ASUS VivoTab RT Review

by Vivek Gowri on 10/23/2012 3:01 PM EST
POST A COMMENT

68 Comments

Back to Article

  • N4g4rok - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    This review definitely made my view of Windows 8/RT tablets a little more optimistic. I'm still set on the Surface Pro or some other x86 capable Win8 Tablet, providing the price is right.

    Good to know RT is starting out so well. Let's hope the developers jump on it quickly.
    Reply
  • andykins - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I'm really optimistic and excited about Win8/RT :D Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Interesting that it goes from a wide lead in Sunspider to such a loss in the other tests, if I'm not mistaken the x86 IE10 does not have that kind of variance. So I wonder if it has to do with Tegra 3s memory bandwidth becoming an issue, or something else. However if it can beat the Nexus 7 by such a margin with a similar Tegra 3 that says good things about ARM IE10. Reply
  • lowlymarine - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Actually, that's right in line with x86 IE10. On my Core i3-based ASUS laptop, IE10 crushes every other browser at Sunspider but is only about half as fast as Chrome at Kraken and V8/Octane.

    Given these results and the results from the iPhone 5 review, it's clear that IE and Safari are locked in a "who can cheat more at Sunspider" contest.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Yeah, basically this. It's not much of a credible benchmark anymore, too many people are starting to optimize very heavily for it in software. Reply
  • The1nchicago - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    This is the ONLY blog site I visit where I truly believe Anand opinion is not biased. I got blessed out by people for saying the Ipad Retina was not the greatest business tool. Glad someone shares my view in a sense. Reply
  • JKflipflop98 - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    I think you mean that his bias matches your own. Reply
  • augiem - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    "Side note: in Windows 8, particularly for normal notebook and desktop users, this is an entirely overblown issue - ... but people who claim that Windows 8 will ruin their desktops just sound ignorant to me. But I digress."

    This does not belong in a review of this tablet. And calling people ignorant who don't agree with you on how their workflow is affected by the changes to the UI is totally inappropriate.
    Reply
  • Boogaloo - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    If you've actually used win8 you'd agree with what he's saying. It's literally exactly the same as windows 7, except with a fancy startbar. The only way someone would profess something different is based on ignorance (which isn't stupidity, it's lack of knowledge). Reply
  • Pirks - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    only slowpokes and lame/dumb oldfags keep saying Metro "ruins" something

    they will slowly get it that they are wrong and the noise will disappear

    don't pay attention to them. I use Win8 RTM for more than a month already and I know what I'm talking about.
    Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Naw, Windows 8 still isn't interesting to me. Even oddball projects like Plasma Active are more interesting. Reply
  • augiem - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Except I HAVE actually used Windows 8, I do not agree, and its still inappropriate. Reply
  • rahvin - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I agree it's inappropriate. Calling your readers ignorant is not a way to build trust and I have to say honestly that comment damaged Anandtech's reputation.

    I'm using Win8 on my home rig and there are things I like about it (some nice performance enhancements) but metro is NOT one of them. Combining touch interface into the desktop was a natural evolution, but what MS did by trying to make one interface work for phones and desktops is going to be a big mistake IMO. Windows 8 is going to be much more hated than the Office Ribbon ever was. The hot corners, full windows start panel and re-emergence of the active desktop it provides are all going to be disastrous IMO.

    Regardless of how you feel about Windows8 calling people Ignorant for disliking the UI isn't professional and I normally come to this site for professional well thought out reviews EVEN if I don't agree with the conclusions.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    If you treat Modern UI like a fancy start menu, everything is fine. If you obsess about Modern UI and spend long hours glaring at it and muttering curses, then I can see where you might have a problem.

    Anyway if you're really hardcore into murdering the new start menu, there are options for that too. But you were obviously ignorant of this. Ooops! Was that inappropriate? Want some Pamprin? Ah damn there I go again being inappropriate. Probably not politically correct either.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    It's the Metro/Modern user interface, being discussed in the context of using it with a mouse. I don't understand how it doesn't apply, considering this particular tablet is shipped with a keyboard/touchpad attachment. Reply
  • shomizu9 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I happen to agree with your opinion in this article Vivek, but augiem has a point - using the "ignorant" comment in your article is pretty unprofessional (i.e. harsh) for someone writing an article/review :-( What about addressing it in a different, less harsh way? Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I agree that it sounded a bit harsh in my head too but I was more focused on getting the article out in time rather than worry about that one word. Does "uninformed" sound better? Reply
  • EnzoFX - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    What about the fact that it fills the screen? What if you don't want to lose visibility of windows you have open? That's gotta count for something, no?

