HANDS ON: Asus Windows 8 tablets

Asus has had a slam dunk of a year, producing some of the best tablets (Nexus 7, Transformer Prime) that we’ve had the pleasure to use. 2012 is being closed out with a host of impressive new devices, including two new Windows 8 tablets and some excellent hybrid devices.

 

Asus IFA 2012

 

The Asus Vivo Tab and Vivo Tab RT are dockable Windows 8 tablets, which like the Transformer tablets can be attached to a bundled keyboard dock. The Vivo Tab is a massive 11.6-inch slate that uses a touch-screen stylus for arty and productive types, while the Vivo Tab RT sports a smaller high-res 10.1-inch screen and is geared more towards media lovers.

 

Asus Vivo Tab

 

Asus IFA 2012

 

The stylus version of the Vivo tab is surprisingly slim (8.7mm, more slender than the likes of Apple’s iPad) and not too weighty (675g) considering its bigger-than-normal 11.6-inch body. It’s also solidly constructed, with an aluminium coating plus a plastic strip which helps to bolster Wi-Fi connectivity.

 

Asus IFA 2012

 

That slender frame hides an Intel Atom processor and 2GB of RAM plus 64GB of storage, making it an appealing prospect for anyone who needs a powerful work tool with a spacious screen.

 

Asus IFA 2012

 

Further bolstering its productivity features is the keyboard dock. Slide the tablet down into the top of the dock and you’ll feel it vibrate and hear a soft jingle that means the two have partnered. You can immediately start typing, with some Windows 8-based keys built into the board, and use the touch-screen as normal with your fingers or the stylus. It feels like a natural transition, and makes the Vivo Tab just as flexible as the Transformer tablets. Even better, the dock has a secondary battery so you can charge the tab from the dock.

 

Asus IFA 2012

 

The stylus pen itself is thin and light, and features a side button which can be used to right-click on the screen. We had a quick test and the Vivo Tab’s screen responded well to our cack-handed swirls and slashes, but we’ll be sure to test it out fully when we get a review sample. The keyboard is also well constructed, with isolation-style keys that are separated out for a more comfortable tappity tap experience.

 

Asus IFA 2012

 

Rounding off the features, you get a microSD slot, Micro USB port and both front- and rear-facing cameras. The front of the tab features a touch-sensitive Windows button, a strange thing to see on a tablet but we’re sure we’ll get used to it soon.

 

Asus IFA 2012

 

Asus Vivo Tab RT

 

Asus IFA 2012

 

The Vivo Tab RT looks and feels very similar to the Vivo Tab, but is more compact with its 10.1-inch screen. At just 8.3mm thick and 520g, it’s almost as slender as Toshiba’s super-skinny AT200 tablet and feels comfortable to wield one-handed.

 

Asus IFA 2012

 

If the Vivo Tab is a work device, the Vivo Tab RT is definitely for play. An Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor (packing 12 graphical cores) plus 2GB of RAM gives the Vivo Tab RT enough power to run any power-hungry game out there, and the screen is suitably sharp thanks to its 1366x768-pixel resolution. 32GB of storage gives you a good chunk of space for movies, music and apps, bolstered by a microSD slot.

 

Asus IFA 2012

 

Both tablets will be out at the end of October, price yet to be unveiled.

 

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Written by Mobile Choice
Mobile Choice

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