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453 of 476 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Forget to Get the Free Keyboard (See end of review)
This tablet has been bashed by most tech journalists and I'm not sure why. To me it seems that many tech journalists have become Apple fanatics. I am tech agnostic and own products from all manufacturers: A Mac mini, a Macbook Pro 13.3, a Galaxy Note phone, and a bunch of tablets (ipad 3, Kindle Fire HD, Galaxy Note 10.1). I must say that this tablet has completely taken...
Published on October 27, 2012 by LA Gadget Dude

versus
56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long Version Review
Let’s face the ugly truth -- Windows 8 RT and the Surface series of tablets haven’t exactly been a raging success. Beaten back by Android and the more expensive but better liked iOS, Windows took a $900 million bath on unsold inventory and ditched the first version for the Surface 2.

Unfortunately, RT’s bad karma also rubbed off on other...
Published 13 months ago by MagnumMan


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453 of 476 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Forget to Get the Free Keyboard (See end of review), October 27, 2012
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This review is from: ASUS VivoTab RT TF600T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Gray) 2012 Model (Personal Computers)
This tablet has been bashed by most tech journalists and I'm not sure why. To me it seems that many tech journalists have become Apple fanatics. I am tech agnostic and own products from all manufacturers: A Mac mini, a Macbook Pro 13.3, a Galaxy Note phone, and a bunch of tablets (ipad 3, Kindle Fire HD, Galaxy Note 10.1). I must say that this tablet has completely taken me off guard. I really wasn't expecting to like it all that much, but this tablet is a great alternative to the iOS and Android tablets.

My first Windows 8 tablet was a Samsung Ativ Smart PC (XE-500T). It's an overall excellent device, but has a few fatal flaws: 1) A plastic back is a very bad choice for a 11.6" device and the tablet has way too much flex (mine produced creaking noises) 2) Intel has come a long way with Atom processors, but overall performance was a bit laggy. 3) The Ativ at 11.6" was just a bit too thick and a bit too large to qualify as portable.

Anyways, back to the review of the Vivo Tab:

1. Build quality- The Asus feels solid. Fit and finish is superb and it feels like a premium device. I'm guessing that the tech journalists who have reviewed this device to date received preproduction versions. Bottom line is that build quality should please any iOS fan and is a nice step up even from premium Android devices such as the Galaxy Note 10.1

2. Screen - Very nice. Better than an iPad 2 and almost as nice as an iPad 3. The screen has a particular color tone to it, but that's usually the case with most screens.

3. Performance - I was very skeptical about Windows 8 performance on a tablet. Windows devices have been so guilty of having rockstar specs on paper, but have never performed to their full potential in the real world. I'm shocked as to how fluid the overall performance is. It seems to be on par with an iPad 3, possibly better. I haven't experienced any lag or lockups so far.

4. Windows RT - Again, I have no idea why people are bashing the RT version of Windows. RT is exactly what I want. Why the heck would anyone want to run a Windows desktop app on a tablet? Isn't this the reason why Apple and Android have eaten Microsoft's lunch over the past few years? The RT UI is refreshing. As other reviewers have pointed out there is a a very slim selection of apps at the moment (e.g. Google Video Chat won't work since the Windows RT version of Internet Explorer doesn't support plugins and there is no dedicated Google Video Chat app yet). The lack of apps is definitely a shortcoming, but very likely a short term issue. I seriously doubt that developers will ignore Windows RT tablets like they have the BB Playbook.

5. Battery life - I can't comment on this, but with the free dock the Vivo Tab is rumored to go for 16 hrs. No other manufacturer that I know of can touch that.

6. Business vs. Personal use - The reason I was looking for a new tablet is that I haven't found one that is ideal for both personal and business use. Windows / Windows Server / MS Office is pretty much the standard at most companies and I've always had to figure out work arounds with my iOS and Android tablets. I'm hoping that I've finally found the tablet that will work for both home and work use. For example, right out of the box, this tablet supports mutiple logins. This means that I can have a separate login for my work, my personal stuff, and one for my 2 year old as well.

So far, I give the Asus a 4 out of 5 stars. I am still becoming accustomed to the Windows 8 interface, but I really like it so far. The biggest problem I am having is that my company uses Google Apps and I can't figure out how to setup a Windows 8 login account using my company e-mail address.

FREE KEYBOARD DOCK !!!:

The keyboard dock on this device is free until 12/31/12. Go to the Asus USA site and you'll find out all of the details. You basically have to register as a Asus VIP member and send in the original box serial number to get the free keyboard. This is a $170 freebie. Way to go Asus !!!
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306 of 320 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded my expectations, February 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS VivoTab RT TF600T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Gray) 2012 Model (Personal Computers)
First of all, there's already been enough positive reviews that cite the strengths of this tablet. And with the 5 stars I am giving this tablet, you can guess that I am happy with this tablet. So, this review is more a response to people's criticisms of the tablet.

Before I continue, here is a list of tablets that I have owned. This list is to show that I know what to look for in a tablet.

Ipads 1 and 2
Acer Iconia
Viewsonic Gtablet
Samsung Galaxy tab 1 and 2
Augen Gentouch
Amazon Fire
Asus TF101, SL101, TF201, TF700T, and TF600T

So, as you can see I am well aware of what to look for in a tablet. I have not touched my laptop for nearly two years because the TF700 has fulfilled my work needs while on the go. I bought the TF600 (vivotab rt) with the intention of replacing my TF700.