    I myself use other launchers, so I shouldn't be affected =P.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Ignorant *does* mean uninformed, the word 'ignorant' has just gotten twisted by popular culture to be equivalent to 'stupid', which it is not. Reply
  • augiem - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    How about, has a different opinion from. Honestly, the level of superiority on these tech boards is unbelievable. Reply
  • andykins - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Nah, I totally agree with Vivek's statement and I don't believe it's in any way inappropriate. Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I don't know what phrase of astonishment to use. He clearly said a Win 8 review is coming. Part of the experience is transitioning between the two modes, which is more specific to this laptablet (my hybrid term for the hybrid machines) and as such should be covered in this review specifically. Windows 8 reviews will come in Windows 8 reviews. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Might not be appropriate, but I strongly agree with his assertion. I'm using windows 8 on various machines and it's not a big deal at all. Truthfully I still prefer the start button because it was less jarring, but the actual start menu was a piece of garbage. I NEVER went into the tree mess to find something, I'd just type and search, and that works the same in windows 8 (almost), except you have to hit windows-w to search settings. Reply
  • dananski - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I agreed with this quote and was happy to see Vivek say it. I don't know why there's no option to start on the desktop when booting your PC, but tbh, it takes one click to get there and then you're back on your normal 'workflow' (unless you accidentally manage to open a Metro App and can't find your way out). Is one click a day worth all the complaining? Reply
  • Pirks - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    right on Vivek! pwn those oldfags, reclaimers,etc

    that's EXACTLY my impression of Metro, glad smart reviewers like Vivek at last stated the truth here

    hehe I'll keep enjoiyng reclaimer's deep sucking of crapdroid cock. don't forget to swallow reclaimer :P RT is pwning ya oldfaggy ass as of RIGHT NOW LOL :)))
    Reply
  • Pirks - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Vivek you're wrong, during recent Q&A with Surface team they clearly stated that they are being run as a profitable business from the start and hence no subsidies on the hardware, nothing at all. Hence the high Surface price of $499 and up. You should read that Q&A before spreading false rumors, thank you :) Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Edited to reflect this - overall point is still valid though, they're probably taking back less profit than everyone else by design. And of course, no software licensing fees. Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Why would they make the tradeoff AMD has to make when they had the S4 as an option? Or better yet, the S4 Pro? The timing was perfect! Optimus G released with it, why couldn't the VivoTab? Reply
  • TrackSmart - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Great review! One quick addition would make it better: Can you list the combined weight of the tablet with the laptop dock in your opening table? It would be great to quickly compare this to other form factors (i.e. laptops, netbooks, etc.) Reply
  • karasaj - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    You mentioned that the processor load is kind of high for typing in office for example, or loading programs - how "smooth" is the feeling of the UI? I think you said at one point that Tegra three might have seemed laggy at one point but later it was "anything under Tegra 3 would be slow" so does it seem like Tegra 3 is sufficient to power the tablet/prevent any "annoying" slowdowns? Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Either way just wait for S4 Pro tablets. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    It's got minor lag in desktop mode, noticeable but livable. Anything slower than T3 though, and livable quickly becomes intolerable. Most of the time, you live in Metro anyways so it's not that big of a deal. Reply
  • TrackSmart - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Just a heads-up, in case it is the Anandtech ad servers, and not my own system: Clicking between pages on this site, I got a popup that looks like adware. The link, after making it non-clickable was this: surveyorster dot net /d/j4u2i16147?r=http%3A%2F%2Fgjetefa.info%2Fin.php%3Fq%3DM%2FOEglLmwNcgOzwtBLg9uSk36%2BpwOyaQwIB9U0Q%3D

    I also saw an annoying "floating advertisement window" recently on the site, which I've never seen in the past.

