Customer Review

92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best computer I've ever owned, November 30, 2012
This review is from: ASUS VivoTab TF810C-C1-GR 11.6-Inch 64GB Tablet (Grey) (Personal Computers)
I've owned the ASUS VivoTab TF810C and the docking station for about a week now and can say without question that this is the best computer I've ever owned. I'm still warming up to Windows 8. Windows 8 is just ok because working in both the Metro and traditional desktop interfaces is sometimes confusing, so I think Windows 8 will have to grow on me, but the Asus Tablet is simply phenomenal.

PROS
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- Long battery life! All I can say is WOW. The battery life on the tablet alone is around 9 hours. I'd say realistically, you'll get about 6 to 7 hours with normal use, but that is still incredible. Then, if you add the dock, you get an additional 10 hours (real life another 7 to 8 hours) making this the first true all day computer ever. I've owned several Sony Vaio's with extended batteries and thought I was doing well getting 8 hours with those, but the Vivotab's battery life is on an entirely new level.

- Screen brightness! As far as I know, the VivoTab is the only x86 tablet on the market with 600 nits brightness. The others are all between 350 and 400 nits, so the screen on this is super bright. Almost too bright for most situations, so I find myself keeping the brightness somewhere between 4 and 6 out of the 10 available brightness levels.

- Fast! I was hesitant to buy this tablet and thought about waiting for the upcoming Transformer Book instead because I thought I would need a Core i5 or i7 processor and 4GB of RAM to use the apps that I regularly use (Office, Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks), but I was pleasantly surprised that I could run all of these programs on the 1.8Ghz Atom with 2GB of RAM with no problem at all. I can even have them all open at the same time without missing a beat. Photoshop does lag a bit if you work with large files, so I wouldn't recommend this if your job is to use Photoshop all day, but if you are a casual Photoshop user, this tablet will be just fine.

- Cool to the touch and Quiet! Again, I was worried about the VivoTab TF810C not having a fan, but this thing is ALWAYS cool to the touch. There's an area of slight warmth in the upper left hand corner on the back of the tablet near the camera, but it's not hot and I wouldn't even call it warm - maybe lukewarm. I'm guessing that the processor is right there in that spot, but you really wouldn't know it. The rest of the device is cool, if not cold to the touch all the time. ...and since there's no fan, there's no noise. None...

- Wacom Active Digitizer! This is one of those things that I really didn't care about or know much about before buying this tablet, but after using the Wacom Active Digitizer and the included Active Digital Pen, I would never want to be without these again on any device. Don't get me wrong, I knew I wanted a touchscreen, but the Wacom Active Digitizer is a step beyond a normal touch screen because it offers pressure sensitivity so when you're handwriting or painting, the amount of pressure directly correlates to the width of the line, so what you see on screen looks just like what you would see when writing or painting on paper. You can even rest your hand on the screen while you're writing because the tablet can discern between the pen and your hand.

- WIFI! The wifi connection on this is stronger than any other computer I've had. In fact, I'm seeing several networks in my neighborhood that I can't see on any other computer that I own.

- Light weight! Almost forgot to mention that the VivoTab is so light that it can comfortably be held in one hand for long periods of time. For comparison, an iPad 2 weighs 1.35 lbs and the VivoTab weighs 1.5 lbs.

CONS
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- Disk Space :( 64GB is all you get, so you have to be diligent about watching what you install. I currently have Office 2010, Adobe Creative Suite Web Premium and probably 6GB of additional data and I now have 13GB of space available left on my drive. The nice thing about the VivoTab is that there is a MicroSD slot right on the tablet, so I just put a 64GB Micro SD card in there and can move my data over to that drive. The keyboard dock also has two USB 2.0 ports, so you can use 2 additional USB sticks to increase storage space there as well.

- No USB 3.0 port. It would be nice to have this for speed with external storage devices. None of the Atom tablets have a USB 3.0 port, though, so I can't fault Asus for this.

- No Bitlocker support to encrypt data. The VivoTab doesn't come with Windows 8 Pro, so you have to pay Microsoft an additional $69.99 for the online upgrade (there's a link to do this in the control panel system menu) to get Bitlocker support plus the other features of Windows 8 Pro.

- Trackpad buttons on keyboard dock are awful. Clicking a button doesn't always translate to an on-screen action. Sometimes right clicking triggers a left click or does nothing at all. Sometimes a left click does nothing at all. If you click, you usually are hunting for the "sweet spot" on the buttons to get them to do something. Asus has to fix this. It's not a huge problem because you can always use the touchscreen instead of the trackpad buttons, but Asus really needs to fix this. I purchased two keyboard docks and one is terrible and the 2nd one is just slightly less terrible, so manufacturing processes must have something to do with this, but the trackpad buttons on both are unacceptable to me, especially when I never had this problem with my Asus Eee Pad Transformer dock. ***UPDATE 12/2/12*** my first keyboard dock was clearly defective and I have returned it for an exchange because the buttons wouldn't even pop back up after pressing them. My 2nd keyboard dock, although not perfect, doesn't have this problem and is much more reliable now that I know the "sweet spot" to press on the buttons. If I press the buttons on the edges, most likely, they won't work (sometimes they will work), but if I press them dead center, they seem to always function as they should. I still believe that the buttons should work no matter where you press them, but they are at least useful now...