So, here are some complaints that I've seen about the vivotab and why I think the complaints are not legit.

(1) Keyboard is too small to type.

Of all the complaints about this tablet, I think this is the most bogus. Yes, it is small, but if you can't type on anything that is slightly smaller than the full size desktop keyboard, then don't get a 10 inch device. The keyboard is 97% the size of a full size keyboard, so it's not that much smaller. I am typing full speed on this keyboard, and I have fairly large hands. I've not noticed any discomfort at all. If you find yourself unable to type full speed with a keyboard it that is 97% the size of a regular keyboard, then just get a full size laptop.

(2) The trackpad is too sensitive, making it too easy to accidentally touch and change the place of the typing cursor.

It took me a whole 5 seconds (if that) to find a way to disable the trackpad. Hint: fn+f9.

(3) The screen is not HD enough.

First of all, this is a full HD screen. It's not as high def as the asus infinity or the ipad 3, but it is plenty clear. You will only notice a difference between this screen and the infinity or the ipad 3 if you put your face up against the screen and try to look for the pixels. The screen is more than capable to play 1080p movies.

(4) Windows rt does not have enough apps.

As it stands, windows rt has about 5,000 apps. When iOS first launched, apple's appstore had 0 apps. When Android first launched, it had 700 apps. Windows rt launched with 5,000 apps.

As you go through the apps, you will notice that many of the apps (games) you love are not on the windows rt app store. I agree that this is a drawback. More on this at the end of this review.

(5) Windows rt interface is too hard to adapt to.

I don't understand what's so hard about the UI in windows 8/rt? Swipe from the right to get options like search, menu, control, start, etc. Swipe from the left to get the previous app or to dock the previous app and get split screen. Swipe from the bottom or top to get app specific menu and options. That's it. For me, there was no learning curve at all. And I'm a civil engineer, not some tech wiz.

(6) Speakers are in the back.

Where else would they be? This is a very thin device. Thinner than any ipad. Thinner than anything else on the market. If you have a device this thin, the speakers would either be in the front or the back. The front is out of the question. There's nothing there but glass. For those complaining about this, you should get an ipad. Oh wait, the ipad's speaker (singular, no stereo) is in the back as well. If you think you can come up with a better design, why don't you build us the perfect tablet with better positioned speakers?

(7) The device feels cheap.

How? The casing is made of brushed aluminum. The whole tablet is one piece of aluminum connected to rubberized plastic and glass. How is this cheap? To me, it looks and feels very solid and very well designed and assembled. It also is the thinnest device on the market. How is this cheap?

(8) The plastic strip is too big and has no purpose.

Yes, the rubberized plastic strip on top of the back of the device has a purpose. Asus redesigned the docking clams to make it possible for us to undock the tablet while the netbook form is still closed. You couldn't do this in any other transformer series device. The rubberized plastic strip is there to make it easier for us to reach into our bag and just undock and pull out the tablet. To me, this redesign is godsend. For my job, I travel a lot and use my tablet to write up reports. I have to regularly pull out my tablet to pull up a digitized document or manual to survey the area job sites. If you don't like how it looked, just buy a skinomi techskin and put it over the back of your tablet.

************************************************************************************

Now, here are some strengths that I've found about the tablet compared to the previous model the TF700. The whole setup feels a lot more solid. I can't really describe it well in words. You just have to put your hands on one to know what I mean. Asus engineers have also solved the balancing issue. In the TF101, TF201, Tf300, and TF700, the netbook form had a balancing issue. The tablet portion was a bit heavier than the docking station so that if you put a little pressure on the screen the whole setup would fall backward. I'm sure you've seen this in video reviews of previous models.

In the TF600, asus engineers have redistributed the weights toward the joints in the middle making the whole netbook form a lot more stable. You can now push all you want on the screen and it would not fall backward. In fact, you could hold the setup up to 45 degrees backward and release and the tablet would still fall forward and stand straight up.

Now, going back to the windows rt weakness, which is the number of apps. Yes, I agree that there are only 5,000 apps right now versus 700,000+ apps in the android market. Think about the following.

(1) How many apps do you have installed on your current device? Do you have 5,000 apps installed?

(2) Have you ever been taught that quality is more valuable than quantity?

The windows 8/rt is a new ecosystem. It will undoubtedly get more apps just like how android started out with 700 apps and now there are hundreds of thousands of apps. But here's the thing. Both the iOS and android ecosystems are now supersaturated with crap apps. It really amazes me how many useless apps there are in there. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I'm saying just looking at the numbers alone is deceptive.

Windows RT is a full operating system. It is the smoothest and best experience you will ever have on a tablet UI. Compared to the ipad and the TF700, the vivotab rt feels so much faster and much more satisfying. When you do a swipe with your finger on the ipad and the asus infinity, there is always a slight delay that everyone's gotten used to. The vivotab rt, on the other hand, has no delay. It is an amazing experience to see the screen following your finger with no delay at all. You just have to play with one to feel the difference. Don't take my word for it. Go to the local best buy or staples and play around with the display unit. You will see what I mean.

