Microsoft has formally announced the Windows 8 operating system for India. At the press event, Microsoft had put up a variety of devices for the attendees to get a taste of the new operating system. Hidden amongst the several laptops, ultrabooks and all-in-one systems there was a tablet. A label at the demo kiosk noted it as Asus S400CA Vivobook, but actually it was the upcoming Asus VivoTab RT TF600TG tablet with dock.
The new Microsoft Windows 8 has some basic colours, full screen app functions, live tiles and beautiful personalization options. After playing around with a 30 inch all-in-one machine from Lenovo, the slim Asus machine with dark profile was quite eye catching. The Asus VivoTab RT has a nice smooth brushed aluminium pattern body.
The VivoTab RT with a keyboard dock can mislead anyone into thinking of it as an ultrabook. The keyboard dock also comes with a built in battery.
The Asus VivoTab RT features a 10 inch capacitive touchscreen display with 1366 x 768 pixel resolution. The display showed vibrant colour reproduction and great viewing angles. The VivoTab RT has a Super IPS+ technology display, which has also been used on the Asus Transformer Prime tablet. The display offers full Windows Touch support with up to 5 touch points. The tablet has a 2 megapixel front facing camera, which was barely visible in the low light over the jet black bezel.
At the back, the VivoTab RT has a two tone colour treatment with the battery cover panel made of smoothened aluminium. The 8 megapixel camera made of a 5 element lens is located at the center at the top of the back of the tablet, and next to the image sensor is an LED flash. Overall, the VivoTab RT is about 10 mm thick and weighs just around 500 grams.
Asus VivoTab RT will come pre-loaded with the Windows RT (Windows for ARM) operating system, which is basically Windows 8 coded specifically for the ARM architecture based mobile processor. The device runs on a quad core 1.3 GHz Nvidia Tegra T30 mobile processor and 2 GB of RAM.
As promised by Microsoft, the VivoTab RT was pre loaded with Microsoft Office 2013 RT and the software could be used right out of the box. Office 2013 RT was available in Preview Version and the company has promised to push updates whenever they are formally available sometime next year via Windows Update. Apart from the regular pack of Windows RT Start Screen apps, Asus also added a few more – Kindle, Supernote, MyDictionary, MyLibrary and Asus@vibe fun center.
Most of the features of Windows 8 have been incorporated into the Windows RT, which includes the PowerShell 3.0 version.
Playing around with the applications was a smooth and fun experience. The VivoTab RT worked flawlessly with opening, closing and switching between apps. All major features of the Windows 8 existed on the tablet and hardly made us realize that the tablet was actually running ARM supporting Windows RT.
A slim profile, and smooth and light body makes this tablet immediately likeable for any first time user looking for such a device. However, keep in mind that Windows 8 apps and software will not directly run on Windows RT tablets. That does not make an average Windows RT miss out on legacy apps, but rather only on third party software. Microsoft is closely working with several developers to push out more apps for Windows RT tablets.
Using the VivoTab RT with keyboard dock was like using a slim netbook and ultrabook hybrid. There was some sort of lag with trackpad clicking, but we presume it was due to the rough early build of Windows RT.
The power and lock buttons are located on the top; while the volume control buttons rest on the right side of the tablet. The left side has the micro HDMI port and micro SD card slot. This tablet offers about 32 GB on board storage but the actual usable storage is likely to be less at around 26 GB, due to the OS and pre-loaded software.
Asus VivoTab RT certainly looks like an interesting product for several Indian consumers aiming for an ultra portable and multimedia friendly computing device. Now its fate hangs on pricing that is yet to be announced by Asus.