- Speaker volume. The speakers on the VivoTab are on back and because they face away from you, the volume leaves a lot to be desired. You can hear them just fine, but if you like to listen to loud music directly on your computer speakers or turn up the volume on your movies, you'll be wishing for extra volume. For my purposes, the speakers are acceptable, but I think many people using this tablet for entertainment would want more volume. You can always use headphones or external speakers, of course, but it would be nice if Asus could have made the speakers a bit louder.

Even despite the few cons I mentioned above, this is really the best x86 tablet you can currently buy and I'd recommend it to anyone.
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Comments

Tracked by 10 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 78 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 30, 2012 9:10:31 AM PST
Thanks for the good review. I'd been waiting for this unit to come out but then bought an Iconia W510 when the Microsoft store had it on sale for Cyber Monday. My machine is half the price but it seems the Asus is worth the extra bucks. It's been frustrating to me that we consumers have had to wait so long for these tablets to show up after the Oct 26 release of Windows 8.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 9:33:11 AM PST
gadgetjunkie says:
Thanks - I was tired of waiting too and almost bought the Samsung ATIV 500T, but I'm glad I got the VivoTab instead. It's very well built and worth the extra money.

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 12:17:53 PM PST
slatererp says:
Thanks a lot for the review.

I was hoping you could answer some questions I have about the Asus Vivotab. Are you able to disable touch input and only use the tablet only with the digitizer? Does the pen come with an eraser? Does the tablet itself have a usb compatible port? I know the dock has usb ports but since I am only interested in the tablet I was wondering if I would be able to use usb-enabled devices. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 1:57:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2012 2:00:10 PM PST
gadgetjunkie says:
From what I've read (and from my limited use so far of the pen), touch input is automatically disabled when the digital pen is within 1/2" of the screen in some apps like OneNote, but I'm not aware of a way to disable touch input altogether. I'll check the settings of the tablet to see if there's a way to disable touch input and will update this reply if I find anything like this. The pen comes with an eraser and it works very well. The tablet comes with a USB dongle that can be plugged into the bottom of the tablet to give it a USB port. It is very small and works well with any USB 2.0 device.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 2:53:12 PM PST
slatererp says:
I know the Samsung ATIV 500T can fully disable touch and I have read that the EeeSlate PC could also do that. Unfortunately, my 500T was a lemon and had to end up returning it so I am looking at this Vivotab to replace it because I need a light, thin tablet for mobile sketching/note-taking.

Also how sturdy does your Vivotab feel? Does it feel flexible or nicely rigid? The 500T couldn't take my palm resting lightly on the screen while drawing without the display bending and squashing the LCD like when you put a finger against a MATTE LCD.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 3:36:57 PM PST
gadgetjunkie says:
I checked the settings under "Pen and Touch" in the control panel and didn't see any settings to specifically disable touch, but you can disable the left and right click functions on the touch screen, so I believe that is the equivalent of what you're looking for. The VivoTab is very sturdy. It's solid like an iPad - doesn't feel flexible at all to me because it's mostly aluminum with the exception of the plastic cover on the back where the camera is located. The screen uses Gorilla Glass so it's very solid as well and doesn't bend when you rest your palm on it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 6:03:14 PM PST
slatererp says:
You don't have to but it would really be helpful to know if the Vivotab has a touchscreen driver that supplies the user with a control panel. I know a lot of last generation like the EeeSlate touch/digitizer screen used a Wacom touchscreen/digitizer. Would you be able to verify something... under your Program Files, there should be a folder named "Tablet"? If so, go into that folder, you are looking for a folder named "ISD", since Vivotab uses Wacom digitizer this should exist. Enter that folder and see if there is an application file called "ISD_TouchCPL". This would mean that the Vivotab uses a Wacom multitouch/digitizer and that indeed if you ran that app, you would be able to disable touch completely. This would be very helpful information.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 6:28:24 PM PST
gadgetjunkie says:
I did a wildcard search in Program Files for anything called *tablet* or *touch* and there weren't any matches other than some files called tablet_text and touchup, which don't appear to be related to the digitizer.

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 6:44:13 PM PST
Y. Z. says:
Thanks for the informative review.
Did you consider the Asus VivoTab Smart 10.1" ? or know of significant differences that will make the 11.6" the better buy, except for size of course :) ?
The 10.1" will start selling in the US around mid-December and aside from size, I think that it's identical to the 11.6" one. (I pre-ordered the 10.1" for $499, tablet only).
The 11.6" felt to me a bit less comfortable to hold in one hand because it's quite long compared to the 10.1". Also does not look 'natural' if one wants to hold the 11.6" in portrait mode.
I know that the 10.1" does not have a docking keyboard, but not much else on how they differ.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 6:51:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2012 4:29:14 AM PST
gadgetjunkie says:
I don't know of any significant differences between the Smart and the TF810C other than the dock, battery life and the screen size. The Smart seems to be a good value considering that it's $300 less for basically the same specs. If I didn't need the dock and the extra battery life, I probably would have opted for the Smart too. (update - as consumer100 mentioned here, the Smart also doesn't include the Wacom Active Digitizer, so it may not be a good alternative if you are planning to use it for note taking with the digital pen)
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