After having used my new vivotab RT, I've been unable to go back to my asus infinity. Even my ipad feels slow and sluggish compared to the vivotab RT. Again, don't take my word for it. Get your hands on these tablets and compare them for yourself. You'll see what I mean.

Don't worry about the number of apps and the app choices. They are increasing by the minute. I've already noticed a lot of app choices this week that I didn't see last month. App developers are racing to put their apps in the Microsoft app store.

In short, the iOS and android are built with only gaming experience in mind. You'd be hard pressed to create and be productive with those OSes. And most tech reviewers would agree with me on that. Windows RT is made with both gaming and productivity in mind. The split screen alone on the vivotab RT makes my job so much better than before. And with battery life that lasts the whole day, I can go through the whole day without having to think about plugging in my device.

For the doubters, just get your hands on one and try it out. You won't regret it. Trust me.
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180 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I had hoped, October 27, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS VivoTab RT TF600T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Gray) 2012 Model (Personal Computers)
The moderate reviews this tablet has received from tech websites do not do it justice. They say the downfall is it doesn't have that many apps. Well, Apple released with 300, Android with 700, and this with 3,000. Give it a few weeks and it will have everything you need. Responsiveness, speed, load times, screen display, all of these things are great and I have no complaints. I can use remote desktop to access terminals at work, which was previously impossible on iOS / Android. Outlook allows all of my work emails to stream right in, and word / powerpoint / excel etc allow me to do my college projects and manage work documents from it. It is not a COMPLETE desktop / laptop replacement, but it is as close to it is I have ever seen. Ignore 3/5 reviews from CNET, Gizmodo, and Engadget for not having "the hundreds of thousands of apps from the competition". Jeez, give it some time, it's brand new!

Edit: By Outlook, I meant "Mail" on the start screen. You can sync outlook accounts, yahoo, gmail, etc all into one hub.
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110 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply awesome **3 Month Update**, October 26, 2012
This review is from: ASUS VivoTab RT TF600T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Gray) 2012 Model (Personal Computers)
**3-mo update**

Okay, so I've had this tablet for almost three months, and I must say that I have still do not have any regrets. The app store is constantly being updated with new offerings, but is still far from what is available for the ipad and android tablets. BUT with that said, there is a huge difference here...with the Windows RT OS, many of the apps you would need due to lack of flash support are availble simply by going to the website and having the full feature of the target website...hope that makes sense. In short, I'm not missing anything that I used to have on the iPad2 or Nexus 7 I used to own. Aside from the awesomeness that the keyboard dock offers in terms of battery life, the feature that has really worked well for my family is the ability to have individual user accounts. We have three kids that are constantly on the Vivo Tab researching and typing their school work. And just like a computer with multiple accounts, they can set the home screen to suit their individual needs and thier files are stored accordingly...no mix ups. Pinting is a snap too...the Vivo Tab automatically detected our wireless printer...due to restrictions placed on their netbooks from their school, they cannot add our home printer. So as you can imagine its been getting used ALOT. The keyboard/battery dock is a crucial piece of this multi-tasking puzzle. With an average 13-hr battery life (our use) with keyboard, the one thing I heard the most from our kids was the relief of not having to worry about plugging the power supply in (mobility at its finest). As for the rest, it has continued to meet my expectations.

Original Post:

Sooo happy we as consumers finally got something other than android or iOS. I won't hate on either, but I was more than ready for a solid third option. I will leave out the tech stuff since you can see that in the item description. Walked into the MS store earlier to purchase the Surface RT. Then I looked over and saw the Asus model. Love at first sight. Not only is the model lighter, but just feels right in the hands (Android Transformer users can attest). Loaded my music and movies...picture and sound quality is fantastic! Snapped a few photos with great results. Although I did not buy a tablet to snap photos or video. Screen clarity is just as good if not better than what I have seen with the various tablets I have owned prior to this (Galaxy Tabs, Nexus 7, iPad2). Swiping and the on screen keyboard are responsive...I have not noticed any hesitation or lag. Keep in mind we are dealing with a quad-core system. The only thing you will need to be aware of is the lack of apps in the store. But you also have to keep in mind that this is new to the MS ecosystem...they will come. Then there's office...AWESOME!!!. Added my corporate email and was opening and editing documents with ease...this is what sold me the most. Since I mostly work with documents, I will now be able to travel without my laptop. Overall, it was worth the wait...quality build, office, windows, happy camper.

Forgot to mention. The tablet comes with a USB adapter so you can connect a USB flash drive to transfer files or get some work done. Also, as mentioned in the comments...Asus is offering the dock for FREE for a limited time. So if your thinking of getting one...
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long Version Review, November 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Let’s face the ugly truth -- Windows 8 RT and the Surface series of tablets haven’t exactly been a raging success. Beaten back by Android and the more expensive but better liked iOS, Windows took a $900 million bath on unsold inventory and ditched the first version for the Surface 2.

Unfortunately, RT’s bad karma also rubbed off on other products, including this Asus VivoTab. Originally $600 with a keyboard, the VivoTab was $100 less than the keyboardless Surface. Today you can find a VivoTab for less than $400 and, in most cases, this includes a keyboard.

Does the VivoTab live up to the expectations or is it destined to be a dud like the original Surface?

Let’s look at the basics and see if this puppy stacks up.

In the Box:

For this unit you’ll get the tablet, keyboard, USB power cable with standard plug module, a cleaning cloth and a power connector pulling double duty as a secondary USB device. Read below for more on that double-duty connector.

