Microsoft Surface RT was the first device to have newest version of Windows – Windows 8 and indeed the first one to run on the ARM architecture. Now, the engineering and designing teams of various manufacturers have started adopting the same structure for their own tablets. Asus VivoTab RT is one of them!
Asus Vivo tab RT is a tablet and optional keyboard dock hybrid. Being Windows RT tablet, it comes very close to the Surface RT in terms of looks. Besides, its specifications and pricing too closely match that of Microsoft Surface RT.
Asus Vivo Tab RT Tablet
The tablet itself is thin and light (8.3mm and 1.15 pounds), when compared to Microsoft Surface and Apple‘s iPad 3. It conveys high-end build. The lower side of the back comprises of 75% of brushed aluminum. You will experience no problems while holding it in your hands for extended periods of time.
The RT version of Asus tab exhibits some difference under the hood but looks and feel do not differ from the “full-fledged” Windows 8 edition, still. Purchasing of the apps can be made only through Windows Store, currently! Apart from this, cloud-based Office Home & Student 2013 RT come pre-installed and Windows guarantees to offer a free upgrade to the full Office version, once it is available. Desktop mode too exists! Like Surface RT, a VivoTab RT version featuring Windows 8 Pro is in production.
Special Feature that sets Asus VivoTab RT apart from Surface RT
The company has installed a GPS receiver that is nowhere to be found in Surface RT. The GPS receiver named as GNNS or completely as global navigation satellite system is effective in its function. It works accurately and reliably when used in combination with Google Maps.
On the inside of Asus RT machine you will find Nvidia’s Tegra 3 quad-core processor with a clock rate of 1.3 GHz. It helps in delivering unprecedented performance. How? The System on chip (SoC) – Tegra integrates an ARM architecture central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU), northbridge, southbridge, and memory controller onto one package. The series of such hardware pieces on a single chip emphasizes low power consumption and high performance for playing audio and videos.
Though it offers speed, especially for multi-tasking care should be taken while considering the memory of the machine. Why? Of the total available space Windows RT needs some GBs for the installation files. This leaves a user with less memory space for personal data. It is possible to use the micro SD slot and upgrade the memory with a SDXC memory card but that adds to the cost than which many users would not prefer.
There are many similarities between the Vivo Tab and the Surface, including a screen resolution of 1366 x 768. But the 10.1 inch IPS screen of Asus emits 600 nits of brightness, much better than that of Surface and enough to read a post even in direct sunlight. However, there’s a fault. Colors on the Vivo Tab RT screen are not amazingly vibrant. The fault becomes immediately visible on comparing same images captured from other devices. It just fails to beat iPad in the image test.
Camera & Connectivity
Asus Vivo RT Tab houses a primary camera with flash at its rear and a 2MP camera with no flash at its front. The tablet also makes cutbacks in connectivity. The very important USB port for Windows is only available via the optional docking station. Also, the slider for releasing the keyboard dock is located on the device’s lower left side. The micro SD slot (SDXC compatible) and a micro HDMI port are above that.
Asus RT is equipped with a 25 Wh, non-removable lithium polymer battery. The battery is pretty solid, it offers a runtime of almost 11 hours when connected to Wi-Fi. Moreover, it exhibits a remarkable time – 16 hours of life when the screen’s brightness is adjusted with Wi-Fi disabled.
The physical keyboard that comes as an addition is light but the keys appear small and are tightly spaced. The good part is they require very little pressure to trigger and are definitely built to last. Likewise, the trackpad is fantastic. It’s responsive and spacious with a smooth surface and buttons that produce an audible click when pressed.
On final note, Asus Vivo Tab RT certainly scores well on battery life and portability. Usability is where it falls short by certain points. Still, a good machine and an alternative to Microsoft’s own Surface RT. It is currently available at Amazon for $479.