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Asus Vivo Tab review

Ardjuna Seghers

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Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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Asus Vivo Tab
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Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Stylish and metal-clad
  • Unmatched battery life
  • Brightest screen in class
  • Full-size Wacom stylus

Cons

  • Atom still performs poorly
  • No integrated stylus slot
  • No full-size SD card reader

Key Features

  • Windows 8 convertible with keyboard dock
  • 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 IPS touch-screen
  • Dual-core 1.8GHz Atom, 2GB of RAM, 64GB SSD
  • Brushed metal finish
  • Wacom stylus
  • Up to 19hrs of battery life
  • Manufacturer: Asus
  • Review Price: £700.00

Intro

Asus was arguably the first to popularise the convertible clamshell tablet with its original Asus Transformer running Google’s Android OS, which culminated in the superb Asus Transformer Pad Infinity. As such, it should have a pretty good idea how to go about making a similar machine for Windows 8, and that’s pretty much what the Vivo Tab TF810C is.

Not to be confused with the Vivo Tab RT, which is a 10-inch Tegra 3-based convertible running Windows RT for ARM, the 11.6-inch Vivo Tab TF810 runs full-fat Windows 8 on an Intel Atom processor backed by 2GB of RAM and 64GB of convertible storage. What this means is that it can run a lot of the legacy software you might have installed on your laptop or netbook as well as playing nice with apps from Microsoft’s Windows Store.

Check out our Best Windows 8 Laptops Tablets Convertibles and PCs roundup

Naturally this tablet/laptop also comes with an (optional in some countries but included in the UK) keyboard dock that doubles its battery life and adds two full-size USB 2.0 ports. There’s also a pressure-sensitive Wacom stylus for drawing, scribbling and handwriting, something we missed on Asus’ earlier tablets.

Its main rivals are the HP Envy x2 and Samsung Ativ Smart PC. So can the Vivo Tab really replace your netbook/laptop and tablet, and does it hold up against the competition?

Asus Vivo Tab - Design and Build

As the designers of gems like the Infinity and Zenbook, Asus knows how to put together an attractive machine. However, while the Vivo Tab never comes across as less than premium, it’s arguably not the best-looking convertible tablet around, with that title currently held by the (more expensive and less well-featured) HP Envy x2.

This is mainly because the tablet uses a different colour to the keyboard base, and you won’t find the same colour finish on the Vivo Tab’s bezel, keyboard or touchpad either. While still attractive in its own right, if we’re being picky the design is just a wee bit lacking in cohesion. Just to put this into context though, the Asus’ brushed metal is still miles ahead of the plastic Samsung Ativ Smart PC and Acer Iconia W510.

Examining the convertible’s design in a little more detail, most of the tablet’s back is finished in a smooth gunmetal brushed aluminium. Just like with the Transformer tablets, this looks and feels great but doesn’t provide much grip, especially on a sloped surface like your lap.

The tab’s top part, which is plastic to improve wireless transmission, sports a strong ribbed texture that doesn’t gel too smoothly with the brushed metal part of the back. As with most tablets the Vivo Tab’s front is toughened Corning Fit glass which fronts a black bezel and glossy black strip at its edges.

The tablet part of the Vivo Tab is reasonably slim and light, at only 8.7mm thick and weighing just 680g – thinner but a smidgeon heavier than the Apple iPad 4. Adding in the keyboard dock takes Asus’ convertible up to 1.35kg, which is in line with a netbook or 12-inch ultraportable.

Build quality on our pre-production Vivo Tab was generally excellent, with only a hint of creak in one of the plastic corners which may well be ironed out in retail units (and we’ll update this review to let you know when we get our mitts on one of those).

In contrast with the darker finish on the tablet, the keyboard dock comes in a warmer ‘champagne’ brushed metal finish for the top part, with a matching plastic finish for its base. The touchpad is smooth matt beige, while the keyboard keys are matt black.

The dock didn’t feel quite as sturdy as the tablet section or those of its Transformer predecessors especially thanks to a tiny bit of flex in the keyboard area, but at the same time it’s still very solid – and once again keep in mind this is pre-production hardware.

Our main complaint with the dock is that it’s not as easy to detach as those of Asus’ own Asus Transformer range, as the release switch is now somewhat awkwardly located at the side of the tablet, rather than easily accessible in the centre of the dock.

kish

December 16, 2012, 6:27 pm

wats the difference btwn asus vivo tab and the taichi..
which one is the besst??

Juraj Balaško

January 15, 2013, 10:46 pm

BEWARE !!!
There is NO pressure sensitivity and NO Wacom driver for it available!
VERY SAD.

TechVegan

January 21, 2013, 2:45 pm

Sorry for the tardy reply.

The Vivo Tab is a detachable slate running Atom with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage that offers nearly 20hrs battery life and costs around £700. It also offers a Wacom stylus.

The Taichi is a 'proper' laptop (Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD etc) with 1080p IPS non-touch screen, and a second 1080p IPS touch display in its lid which becomes a 'tablet' when you close the laptop. Its battery life will likely be between 5 to 7 hrs and it will cost well over £1000. Its N-trig stylus is pressure sensitive but not quite as good.

Check out more details on the Taichi here: http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

Which one is best depends on your needs and budget. Hope that helps :)

TechVegan

January 21, 2013, 2:48 pm

Thanks for your comment. However, pressure sensitivity worked fine on our model and, worst case scenario, you should be able to use a generic driver.

Might be an obvious question, but did the software you were using support pressure-sensitivity? More details on your experience would be very helpful.

Bill S.

January 27, 2013, 12:34 am

Where can you get another stylus?