Of course, you get instructions for both the tablet and keyboard.

Design:

Sensuous curves meet up with shades of black and gray to form an artist’s dream -- as opposed to the Surface’s rather stark suede like black material. True, the VivoTab is still plastic with a little metal but it’s nicely designed and laid out plastic and metal.

As for thickness or thinness, that is a toss up. Some say the VivoTab is thinner while others state the Surface is, but in the end run does it really matter? Get any thinner and they’ll be invisible when turned sideways.

Look around and you’ll see the ubiquitous webcams front and rear but the one on the back is the biggie -- it’s an 8 MP version which is about 3 or 4 MP higher than the standard (and nearly 4 times greater resolution than the original Surface). You’ll also see the microSD slot, something you’ll probably want since that 32GB SSD is already halfway gone just for the RT OS (oops, the ads curiously forget to mention that bit). Of course you’ve got the power connector/USB port on the bottom along with the necessary power and volume switches on the side.

And what’s that about a power connector acting as a USB port? Well, the included keyboard does have a full USB port but the tablet portion doesn’t, unlike the Surface which is reversed and has the port on the screen border. Because of this design (necessary due to the VivoTab’s thinner bezel) an adapter is used to convert the power port into a functional, full size USB receiver.

Assembly:

I added this area not because you have to build this thing but you do have to put the pieces together, mainly the keyboard and tablet.

Unlike the Surface’s magnet catch system, the VivoTab uses a push-to-lock and pull-to-release system. Attaching the two pieces is akin to plugging a lamp into a socket. While it’s obvious the two pieces are mated once locked, it does lack the assurance of the Surface catch design with one of the strongest magnets I’ve ever encountered.

Releasing the pieces requires the movement of a slide switch on the left side of the tablet at which point you tug and they should come apart. While they usually do, the process involves the awkward “to the right” still of tugging on the tablet to separate it from the keyboard. Be careful to have your hands tightly on either piece since it isn’t always a smooth experience.

Boot:

At 30 to 40 seconds for a cold boot from an SSD, one might think this is a slug but have you ever really looked at the boot time on an Android tablet? Don’t know about yours but my Nexus 7 takes 1.5 minutes on average. Therefore, I’ll call this category’s rating as acceptable, especially since the Surface’s I’ve checked have roughly the same boot time.

By the way, shut downs are jack quick, almost too much so. If you accidentally push the power button you can count on the screen going out almost immediately. Fortunately, a short push only puts it to sleep but I have hit the stupid thing at least a couple times just because of its odd placement in the upper right corner (just where anybody would naturally put their hand when grabbing it).

Sleep, or standby mode, is a little less reliable with the unit either not waking up as it should or coming back on to a frozen screen. From my experience with Windows 8 and RT, this could very well be a fault of the OS but I can’t call it at this point.

Post Boot Updating:

This is a whopper so make sure you have a very, very good internet connection. Notice the double use of very.

Out of the box, this is what I had in the way of updates:

* 2.1 GB for Windows 8.1. Notice that’s GB, not MB. That alone took nearly two hours of downloading.

* Nearly 900 MB for the Office update that actually takes it from 2013 Preview to a fully functional version. Another hour shot.

* Almost another two hours just for assorted app and program updates not included above.

Maybe I should add another couple “very” to the internet connection description above. Plan on kissing most of your first day goodbye.

Screen Clarity:

Bright and clear as either can get and probably a tick more so than the Surface. One of the better screens I’ve seen on a tablet screen. Of note, Amazon warns of light bleeding on the screen but I never noticed any although the shiny screen does little for outside usability.

Of note, the screen is Corning’s “Fit” variety. Depending upon what you read or who you talk to, this glass is either inferior to or the equivalent of “Gorilla” glass. Take your pick since my experience has shown that if you abuse either you’ll end up with scratches.

Video/Audio:

Audio is great with decent speakers although they do lack some bass.

Video is iffy, but a lot of that depends upon the internet connection. Even with my DSL connection some videos stuttered at 360p. Maybe it’ll do better with a more stout internet signal but I can’t tell right now.

Keyboard:

You’ve got your choice of two here -- onboard and external.

Internally is the same onscreen snafu you’ve seen with Android or iOS devices. Count on about half of your keystrokes being misinterpreted. Where is verbal input when you need it?

Externally, think netbook. Remember those? About 97% of a standard sized keyboard but just cramped enough to be occasionally frustrating. Good key feel, though, but you will find the smaller than average shift and return keys a miscue waiting to happen.

There is a little tick with the external version, though. Since it has a physical connection to the tablet (which, literally, clicks and locks into a groove at the back of the keyboard) folding and unfolding is something of a challenge, at least the latter part.

Once the two parts are locked in, folding is a snap and is akin to a laptop.

Unfolding is something different. The hinge is stiff and a great deal of pressure is necessary to coerce the two into cooperating. Maybe this will change with time but I can’t tell quite yet.

Battery:

This is an unusual unit in that both the tablet and keyboard have batteries and can be charged independently or together when linked as a single unit. As such, total battery life can approach 14 hours (16 states Asus but that was probably taking the unit to danger levels) with the keyboard attached and somewhere around 8 without. In my test I made 6.75 hours with the tablet alone before getting panicky and plugging it back in, so 8 is not out of the question; however, if you’ve got good eyes or a dark room you can turn the brightness down and get nearly 10 hours (with wi-fi off).

