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 !!!