KC Miller

February 1, 2013, 4:55 pm

Hi folks,

can anyone using this device tell me whether or not
it can be set to a 180 degrees angle when in docked mode? that is to
mean can you flip the "monitor" open and push it all the way down so
that it is even with the keyboard?

Thanks for an answer and for your effort!KC

daryl3d

February 12, 2013, 4:42 pm

I'd like to know the answer to this as well, but since he did not mention it in the review (cause that would be a killer feature) I fear it will not bend all the way back... But I don't own one so I can't say for sure...

PDAJah

February 15, 2013, 5:13 pm

No you can't.

ldcookson@gmail.com

February 18, 2013, 3:07 pm

Does the asus have the wacom pressure sensitive stylus bundles with it (as the test one), if not, can anyone help me with the exact model, or purchase link of wacom pen used in the test?
Thank you

John van der Laan

February 18, 2013, 5:29 pm

yes it comes with a Wacom stylus. Pressure sensitive? Not sure. I have been using the stylus on the Vivo Tab 810c quite a bit but have not noticed pressure sensitivity nor seen settings for it in apps. The stylus is tracked as it approaches the surface.
When it comes to handwriting to text conversion this is the best I've used (have tried 7 other similar functionality on Android and iOs).

John van der Laan

February 18, 2013, 5:50 pm

so according to the "Trusted Review" article the included Wacom stylus is pressure sensitive (should have finished reading before I commented). They do not comment on how good it works.

Juraj Balaško

February 19, 2013, 11:33 am

Well, some more tests showed there is GENERIC pressure sensitivity driver/support. It works quite well, although processor is not up to the task in serious apps (Photoshop etc.). And one can enable/disable touch support (while working with the pen) with workaround in Windows Device manager... not ideal but works! I returned the device in the end, its seriously overpriced atm. See my video: http://youtu.be/3M1SJWPCdas

Juraj Balaško

February 19, 2013, 11:53 am

Well yes, more testing revealed, there is generic driver for pressure sensitivity support - works quite good, although the Intel Atom processor is not up to the task in serious applications like Adobe Photoshop. One can enable/disable the touch support in Windows Device manager to overcome interference while working with the digital pen. It's a workaround, but it works. In the end, I returned the device because I found it heavily overpriced for its performance. General experience/not task intensive use was quite a pleasure.

Neon Zeon

March 2, 2013, 10:31 am

This device has inherit problems... After the latest windows update in January, 2013 the touch pad develops a ghost finger which constantly holds in place... This can range from anywhere from one of the touch points to all five rendering many of the touch features useless on this device... My Vivotab broke almost immediately with this software update and to date they still can't identify the software issue... Even after a full factory reset the problem returns with the windows update...

Imran Butt

March 5, 2013, 10:58 am

You need to download the latest asus updates and it should fix this issue.

Mark Krebs

March 8, 2013, 2:26 pm

I bought this and I'm very happy. Wanted surface pro but decided battery life and the kickstand were killers. I acually use my laptop on my lap and so I think a real hinge with friction is key. The computer has run everything just fantastic. I'm an engineer so that means (surprisingly?) I have low processor needs: playing movies is much more challenging than aerodynamics. Anyway, earlier generations of Atom processors weren't quite up to it but this one is. I don't have any need right now for more CPU and all day battery life is really great. I love my thinkpad because of the eraser-mouse and have trouble typing without hitting the touchpad with my palm: a fancier driver there (with a landing keep-out area) would be appreciated. Literally everything else is great: best computer ever.

Adam Christoffer Duus-Boolsen

March 14, 2013, 9:41 am

"...it's arguably not the best-looking convertible tablet around, with that title currently held by the (more expensive and less well-featured) HP Envy x2"

It might be less well-featured, but where I'm living, the Envy x2 is slightly cheaper than the Vivo Tab 11.6" WITHOUT a keyboard dock; if you want it with a keyboard dock, the Vivo is at least 25% more expensive...

AaronL

March 26, 2013, 6:00 pm

I have a quick question for you. I am looking at getting either a VivoTab or VivoBook for use on vacation just to be able to browse my photos in Adobe Bridge and roughly adjust them in Photoshop. How disappointing was this tablet/computer in Photoshop? I have a desktop at home, so I don't need something that is super fast, just something small and cheap, and I like the idea of it being a tablet option too. Thanks for any help you can offer.

AaronL

March 26, 2013, 6:30 pm

I am looking at getting either the VivoTab, or the VivoBook. I mainly want it to use when travelling. The only programs I really need to store and use on it are Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. I don't need it to be super fast, as I have a desktop computer at home, and I plan to use an external hard drive to dump photos on. I just need it to be able to browse photos, and maybe rough the occasional photo in a little.

Frank Crawford

March 28, 2013, 12:16 pm

Not a big fan Wi-Fi is very very limited and internet useless away from router no more then 20ft. I'm on the go and this is bad for what I paid for it and would not recommend it and I'm probably going to send it back and buy something else some where else,

Frank Crawford

March 28, 2013, 12:22 pm

It seems to be good for that stuff just Wi-Fi isn't strong enough.

PNeral Candedeir

July 2, 2013, 8:58 am

Sorry to interrupt, with smartphones internet connection wifi hotspots should not be a problem.

Mark Martin

July 14, 2013, 12:48 am

Should I get a VIVO laptop x202E or this VIVO TAB? both are touch screen but laptop of course is not detachable. I will use it for photoshop and for taking pics. Can somebody give me an advice?

Sandra

September 14, 2013, 12:58 pm

With window's surface pro it is possible to draw in a PDF or PowerPoint is it possible with the Asus Vivo book as well or does it only work in the Asus note program?

Bazza

September 28, 2013, 9:57 am

Vivo tab TF810 would NOT recommend .Crashed twice LOST EVERY THING I wonder how long before the next total rebuild. It's just a toy

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