Why not a test with the keyboard? Seems there is a quirk here. When connected to the keyboard, power is drawn mainly from the tablet and then the keyboard. Since the tablet uses more power it will discharge first. One time I decided to disconnect the tablet and didn’t realize the battery was dead for the tablet and it did an abrupt shutdown.

See the dilemma here? I’ll have to play with that one some.

Of note, yes you can use the unit with the plug in and charging, but there is another snafu here. Doing a mouseover of the battery icon in the tray will bring up dual readings with one for the keyboard and the other, naturally, for the tablet; however, neither is labeled. I eventually determined the bottom reading is for the tablet which is sort of odd given that the tablet is up top when connected to the keyboard.

On final word on this topic -- heat. There is none. I mean absolutely zero. This is the coolest system I’ve worked on in quite a while.

Software:

Not the OS, you already know that’s RT; however, I will make one point -- go to the app store and get the 8.1 update so you get a little more flexibility and Outlook to boot.

One good thing about RT, so to speak, is that Microsoft apparently saw the early flaws in their logic and decided to up the ante by including MS Office 2013 RT with anything that packs RT, even units from competitors (they recently extended that offer to new 10 inch or smaller tablets running Windows 8 and not just RT).

Good idea, but be aware it’s about 90% of the full retail package. No macros, add-ins or third party items allowed, or at least so MS claims; however, you’re still getting a suite that would probably cost you at least $100 elsewhere.

Asus added a few programs to sweeten the pot such as SuperNote; however, this unit already comes with MS OneNote making this app something of a questionable addition.

Also, be careful of ads that show the Wacom digitizer pen included. This unit does not come with that.

As for that software you’ve got sitting around the house, forget it. RT allows for nothing outside of its software selections so you can kiss off anything you bought that must be installed. Like Chrome or Firefox? Too stinkin’ bad.

That I can accept since Android and iOS do the same thing, but I do find the Internet Explorer (IE) browser snafu a bit much.

Hmmm, it works something like this. If you’re in the Metro side (icon side or whatever you call it now) you get IE 10 in the new format. Go to the Windows 8 side (it’s really Windows 7, folks) you get a modified version of IE 10 that looks like IE 9.

What’s the difference? The Metro version has the URL on the bottom while the 8 version looks like what you’re probably using now. No great biggie there, but be aware of a wrinkle -- adding bookmarks on the 8 side doesn’t transfer over to the Metro side or vice versa.

But maybe that small SSD has other problems, too. After you discount the space for RT and the other little add-ons from Asus, you’ve got all of 16GB to play with.

Final Thoughts:

This isn’t a bad unit in any respect but, like almost anything else, it does have a few quirks. The major hurdle for many will probably be the price while others may see the smallish SSD as a too-tall hurdle.

And by now you’re wondering how a price of less than $400 in many cases can be a problem. Take a look around and you may have noticed that many laptops packing full Windows 8 have taken a price nosedive (mainly because of the OS) and it’s entirely possible to find a decent laptop for around the same price or a little more.

Is this a laptop replacement? Not really since the lack of program compatibility is a great detraction and the MS app store isn’t exactly wowing customers, but it might make a great unit for the student in the family or the person who mainly surfs the web and does an occasional report.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love my Vivo Tab!, November 21, 2012
This review is from: ASUS VivoTab RT TF600T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Gray) 2012 Model (Personal Computers)
Let me say first that I, too, was a little worried about getting my free dock. Almost two weeks passed and on the Asus website my claim still just said "Application submitted" or something similar. I called up Asus and the gentleman I spoke to said that due to the high volume of submissions it takes about 2-3 weeks to get people their keyboard docks - totally understandable. If I haven't gotten my dock by the end of the third week I was to call back and let them know. Luckily, I bought my Vivo Tab from Micro Center and two days after calling Asus, I got a letter from MC stating I should bring my receipt and that letter back to the store to claim my free dock. The letter also stated that if I submitted my info on Asus's website that my info was most likely referred back to MC. So I promptly drove over to MC and got my dock for free. Asus may be doing this for a lot of claims to lighten the load on the website, perhaps, and to get people their docks faster. That way Asus reduces the chance of customers either returning the tablet or writing a horrible review (which exist on this site).

The actual tablet has a great battery life and is very snappy. No lag (or none worth complaining about). We bought our tablet for vacation because it's much easier to pack and take around than a laptop is. We just threw ours in a neoprene slip case and put it in my camera bag. No fuss. No muss. Charges quickly and, on a full charge, lasts all day. Great for viewing photos, watching movies, the internet, and even using a little MS Office. We also picked up a CHEAP (Inland brand, $12) notebook bluetooth mouse which the tablet recognized and connected with right away. Why a mouse? Well, it's better than a track pad and some websites still don't play nice with touchscreens/tablets.

The build of the tablet is actually GREAT. For people complaining about it being flimsy or having an overlapping bezel, they obviously got a defective one and should have returned it promptly. Mine is sleek, slim, and sexy. The construction is solid and feels great. It's light and slightly tapered towards the edges which makes it easy to hold. I wish it had a built-in full-size USB port but using the little adapter that comes with it isn't so bad and once you get the dock it's no longer a problem at all.

