Asus, recognized for the creative designs plus outre hardware (including the latest Taichi dual-screen laptop), has its own distinctive take found on the Atom-powered Windows 8 pill. The VivoTab Smart ME400 — in the event you will decypher Asus’ naming conventions, more force to we — is a 10.1-inch touch-screen slate bundled with a totally separate keyboard/touch pad plus an origami-like magnetic cover.
It’s which folding cover as well as the keyboard which assist the VivoTab (to choose among the system’s 3 names because shorthand) stand out from a crowd which furthermore involves the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 as well as the Dell Latitude 10. All of these systems begin with all the same core specs — an Intel Atom CPU, 2GB of RAM, along with a little 64GB SSD, plus all are between $ 500 plus $ 600 for the base pill (this model equally involves a NFC chip for interacting with select phones plus alternative devices). Adding the keyboard plus cover is an additional $ 130, generating the whole package only below $ 650, that is a bit lower than similarly configured Dell, Lenovo, or HP Atom pills with synonymous accessory packages.
With micro-style ports for USB plus SD card connections, utilizing any of these Windows 8 pills is hassle sometimes, though apps optimized for the slower Atom processor, including IE10, Netflix, as well as the Windows 8 UI itself feel snappy and more usable than aged Atom netbooks did.
The keyboard has big, deep keys, despite being surprisingly thin, along with a decent-size touch pad. It’s odd which the keyboard doesn’t really physically connect to the pill, as well as the keyboard went flying over my desk or clattering to the floor about multiple event. When folded into the iPad-style magnetic cover, the keyboard largely stayed put. The cover itself folds along prescored lines to shape a single-angle kickstand for the pill, yet it’s not totally intuitive that technique you’re expected to fold it. After many days, I began getting it right found on the initial try nearly all of the time. Like the Surface Pro, I found it annoying which we can’t change the screen angle whenever it’s set up inside stand mode.
With numerous items which look plus work largely the same, for about the same cost, it’s simple to find these Atom-powered Windows 8 pills because basically interchangeable commodity goods, that isn’t which far within the truth. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 has the greatest bundled keyboard, however lacks the touch pad included here. For all-day utilize, I’d consider stepping about a Core i5 pill, like the best-in-breed Microsoft Surface Pro, yet for a Windows 8 pill, keyboard, plus cover for about $ 630, the VivoTab is a good value, in the event you may receive chosen to the nonstandard keyboard/cover combo.
|Price because reviewed / beginning price||$ 629 / $ 499|
|Processor||1.8 GHz Intel Atom Z2760|
|Memory||2GB, 800MHz DDR2|
|Hard drive||64GB SSD|
|Operating System||Windows 8 (32-bit)|
|Dimensions (WD)||10.7 x 7.0 inches|
|Screen size (diagonal)||10.1 inches|
|System fat / Weight with AC adapter||1.3/2.3 pounds|
Design plus features
If you’ve enjoyed 10-inch Windows 8 slates from Acer, Dell, or Lenovo, you’ve got a very wise decision of what’s going about here. All those pills, together with the VivoBook, have a front face dominated by edge-to-edge glass, with a thick black bezel along with a Windows switch over the bottom side, for leaping into plus from the Windows 8 UI.
Instead of the black, squared-off body of the Lenovo, for illustration, this VivoBook has a white back panel (a black variation is furthermore available), with gently rounded edges. That makes it more comfortable to hold inside a hand, and leaves less space for ports plus connections over the outer edges.
At lower than 1.5 pounds, it’s absolutely light, though adding the cover plus keyboard add both fat plus width. The whole package, whenever put together, nonetheless slips conveniently into a tiny computer bag, plus feels a bit Surface-y, because of the magnetic cover.
While it’s well fine to utilize onscreen swiping gestures as well as the on-screen keyboard for general OS plus Internet navigation, odds are superior you’re going to do any severe function, or email composition, with all the Bluetooth keyboard. The super-thin keyboard/touch pad combo, with all the same footprint because the pill itself, is a remarkable small accessory, plus might create an good standalone Bluetooth keyboard for any amount of pills, little shape element desktops or docked laptops.
They keyboard keys are standard island-style ones, shallower than you’d discover inside even the thinnest ultrabook computer, however, with a bit more depth than the Surface Pro keyboard. The touch pad under the keyboard is a single clickpad, with left plus appropriate mouse switch regions demarcated with a white line. Touch-pad reaction had been a small stuttery — the pad didn’t usually respond immediately whenever touched, plus gestures like two-finger scrolling can be twitchy. Utilizing the finger straight found on the screen was more pleasing inside those instances.
Asus involves certain custom software inside the Windows 8 UI, ranging from valuable to useless. For instance, the Asus Guidebook is a handy graphic guide to Windows 8 gestures, yet the Asus@Vibe Fun Center (no, I’m not generating which up) really looks like a assortment of hyperlinks to online radio streams.