    I have not seen anything strange while browsing other websites.
    Reply
  • shomizu9 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    In a google search, I'm seeing a few mentions of similar behavior involving the domain name "gjetefa.info" for other sites (wowhead, etc). I haven't personally seen any redirects like you mention on Anand. If it was my pc, I'd suspect malware and check it out with something like MalwareBytes. Reply
  • Urizane - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    It has happened to me only twice. I don't remember the URL, but I have clicked on an article link from the main page, got the article, and one second later was presented with a page that copied the facebook design and called itself some kind of survey. I saw fields asking for my name and phone number and something else, but my CTRL+F4 reflexes kicked in. The next time I clicked on the article, that didn't happen. I got one roughly 2 weeks ago and another last Friday, and that's all. I think it's something that wedged itself into the ad rotation. Reply
  • michal1980 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    No offence to Vivek. But apple comes out with a "new" product, we get a 200 page in depth review with deep analysis from Anand.

    Microsoft releases both a huge new OS, a new tablet platform. and gets Vivek? And like 5 pages of coverage.

    Unbiased? Just based on volume you can tell Anands bias.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    You speak too soon, my friend. Between myself and Anand, we're dumping roughly 20k words of Windows RT-related coverage on you today. Just wait for the full Windows RT review. Reply
  • magnimus1 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Vivek, This is a slight change of subject.....but do you guys have any plans to review the RAZRi?

    Also, Thanks for this article......are you going to do a similiar one for the Vivo Tab? I'm torn between the VivoTab and the full blown Transformer book. I need AT to help me choose!! :-)
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    If you were actually familiar with the site or Apple products you would now they often take weeks longer than anyone else to write a review.
    Don't you need to run the malware scanner on your Android phone now?
    Reply
  • Relic74 - Tuesday, January 01, 2013 - link

    That is just silly, I personally have never gotten a malware nor have I ever met anybody who received one. If you stay away from cracked apps and add ridden games it should never be a problem. Besides I would gladly endure such a nuisance just to have a system that includes a filemanager, able to play almost every media codec, Java, Flash, SD Card slot, complete rom/system/data backup, ability to side load apps, true multitasking, multi-view, SAMBA/FTP/SSH support within the filemanager, DLNA, printer support, removable battery, NFC, ect. iOS is an overrated mobile OS but I'm glad your happy with it, that's all that matters. Reply
  • N4g4rok - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    He even mentioned that RT is getting it's own review in a little while.

    On top of that, with an ipad, the hardware and OS are rolled into one and are usually new, so you see an analysis of both new products. This is an Asus product running windows software, and like most laptops that get reviewed where no time is spent on windows 7, tablets will probably be treated the same. There's no point in going that in depth on every aspect of the tablet when we're going to see it and hear about it in other reviews.
    Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    Windows RT will be getting its own review, and the Surface got a fairly in-depth review by Anand himself.

    Plus, there's no new SoC going on here like in the iPhone 5 review, which Anand was obviously keenly interested in.
    Reply
  • Lonyo - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Is there any indication of the settings you used in your battery life testing?
    Presumably you went for a standardised brightness across all products? There's nothing in the graphs to indicate how testing was performed, and it would be useful to know, although given ATs history, I assume it was done in a fairly comparable way.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    200nits, same as always :) Reply
  • Braumin - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    This makes me seriously excited for RT. I think the app issue is going to go away very quickly.

    I'd like to see a couple more reviews (especially Surface!) before I can pick what I get. I was leaning pretty heavily towards Surface, but this for the same price has a great battery/keyboard dock.
    Reply
  • sulu1977 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Where's the usb3 port? How can you exchange files with another laptop? Is the battery removable? Reply
  • antef - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I misunderstand how you can call it a decent PC replacement/ultraportable in the conclusion when you can't install any desktop applications on it at all. That means you get Office and the very poor selection of the Windows Store. That doesn't come anywhere CLOSE to a PC replacement! Are you sure you didn't accidentally copy and paste that line from a Windows 8 (not RT) review? Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    He didn't say it was a PC replacement. He said it was the first tablet that he can accomplish his workflow on, as opposed to Android/Apple tablets that aren't up to the task. He's impressed with how capable it is as a PC replacement, which isn't the same as saying it is a PC replacement (though I'd argue it could be for a large percentage of users whose only tasks are Office, web, videos, and some casual gaming). Reply
  • DMagic - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Maybe I missed it, but does the dock disable the touchscreen and the home button, or just the button?