Overall it's a great tablet and the only down side right now stems from limitations of Windows 8 RT. The good news is is that Win 8 RT keeps getting updates and apps daily and the tablet keeps getting better. Go get one!

*UPDATE 1*

One of the best things about having this tablet is how seemless it works with your Windows Homegroup. My wife had a recipe that she wanted to try but it was on her laptop in the other room. For the record, we have VERY limited counter space in our kitchen and, with cooking/baking stuff spread out there isn't even enough room for a 15" laptop. Plus it's a few years old so it's a little heavy for its size. With the VivoTab (and dock), I just grabbed her recipe through our home network (homegroup). Then I placed the VivoTab (w/dock) on top of our coffee maker and she was ready to go. Try THAT on an Android tablet!

*UPDATE 2*

I'm actually writing this update on the Vivo Tab with the dock. Of course it's a smaller keyboard so it takes a little getting used to BUT once you adjust it's easy to use and waaaaay better than a touchscreen keyboard. That said, printing from this tablet is great! Our wireless Epson printer was found and drivers installed easily. This tablet prints just like a laptop. Super easy. With the keyboard dock, you almost forget that you have a tablet. A touchscreen laptop is the best hybrid machine and being able to detach the tablet is great. We're so spoiled now with the tablet/dock combo that if we ever buy another laptop it'll have to be touchscreen! In fact, a tablet with a dock almost makes a laptop obsolete. Oh, and don't pay any attention to people saying that the dock doubles the weight of the tablet. It's still ridiculously light and convenient. Any lighter and it would feel cheap. This feels solid and dependable. Love it.

*UPDATE 3*
Now that the NHL is back in action, I use this tablet to watch games on GameCenter Live when either I'm not home or can't sit in front of the TV when I am. There isn't an app for it (Android tabs NEED the app) but this tablet doesn't need it! Plays the website video perfectly (looks amazing) which Android Tabs can't - not even the news videos. Two months in and still loving this tablet!
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Perfect, but Among the Best Tablet Options Right Now, January 31, 2013
This review is from: ASUS VivoTab RT TF600T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Gray) 2012 Model (Personal Computers)
Back in December, I picked up two tablets to evaluate - a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and this ASUS Vivo Tab RT. I already have an iPad, so with all of these devices, I felt I was in a good position to evaluate the relative strengths & weaknesses. I'll try to keep my thoughts about the Vivo Tab focused, but feel free to ask questions via the Comment link.

PROS:
* One of the best overall feature sets of any tablet on the market today. This alone should put this on your list of contenders if you're shopping for a tablet right now.
* Office 2013 - While iOS and Android devices have good work suites available (I'd give the nod to iOS), they are not free. And they are more limited. Win 8 RT gives you the latest versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote for FREE! There are a handful of features missing that you get with the full MS-Office suite (e.g. the equation editor in Word), but you get everything that most people need.
* NFC - if you're not familiar with it yet, you will be soon. NFC (Near Field Communications) will be increasingly used for mobile payment systems, fast & secure file transfers, and more. No iPads have NFC support yet, nor do any Android tablets that I am familiar with yet, nor does the excellent Windows Surface RT tablet.
* Great expansion options and peripheral support. The included USB port (full port on the keyboard dock, dongle when using the tablet w/o the keyboard) means you can use peripherals like a thumb drive or USB hard drive, and the microSD card slot means you can easily & cheaply add more storage. Try that on an iPad! I've used this to access data on my USB thumb drives. They've all worked well and the performance has been excellent.
* Great overall performance. The quad core processor gives this tablet very snappy performance, at least on par with other latest-model tablets.
* Great aesthetics. Nice look & feel. The tablet itself is quite light making it nicer to hold than heavier tablets like an iPad.
* Split screen option. Windows RT allows you to use 2 apps simultaneously - e.g. email and video. Unfortunately, you cannot control the size of the windows (they have fixed widths - roughly 25% / 75%), but this is still a nice feature. Note that Android Jelly Bean does allow for multiple windows, and you have full control over those.
* Metro interface. Some might make fun of it, but I've really been enjoying it. I love the larger tiles - similar to widgets on Android - that provide live info. It makes looking at the app icons on my iPad seem very dated. In fact, I've really preferred using the Vivo Tab over my iPad most of the time. I also enjoy being able to quickly access the device settings w/o having to leave my app (something you cannot do on the iPad). And I can easily search the app store, web, or my device from any screen, too.

CONS
* Screen. It is a beautiful screen, but it I wish it had higher resolution. This doesn't affect most things you do on the tablet, and movies still look good, but I really wish it had the same full HD display as the ASUS' Android version of this tablet.
* Windows 8 app store. Yes, this is the current achilles heel for Windows 8 devices. The app store pales in comparison to what is available for iOS and Android. Today I wanted to use my Vivo Tab for a WebEx webinar, but Cisco has not released a Windows RT app yet. But it does get better every day, and there is a large core of very solid apps for most of what you need.
* Speakers. The volume could be a bit better (very minor gripe), but it is adequate, and the sound is clear. And unlike some other tablets, I find the volume control to be well-placed and easy to use.
* Keyboard. Overall the keyboard dock is great. However, I find it a bit challenging to type on. It is certainly not a replacement for a regular keyboard, but it does allow you to type much faster than the virtual (on-screen) keyboard. The real estate is taken up in part by a palm rest and touch pad (which does work quite well) - very similar to a keyboard on a notebook computer. I wish they had skipped the touchpad and used the space to make the keyboard itself less cramped.
* Windows RT consumes quite a bit of space - around 13GB, I believe. This still leaves plenty of space, though, and with a microSD slot (plus the ability to use USB drives), storage shouldn't be an issue.

