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on 5 March 2013
This one may slip completely under the radar, but I feel it's worthy of a few words. Why? Simple, it's the first reasonable implantation of full Windows 8 in a tablet that does not either cost a fortune or just suck.

I bought this for my wife who had a Mac Book from years ago that had ground to a halt. She needed something cheap and light as possible that she could still work on. As a teacher this means native Office 2010, as this is the software installed on the school PC's where she works, I should know, I'm the network manager. Nothing `compatible' works due to the ridiculously complex PowerPoint and spread sheets they create. I have tried iPads and Chromebooks and it's just a nightmare. She also has a very nasty nerve injury in her neck which now means carry anything remotely heavy is out too.

Was going to try Win8 RT, but as this turned up at the same price as Surface, it was not worth bothering with the limitations RT imposes.

So what's it like? First off, the build. Plastic fantastic, by which I mean it's actually quite good. Personally I do not subscribe to the metal is better as I have seen just as many bent iPads as cheap plastic pads. It feels solid in the hand and the screen/case union looks to be well implemented. It's very light which was very important in our case. The back has a slight rubber texture to it which I really like as this negates `tab slip'.

The screen is just average, no crazy resolution, but good enough. Text is sharp and pictures are well saturated. There is a micro USB port for charging, I have got an `on the go' USB lead so she can plug in memory sticks, and this works well. There is a Micro SD card slot, micro HDMI and a combination microphone/headphone jack.

The rest of the hardware is fairly unremarkable, a dual core Atom CPU, Power VR GPU, 2GB ram and 32GB SSD, the cameras are actually very good, there is a 1.3m pixel front facing and an 8m pixel rear facing with flash which can actually take a decent picture and video.

It boots from cold in 15 to 20 seconds, think this is down more to Windows 8 tidying up the boot process than the hardware, but it's good for the price point. Resume from sleep is as instant as an iPad. Battery life is about 8 to 9 hours, which given the full OS, is ok.

Think there has been enough said about the vagaries of Windows 8, but it does work, it's stable, but if you want to work on it, then you just have to get a mouse and keyboard (this is the case for any tablet really). I got the new Microsoft Wedge Mouse and keyboard, which while not cheap, are really, really good.

I have to say that this was somewhat of a reluctant purchase, we could have got another Mac, but the cheapest Air is twice the price, weighs more, and has half the battery life, also there are still compatibility problems between Office on the Mac and Win 2010 versions. Same problem with the iPad. So, can I recommended this? Yes, if it meets your needs. There is nothing wrong with the hardware, it lags a little, but it's an Atom chip running a fat OS, so that's inevitable and no deal breaker, my iPad 4 does the same when I give it any heavy lifting too.