    I'm interested to know what it's like to use the touchscreen as a supplementary input device. This seems like an ideal way to use Win8 RT (fingerprints, I know, but they are easy to clean off and I don't think they are that big of a deal anyway), with its combination of such disparate interface types.
    Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    Dock only disables the home button. Disabling the touchscreen would just be foolish. Reply
  • frostyfiredude - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Surface RT has a 10% larger display, but a 30% larger battery. Processor power usage should remain constant even with the larger display, so the power usage won't actually go up 10%, but somewhere lower like 7 or 8%.
    Considering those two, wouldn't it make sense that Surface RT actually gets greater battery life than an un-docked VivoTab RT? Supposedly Surface engineers are hitting 12 hours of usage with it, which seems about right to me at 18-33% greater life than the Vivo RT here.
    Reply
  • ssiu - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    "but even compared to Clover Trail, Tegra 3 is not that fast"

    "But given how well RT runs on quad-core Cortex A9, I’m just eager to see shipping devices with faster SoCs - Krait and Clover Trail in the coming weeks, A15 in the not-too distant future. "

    I already think "Atom == slow" (poor experience with early netbook). If Windows RT tablets are slower than Windows 8 Atom tablets than I don't know why anyone would choose the former. Even if Krait or A15 is a bit faster than Clover Trail, personally I'd still choose x86 compatibility.
    Reply
  • Urizane - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Early netbook slowness depends on more than just the CPU. A large majority of early netbooks had very little RAM as well as slow hard drives. These days, there's a lot more RAM as well as solid state storage. I remember old Atom 330 machines that you could upgrade from 1 GB of RAM to 2 GB that made a pretty sizeable difference in day-to-day use. Upgrading to an SSD makes application load times even better. The CPU wasn't fast, but it also wasn't the only reason people hated early netbooks. Reply
  • Impulses - Friday, October 26, 2012 - link

    More RAM and a SSD worked wonders even for first gen Atom netbooks (single core)... For a tablet workflow it's not really any worse than current ARM SoC, now if you're trying to use it as a laptop replacement that's another story. I think that term is gonna get thrown around too easily with these hybrid Win RT devices...

    Even looking past the dire lack of apps (beyond Office), raw performance isn't where it needs to be to make such a concept reality, performance's obviously not gonna be there until A15/S4 Pro/next gen Atom. Laptop alternative might be the more accurate term, tho it's all obviously very dependent on your particular needs.
    Reply
  • powerarmour - Thursday, October 25, 2012 - link

    You need to bear in mind the graphics capabilities of Tegra 3 vs Clover Trail, Clover Trail is looking like it's going to be a mess on those regards, with Intel yet again failing to deliver a PowerVR driver of any decent quality.

    What good is a slightly better CPU, when the only thing 3D it can run is the Metro desktop?
    Reply
  • Relic74 - Tuesday, January 01, 2013 - link

    I just bought the Asus 810c Vivo, though I to have had bad experience with a Atom CPU netbook from Nokia I am quite impressed as to how snappy the OS is. I'm a programmer so the only desktop apps I really use are Netbeans, Java SDK, FileZilla, Bittorent, OpenOffice, Gimp, Inkscape, Thunderbird, Firefox, XAMPP and Google Earth. All run extremely well but I can't express to you guys enough how fast Windows 8 fly's on this system and that battery, wow, 17.5 hours. I literary charge it ounce every 4 days. As a road machine it's bar none one of the best laptops I have ever owned. I'm digging the Vivo a lot and I'm starting to appreciate Microsoft tablet vision.

    I see how a lot of you get caught up in benchmarks but when you travel as much as I do it's all about longevity, my other laptop is a Lenovo X220T and even with a batter slice I still barely get about 7 hours.
    Reply
  • Flunk - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    This review is great and it's good to see ARM powered Windows in a real device... But I (and I'm sure other readers) would love to see a review of the newly announced Asus Zenbook U500VZ. It sounds like a really interesting device, and touch sounds a little strange on a 15" device.