SHOULD YOU BUY THIS?

The Vivo Tab is well designed, full of features, and a real joy to use. $ for $, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better value. But is it the right tablet for YOU?

If you are tied to Windows - either because of MS-Office or because of using other Windows machines, then the ASUS Vivo Tab is a great choice. Integration within the Windows ecosystem should be tight, and it is a far better value than the Surface RT tablet. If you want a tablet that helps you be more productive in your work, then this is a really strong contender across the board. It's also a great all-around tablet. However, for creative types who will want to do extensive audio, photo & video work, go with the iPad or possibly the Galaxy Note 10.1. Those wanting a tablet mostly for gaming should look at Android options or the iPad unless you are already invested in MS gaming.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great productivity tablet, November 25, 2012
This review is from: ASUS VivoTab RT TF600T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Gray) 2012 Model (Personal Computers)
UPDATE: FLASH NOW WORKS.

We purchased two of these from a box store. Got the keyboard docks included in the store price as we couldn't do the rebate thru Asus (something about it being a store purchase vs online purchase).

This tablet appears to be more productivity oriented, especially with the keyboard dock. We own an iPad as well as Kindle Fires but we aren't using those now that we have the Vivo Tabs. The fact that it comes preinstalled with Office is a huge benefit. The ability to print is very useful as well. While there are less apps for now, we are sure that Microsoft will have a lot more apps very soon. As it is, we didn't get these to play games, although one of ours does have Angry Birds Star Wars on it now and it's nice to be able to go to Yahoo games and be able to play them with the keyboard (iPad doesn't support Flash and the Fire didn't work on that site either).

The speed and smoothness of this operating system is very impressive. One of us is a die hard Mac fan but fell in love with this system. The other is a picky software developer. RT is extremely user friendly. Surfing the web is very fast. Very little, if any, delay loading sites. None of our other tablets come even close.

Battery life is incredible. The one I'm typing on right now was charged the night before last. Used all day yesterday and into the night. Used all day today and the tablet battery is still over 50% charged. The keyboard battery makes a huge difference. While this unit, with the keyboard dock ends up thicker than the Surface, the extra battery life is very appealing. Never have to worry about carrying a charger around just in case. Also makes it sturdier on your lap and feels more protected for transport. The keyboard took a little getting used to due to size but quickly became easy. Love that the dock has a built in full sized USB port. Also love that the tablet has a micro-SD slot for extra storage. We've been using the cloud services so that hasn't been necessary yet but it's nice to have as an option.

One of the keyboard docks we got did have issues and we exchanged it for one that worked. While hooked up to the power adapter it wasn't charging the tablet. Charge from the battery is supposed to charge the tablet and it wasn't doing that either. It just worked as a keyboard. With the replacement everything is working as it should. Both dock and tablet charge from the one port and when the tablet gets down to about 70% the dock starts to send its charge to the tablet. Then you will see the tablet battery% go up and the dock % go down.

If you're looking for something that's productivity oriented, fun, a good user experience, and you don't need to install desktop software, this is a great option. However, if all you need is web, Office, games, and other apps, this could easily be a main system.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!, January 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS VivoTab RT TF600T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Gray) 2012 Model (Personal Computers)
When I asked my Mom if she wanted a refresh of her iPad for Christmas she said, "refresh yes, another iPad not so much". We looked at all the new tablets and she picked this Asus Vivo Tab. I played with it for about a week before Christmas so I would be able to help her with any problems, (she is 75) and was totally impressed with the build quality and design--I would go as far as saying they are outperforming Apple here which is obviously not easy to do. The design and build quality are that good.

The removable tablet/keyboard dock form factor is spot on IMO. The tablet was fairly easy to attach and remove from the base, it feels a little awkward at first as you get used to it. It vibrates and plays a chime tone when you have attached it correctly which helps. It takes both hands to dock/detach which is fine with me as when it is attached it really feels attached--I only mention it because it is not as effortless as the cute little magnetic click covers. Over our Christmas visit, (4 days) I noticed my Mom tended to just keep it attached to the keyboard dock so I mentioned and demonstrated several times that the tablet could be removed--she finally just told me she actually preferred it with the base attached for most uses as it "held itself up perfectly". I think she felt more secure being able to set it on her lap or the table and even preferred holding it by the base as it felt "safer". I was able to type pretty well on the chicklet style keyboard even though I have quite long fingers. I could match the 20-30 wpm I type at on my desktop keyboard without any problem. My wife who has very small hands but can type at 80-100 wpm took to it instantly. Tactile feedback for key presses felt very good to me. Key layout and spacing is well thought out. My only complaint would be the lack of back lighting--something I tend to like. Not a deal breaker by any stretch as the keyboard is obviously pretty close to the screen and it does cast some light on it. Touch typists won't care at all of course.

