October 29, 2012
- Lightweight and portable
- Good-looking 10.1-inch display
- Excellent battery life
- Solid performance
- Cramped keyboard on dock
- USB dongle required
- No 5GHz Wi-Fi
The Asus Vivo Tab RT is a 10.1-inch slate tablet that can be fitted with a notebook dock with a built-in keyboard. It's a great way to have extremely portability while still having the functionality for a keyboard. It also has excellent battery life and is powered by the new Windows 8 RT.
This Asus slate tablet is one of the new tablets that have come out with the release of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system. The Windows 8 RT version is geared towards tablet computing devices and mobile use. While it won't run older x86 programs written for previous versions of Windows, Windows RT runs very well on the tablet.
The design of the Vivo Tab RT is very similar to about every other tablet on the market today. It feels very comfortable in hand as it measures 10.4 x 6.7 x 0.4-inches (whd) and weighs 1.18-pounds, so it's very lightweight. In comparison with the Microsoft Surface, it's a tad smaller and significantly lighter too.
The Asus Vivo Tab RT has a pair of webcams: 8MP rear-facing (with LED flash) and 2MP front-facing. Because the front camera is at the top of the camera, the landscape orientation is heavily favored but built-in accelerometers rotate the screen between portrait and landscape orientations. On the bottom edge of the tablet, there is a Windows key that works like the Windows key on the keyboard, which switches between the new Start Menu and whatever the current open application is.
Asus chose a 10.1-inch display with a native resolution of 1366 x 768-pixels, which looks very good and has a good amount of brightness. The touch screen supports up to 5 simultaneous touch points to accommodate your one free hand while using it. We found the touch screen to be very responsive and accurate, which is a must when dealing with a touch-based device.
For ports, the Vivo Tab RT includes a micro-HDMI port, a micro-SD port, headphone jack, a docking connector and a 36-pin port for charging and a USB 2.0 dongle. It's unfortunate that the USB port requires a dongle because it's easy to lose or forget somewhere. Wireless connectivity includes 802.11n Wi-Fi (5GHz is not supported) and Bluetooth 4.0. The docking station includes a decent, although small, keyboard, an extra USB 2.0 port and a built-in battery. As we said, the keyboard is fairly cramped compared to a standard keyboard, so it takes some getting used to.
The pre-installed configuration includes the Windows RT operating system and Microsoft Office 2013 RT Home & Student. This Office version is a preview version at the present moment, but Microsoft will issue an update to the final versions for free when they are available early next year.
The Asus Vivo Tab RT is configured with a 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of flash memory and built-in GPS. Performance was very good and Windows RT seemed quite responsive and speedy. Watching streaming 1080p HD video worked with no visible issues or slowdowns.
Battery life with the included battery lasted 9.5-hours, which was actually 30-minutes longer than what Asus claims. This puts it right on par with the Apple iPad. We did not test the battery life with the battery built-into the dock, but this should add at least an additional 4-5 hours.