    Just hoping you guys do a review, you guys are one of the most reputable sources for reviews.
    Reply
  • dananski - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    30% CPU usage from typing in Word 2013 doesn't surprise me - I've had 2013 on my new i7 desktop for a while and I sometimes get lags while typing in Word or clicking around in Excel. Don't try to move the windows around the screen - some very dodgy performance issues there; I used the feedback button to highlight a few.

    I wonder if these performance issues will make it into the release version. Back when I got Office 2007 there were a few times when performance went terrible in Excel, which they fixed in SP1. Here's hoping that's not going to be the case again...
    Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Might compete well with a Transformer Infinity in benchmarks but it needs apps. Reply
  • B3an - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Nice review. And i agree with everything said in it. This looks like a good device and i'd easily choose it over an iPad or Android tablet, but i'll likely go with a Win 8/x86 tablet. Reply
  • AahzNotOz - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    One thing I haven't seen discussed about RT is will it play the Windows extracted Digital Copy movies you sometimes get with Blu-Ray? I know Win 8 Pro slates should be able to play them fine, but how about Win RT? Reply
  • KineticHummus - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Hopefully this thing can play back high profile H264 like what most people use for MKV's! I'd love to be able to take some 720p anime on the bus with me. None of the 10 inch android tablets are too interesting to me, and the nexus 7 is too small. The iPad is out of the question, it cant play my files. Reply
  • Urizane - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    High profile H.264 in an MP4 container on an iPad...sure. I'm guessing you're just not thrilled about burning in subtitles. As far as Windows RT goes...I'm guessing MKV support is going to have to come by way of a "Modern UI" (Metro) app playing MKVs back in software (slow) rather than through the hardware accelerator. I only say that, because messing with the core components (e.g. adding a DirectShow filter) is probably not allowed out of the box, and any .AX file would have to be compiled for Windows on an ARM CPU anyway. In such a case, you're still better off with H.264 in an MP4 container, because that's guaranteed to work. The same tricks used on Windows 7 for hardware playback of MKV streams should still work in Windows 8 Pro. You might need to lean in that direction if you have a complete aversion to demuxing your MKVs and muxing them into MP4s. Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Sorry, but I guess I am not that familiar with Win RT. What can you really do on Win RT? I mean if it doesnt run x86 apps, does it run android apps, or just apps from the microsoft store?
    It seems like kind of in limbo to me. TBH, I really hate Android. Hundred, thousands, whatever of apps, but I have yet to find any that are useful and work well. The few useful apps that I have tried tend to have some fatal flaw such as being frustratingly slow, locking up. crashing, etc.
    So if you cant run x86 apps, how is this an improvement?
    Reply
  • Roland00Address - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    When Windows RT launches there is going to be about 3000 apps in the Microsoft store.
    This will change with time, remember if an app is developed for the Microsoft store it will work on windows rt or windows 8 regardless of the processor in use.

    Windows 7 phones launched with about 2,000 apps, it had 20,000 apps 6 months later, 40,000 apps 12 months later, and now has over a 100,000 apps.

    You are going to see a similar or faster app development for windows 8 for the fact more people are going to use windows 8 then you are going to see people using windows 7 phone.
    Reply
  • horibatech - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I dont know if it just because I have heard you talk on the podcast, but I love the 'tone' if your review. All the Anandech respectability with some Vivek flair. It's up to you, Anand, and the comments section, but I for one appreciate your candor and actually putting you opinion on the line. Keep up the good work and stay on the podcast! Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, October 26, 2012 - link

    I think I'll wait until 2013 with new ARM and Intel architectures. Just feels like it is "too early" for IVB/CortexA9 Win8/RT. Haswell and A15 should do much to help with performance/battery life. Reply
  • BlueInAtlanta - Monday, December 31, 2012 - link

    This device is the opposite of sleek. There's just too much machine around the edges and looks outdated. Still, I use it to sketch design ideas for my graphic design firm here in San Francisco. The tablet's nice display and its compatibility with AT&T's 4G LTE make it a very competitive model despite the looks. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now