The screen is great with excellent brightness/contrast/viewing angles etc. I did not see any ghosting or artifacts so refresh rates are good. No pixelation in movies during action sequences and explosions and playback was smooth as butter.

I forgot to check the NFC "tap to share". Sorry.

The gyroscopes and accelerometer seemed to work fine in the few games I tried. The screen oriented pretty rapidly when rotated. The closer it was to "upright" the faster it seemed to register--as with all tablets.

Sound was better than any other tablet I have used but still lacks enough volume for all uses IMO. Headphones and my Nu Force UDAC 2 sounded excellent.

The wireless NIC was great. I got 4 of 5 bars out on the front porch, about 30 feet from a typical Link-Sys home router, and her house has a brick exterior. Anywhere inside I usually had 5 of 5 bars.

I really liked the Windows 8 live tile Touch UI --Metro or w/e they are calling it now. I also found the "desktop" portion of RT to be quite usable, especially with the touch pad and pointer on the dock. It was usable (but just barely) with a finger. I would miss the button I was aiming for about 40% - 50% of the time. My Mom already uses a stylus on her iPad so I was able to try one in the windows/desktop environment and it makes it a LOT more usable. The included office apps were all excellent. Being able to use files and folders was also very useful/comfortable for me, especially with either a stylus or the track pad and cursor. The track pad seemed fine to me but to be candid I detest them and am NOT a laptop person, so it could be awesome or horrible compared to other products and I would not know. My Mom uses a lap top and liked the track pad, as did my wife who also uses a laptop. I tried my Logitech Performance MX mouse with it's tiny little USB RX and it was detected and worked fine. I also tried various USB memory sticks and my Galaxy S2 phone and all were auto detected and worked without issue.

Windows joined my Moms home network without any problems and adding a printer was going fine...right up until we got to the HP drivers list and her laser printer model was not listed. To be fair to HP the printer is older than dirt and my Pops has to run Windows XP on all their machines because he can't find printer drivers. The drivers list had a LOT of printers so I doubt most people will have a problem. When I was "testing" the Vivo Tab RT at home the week before Christmas I was able to print to my Canon color printer which is about 5 years old, and the Wife's HP 3 in 1 Photo Smart.

The Windows 8 App market is not as filled out as Apple's or Androids--not sure what she will do without 50,000 Baby Shaker and Fart Apps--but she had all her Board Games and Bottle Cap type games loaded in about an hour. Think Yahtzi, (SP?) Bejewled, MahJong etc. She also had her Cook Book program and Kindle App and all her Solitaire games. The news paper and magazine selection seemed pretty good to me. She liked the FaceBook and Skype Apps. Her Yahoo email worked fine and the live tiles are actually kind of useful/cool. The mult-tasking is functional...not so sure about the way they split rhe dual view as a third of the screen...though everything seemed to re-size itself correctly when it was in the "little half" of the screen.

To sum it up for Windows 8 RT: I really like the Metro touch UI a lot, (can't wait to get a windows 8 phone in fact) and the more traditional desktop portion of the OS is quite familiar and usable with either a wireless mouse, the track pad, or a stylus. Not so much with a "clunky" finger. My only complaint would not be with either environment, but the clunky way Microsoft dumps you from one to the other. The duplicate programs like IE for example. There is a Touch version and a "windows" version. They may have done that for people who are going to spend a lot of time in one or the other I guess, meaning if I was "plugged into windows" and had a mouse running and was working in office the windows version of IE might be more useful then the times I was on the couch just tooling around the web. I could use this OS as is right now without too much trouble and be very productive (and happy). I think it feels about 80% polished and I feel comfortable that future versions will cover that last 20% pretty quickly. I also think that the App store will fill out pretty rapidly for those needing more specialized apps like medical charting, pilots, engineers etc.

I took advantage of the free dock deal Asus was running and I have to say that their customer interaction is not great by any stretch. The online form I had to fill out was pretty clunky and I could not get logged into my "VIP" account. Getting any information from their FAQ and forums was a waste of time and getting a person on the phone took a while. Once I did get a person, (who surprisingly spoke English) they were competent and got me squared away pretty quickly. Asus makes exceptionally good products in my experience, but their PR, and customer support still have a ways to go. I got the Dock 15 calendar days after I filled out the online form which seems reasonable for a rebate type "free" item.

The hardware from Asus is just flat out WONDERFUL and I am very satisfied with this purchase. I will be buying their Transformer Book in 14" or 15" the minute it is available. Running pure windows programs (with a wireless mouse or stylus) on a beautiful ultrabook/tablet sounds great to me!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Tablet, November 14, 2012
This review is from: ASUS VivoTab RT TF600T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Gray) 2012 Model (Personal Computers)
I purchase this tablet couple days ago. once all the windows updates were installed , tablet ran super smooth and fast. overall very happy with performance. I register my tablet and order free dock without any trouble. other reviews mentioned difficulties with ordering free dock, may have been associated with uploading incorrect file type for images for invoice and Serial number pictures.

Pros :

1) Light Weight
2) Superb built quality
3) Free docking station (till 12/31/12)

Con:

I haven't come across any yet.

if you are planning to buy this tablet keep in mind this is similar to Ipad or other tablet in market. it will not replace your laptop or desktop.

Also after you first log in, run windows update and after updates are installed turn off and turn back on. I notice big performance boost on 2nd second after all the updates were installed.
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