What has struck me is that when you do have a `proper' OS, it is a bit of a revelation in terms on not having to mess about with endless apps and workarounds. There is not much I cannot do on my iPad, but it can be a bleeding faff to get stuff done. Having a native file system and desktop programmes available as well as the touch optimised `modern UI (urgh)' applications on a tablet is a great combination.
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on 12 March 2013
I have learnt a lot in the time that I have been almost addicted to gadgets and tech. The most important things I have learnt is,read a lot of reviews, do your homework and ultimately ask yourself "what do I want to use the device/gadget for".
I wanted a full Win8 tablet that was light and would take the place of my first generation ipad which I had had enough of because of its reliance on iTunes. I wanted to be able to add media to the device easily, surf the web, read books, listen to music and something I hadn't thought about but I believe is an absolute killer feature, access my pc via the Homegroup facility.
I didn't want an rt version of win8 as I believe that rt is a bit of a faux par on behalf of Microsoft.
The Vivotab Smart is a superb device. Light and well built. The screen is bright and the resolution, for me, is spot on. I had read a review that said that there was flex in the chassis, well I don't know about anyone else but I don't make a habit of twisting tablet devices! The back has a smooth very tactile surface and I like the gloss rim around the screen.
The operating system is handled very well by the processor and ram, I haven't noticed any lag when switching between apps on the tile interface. Talking of the tile interface you either like it or hate it but get used to it because its here to stay.
The apps available in the store may be limited if you compare them to the Apple and Android versions. All I can say about that is I use a few standard apps across all of my devices and the Microsoft store provides for me, however I do use the full websites for a couple of apps that aren't available such as the awful but sadly necessary Facebook.
This brings me on to the great thing about this full Win 8 tablet. The full desktop. I can access files, move media, access full web sites using any browser I want to install such as Chrome and Firefox, and as I mentioned access and stream content from my homegroup pc's. Excellent.
I have installed a 64gb SanDisk microSDXC card and it works faultlessly, movies run smoothly.
A couple of things I don't really like now. There is a delay of about 6 seconds when you click on a link within the social hub in the tile interface. The link is opened by the touch version of Explorer 10 which frankly takes just too long. The browser is quick but the delay is so long you tap the link again to spur it along only to find that you have now opened two browser pages. Also there is no screen re action when you tap the link, something like the link changing colour so that you can see the link has in fact been correctly "tapped" would be nice. Maybe I am being picky but it mars an otherwise smooth and fluid interface. The keyboard is excellent with suggestions appearing on the screen with an "insert" tab appearing onscreen, which is nice. But if you want to edit a line of text, placing the curser where you want is tricky, I found this with the iPad and Playbook as well though so again maybe I am being picky.
Overall, if you, like me, were looking for a media consumption device akin to an iPad but with an easier method of control over that media and also with a full win8 OS on board you cannot go far wrong with this tablet. I have a Galaxy Tab 7+ and I have owned an iPad, so I am not a fanboy of any particular OS or manufacturer, this tablet is nicely built, light, powerful enough, and does not cost the Earth. Mine was £399.00 which is excellent value for a 10" screened tablet any way you look at it and even better when you take in the "almost full pc in the palm of your hand" form factor. Not wishing to bang on but this is a sitting on your lap, entertaining yourself device, if you want to be "productive" it can do it, I wrote this review on it and it was fine, but, its far more tuned to consuming media with the added benefit of the proper desktop interface.
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on 1 August 2013
As a tablet, the device is fine for every day tasks such as browsing. For the price, it is actually quite perfect. I purchased mine from TESCO in white and immediately found a flaw - the tablet does not work with the OFFICIAL ASUS VivoTab Transleeve! I asked TESCO about this, looked online and found that ASUS have distributed a batch of these tablets with the magnets inside reversed.

I had to send it away to be fixed. This took place in a timely fashion, but the tablet was returned with the camera bezel missing and the Transleeve damaged. They refused to replace the sleeve as I was not meant to send it away (despite my email from the tech support saying otherwise).

I have since returned the tablet as I found that TESCO, PC World, and Currys all had the faulty batch and I could not purchase one that I wouldn't have to send away for repair after purchase.

Don't let this put you off ASUS as they are normally a brilliant company, just this time, they seemed to have sipped on the quality control.
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on 6 April 2013
Very happy with this Tablet. Responsive and the Windows 8 system works well. Use the 'desktop' and it will feel very like a laptop. Bought this for my daughter and she's very happy with it. Single microUSB connector limits connection to peripherals (but still better than iPad!) but connectivity through SkyDrive or GoogleDrive works well.
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on 8 July 2013
I wanted a Windows tablet to compliment my iPad as I prefer MS Office to that offered by Apple. MS do not seem to offer a package for the iPad. Once charged I turned it on and it set all of the applications without any problems. The Asus tablet is Surprisingly good at a very reasonable price.
I have given it 4 stars as when setting up formulae in M.S. Excel I can not drag it from cell to cell. I have now ordered a different stylus which may help. I also had to carry out a re-set due to a problem with the screen size in explorer which altered the screen size and would not let me re-size it manually. I lost all of my Norton protection, iTunes and other applications which I now have to re-instal.
That said I consider it a good buy and it compliments my iPad
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I really want to like this especially as it's not exactly fee. Unfortunately the actual fact is that it is under powered for what it is trying to do. I wanted to stay in the Windows environment as I use if for everything else and being an engineer the reality is that Microsoft still rules. I did look at waiting for Microsoft to bring out their pro version of the Surface but firstly it is bloody expensive and secondly there was a bit of a wait.

