicer than an iPad. Yes, it includes the keypad, but I’m not overly convinced about the keypad. At least with the Surface the extra expense is your own personal choice.
Sadly, as pretty as the Vivo Tab looks, this is an overly expensive tablet. By costing a around the same as both the brand new iPad 4 and the brand new Asus Vivo RT, the Vivo Tab sets the bar a little higher than it can actually jump.
This is a choppy, uneven and inconsistent device that doesn’t reward you much at all for buying it. On the outside, the bright screen and neat design impress you, but the keyboard just isn’t up to muster and suffers from being just a tad too small.
On the inside, Windows RT was sloppy and confusing on the Surface and the same applies here. I won’t go as far to say that it’s another Vista, but its not exactly lighting the world up in the way we hoped.
Windows RT is missing a lot of vital functions (by which I mean that they aren’t easy to find). Whilst you’re looking for said functions, it does seem to be following its own agenda. It’s the software equivalent of the supermarket trolley with the buggered wheels: yes, it moves, but never in the way you want or expect it to. Still, we hold out hope for Windows 8.
Most of these faults could well be overlooked if the device didn’t cost so darn much, but for that sort of money, I don’t think its unreasonable to presume iPad quality or above.
What Other Users Say
It seems that there’s a bit of a scam going on over at Amazon.co.uk, where customers are being mislead and buying a device which claims to be a Vivo Tab and is, in fact, a cheap knock-off. Buyers beware, seriously.
Elsewhere, the Vivo tab has been garnering mixed reviews in some quarters and good reviews in others. ‘PC Adviser’s Melissa J Perenson gave it a considered 3½/5, offering a fair and balanced review (albeit laced with an understandable frustration at RT’s “quirks and omissions”). CNet.com’s review also offers 3½ /5 and Joel Santo Domingo of ‘PCmag.com’ criticized the “cramped” keypad and Windows RT’s relative lack of apps. He did, however, refer to this tablet as “ an intriguing choice” and praised the (frankly excellent) battery life.
All in all, it’s another mixed bag. In hardware terms, this is nicer to look at and easier to manage than the Surface, but nowhere near as well made. In software terms, RT is going to be an ‘acquired taste’ that you either acquire or you don’t.
Overall, this device will sell well despite being generally underwhelming and is likely to be a good choice for Windows fans who also enjoyed using the eee Pad Transformer.
Our Recommended Retailers
NB! Confirm the retailer's price and product information prior to making your purchase.
Please help other readers by writing a user review. Feel free to write in any style but try to make sure other people will understand it. No adverts, abusive or offensive language, insults or spam.