Asus was making full touchscreen tablets with optional keyboard docks before it was cool. They did it with Google’s Android, and now they’re doing it with Microsoft’s Windows. One of their first Windows-powered creations is the Asus VivoTab RT LTE. It comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen display and can be attached to a separate keyboard dock for easier typing and extended battery life. Just how good—or bad—is this attempt at yet another Windows RT tablet?
The VivoTab RT LTE tablet, as its name suggests, comes with Windows RT pre-installed. As you may already know, this is a special version of Windows that isn’t compatible with so-called “legacy apps” a.k.a. normal, desktop Windows programs like the ones that are currently available for Windows 7. It only supports modern Windows applications that can be downloaded from the Microsoft Windows Store.
This tablet is built to Microsoft Windows 8 spec: there’s an 8MP rear camera with LED flash, an NVIDIA quad-core Tegra 3 chip, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and USB 2.0 connectivity. Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n Wi-Fi are both available as standard, while 4G LTE connectivity is available as an option. And it even comes with 8GB of free Asus WebStorage for three years. Clearly, it already has most any possible hardware concerns taken care of. And it can even be purchased with a bundled keyboard dock. The only issue that most reviewers have with this accessory is the fact that it offers a rather cramped typing experience. This has to do with its actual width and that of the tablet itself. Still, the chiclet keys are excellent for touch typing. And it beats typing on the on-screen virtual keyboard any day.
So with the hardware looking fairly good, it all comes down to the software. To really know whether or not you’ll like it, you may have to try it out for yourself. It’s important to understand that at launch, you just can’t expect it to be on the same level as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, which have both been around for many years now. Third-party apps are scarce, and there may be a learning curve up ahead. In the end, it will get the job done, but only if you're willing to give it a chance.
Need to Know: Asus VivoTab RT LTE
1. Uses the quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip with 2GB of RAM as standard. (The Good)
2. Comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well as optional 4G LTE connectivity. (The Good)
3. Windows 8 app support is limited to only modern apps in the Windows Store. (The Bad)
4. Selection of apps at launch is very scarce. (The Bad)