I bought my Vivi tab in Singapore on a whim. I liked what I saw and thought that given the price - roughly the same as here in the UK - it was a guaranteed winner. Unfortunately I was not entirely correct in that and the old saying of you get what you pay for still holds true.

It can be slow. That's the problem. You end up swiping the screen in frustration sometimes trying to get the keyboard up or to change programs or apps. Yes, it eventually does work but when you have used an Android or iPad tablet it is frustrating. Now I'm not a Windows 8 knocker. I have W8 on my desktops (with admittedly the 'Start' button re-installed) and have a Windows phone which is brilliant. However the reality is that W8 needs a bit of power and the Vivo Tab just hasn't the guts to run it properly. If you look at what Microsoft is making - the Surface - there are two W8's in use. RT and Pro. The RT version is clearly a cut down OS made that way so it will run more slickly on less well powered tablets. To run the full version the Surface Pro you need a bit of grunt and the Surface Pro is quite a size in order to pack in the required processing power. The Vivo tab just hasn't the power to run W8 quickly enough to be slick.

On the plus side it seems to be well made and has a nice feel to the whole unit. Yes it doesn't come wrapped in some titanium case or similar exotic metal, however it does not feel cheap. Because of that I've decided to do a couple of things. Firstly bite the bullet and buy the Surface Pro so I can have a tablet that will run W8 full version quickly enough to not hack me off. Secondly I'm going to put Ubuntu for tablets on the Vivo tab when it is released. That should cut down on the need for high processing power and give me a general purpose tablet that will operate as smoothly as I want.

My advice. Look at the price. You are not going to get a full version of Windows OS running on a lightweight tablet so either face up and pay for something pricey or buy an Android tablet of iPad.
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on 18 August 2013
This tablet is very good for the price and the specs are not bad, but it only has two problems,
1. it has no usb ports which is quite annoying some times, but you can live with it.
2. it can get scratched and chipped on the frame very easily so if you get this make sure you get a case for it.
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on 3 March 2013
So far found it very useable. Very light and tactile ,with a very clear display. Mostly used windows Windows Store for installs but have installed ITunes and Box from Internet and all went smoothly.Took 1 star off as still not as easy to use as IOS or Android but getting close.Asus do make quality products.
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on 7 April 2013
I have been waiting for the windows 8 tablets to come down in price and as I like Asus products, decided to buy this one. I have not been disappointed.


FULL Windows 8 OS. Not RT
Clear, crisp display
Excellent responsive touch screen
Stays very cool, even when video
Micro sd slot for expansion

The unit is easy to charge with a micro usb slot, which can also be used to attach devices. With windows 8 there is still around 25gb of storage left for downloads, and you can use micro sd cards if you want more.

The atom cpu and 2gb of ram handle hd video no problem and theres a mini hdmi slot to connect to your tv.

The only thing I would criticise is that for £400 I would have expected some sort of case, even if it was just a sleeve.

Apart from that, a great piece of kit!
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on 3 April 2013
We're using this tablet for professional asset survey work.

It is light, runs a full version of Office and boasts an effective camera with LED flash. The WiFi works fine. The battery life is excellent.

Most importantly: the tablet is only about £400. That's a real game changer - less than half the price of the Windows tablets we were using before.

Slight drawback: the Vivotab is not ruggedised or shock-cased.

However when you have seen the pathetic smashed remains of as many high-end tablets as I have - dropped onto prison floors or lighthouse steps or concrete hardstanding by errant surveyors - you'll appreciate how infrequently ruggedisation actually works to protect your investment.

At 400 quid, when your surveyors accidentally drop-kick the Vivotab across a carpark and under the wheels of a Renault Espace you can just replace it.

I've tested all kinds of USB to micro-USB adaptor with this tablet. They all work: cheap 30p units from HK or sleek OTG connectors.

For fine control (where you e.g. have survey software with slightly over-small buttons) buy some cheap 30p UC pens. Use a light touch for best results. Don't mash the rubber tip into the screen like I did and wonder 'why the goram pen isn't working'. It works fine.

Hope this was helpful.
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