ASUS Vivotab Note 8 Now Available in USA. Plus: First impressions from Chippy.

Posted on 10 February 2014 by

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The ASUS Vivotab Note 8 is now available in the US Microsoft Store [Update: Now out of stock] and that’s great news because the ASUS Vivotab Note 8 is turning out to be one of the best 8-inch Windows tablets there is.

I have one, along with the Dell Venue Pro 8 and Toshiba WT8, here and I can tell you that not only is the pen working well but it has even more value because it’s stowed on the device. Annotate in Reader, Draw in the Windows Metro OneNote app, have fun with Fresh Paint, and that’s just in the Modern UI. The palm rejection is super due to the registration distance of the pen (it’s registered before your hand gets anywhere near the screen)

The pen isn’t for everybody but it really really extends the usage of the tablet into note-taking, annotations, creativity and desktop control.

A 32GB version is going to cost you $329 which is more than other Windows 8.1 tablets but you’ve got the pen, a pretty good rear camera and fun camera software (YouCam included) and ASUS have done a really intelligent thing with the recovery partition. They’ve taken it off the SSD and put it on an included MicroSD card saving 4GB of space on the drive. Once you’ve put that somewhere safe and dropped a 32GB card in and configured Windows to store personal data on the microSD, you’re good to go.

The screen isn’t as good as that on the Dell Venue 8 Pro and I have to admit that the Dell is far nicer to hold for long periods due to rubberised back, smoother edges and smaller size but the ASUS isn’t terrible.

The first two battery life reports (via powercfg) show 6:12 and 6:56 screen-on, connected battery life (used mostly for sofa-style usage) and give excellent Connected Standby (always-on) figures of 331hrs and 281hrs. Over 10 days!

Other notes:

  • True GPS (Broadcom) included.
  • TPM2.0 (enables full disk encryption)
  • No HDMI port
  • Speakers, stereo but so-so quality. (4/10)
  • Screen. Slight creamy tint. Two
  • I currently have 10GB free after initial install and updates (plus 28GB personal storage (music, pictures, videos) on a 32GB MicroSD card.
  • SSD disk speeds (not encrypted): Max 140MB/s sequential read, Max 40MB/s sequential write, Max  10MB/s 4K read, Max 3MB/s 4K write. (4K write speed is not impressive at all.)

Unboxing the ASUS Vivotab Note 8 (with Dell Venue 8 Pro)

 

Update on availability.

Availability info Via: Engadget

Categorized | News

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  • Anfanglir

    Sounds pretty sweet. But no 3G/4G, right? That’s a puzzling possibly deal breaking decision on Asus part.

    On my Vivotab TF810C I have a problem with the MicroSD card slot: There is no locking mechanism so the SD card can eject at any time if slight pressure happen to be applied by careless gripping or when stuffed in the bag. I have lost a couple of 64 GB microSD’s this way. Which is a bummer if you have data on them. Had to apply a piece of duct tape to secure the slot – looks very stylish :D (not).

    • Eric

      What country are you from? Here, in the US, getting 3G/4G non-iPad/non-Android tablets aren’t worth the cost of the data plans. Right now, I would never get WWAN capabilities on anything but my smartphone. I just tether it to my devices when I need to.

      • Anfanglir

        I’m in Sweden. My 3G/4G subscription is not tied to a specific device or OS, so no cost difference if I jack the sim into an android or a Win8 device.

        • Name

          That makes sense. No wonder the comments I usually see around the internet about wanting 3G/4G are from those who are outside the US with less strict carriers. I wish US carriers learned from them. Maybe T-Mobile’s next “Uncarrier” thing will be “universal SIMs. One SIM for all your devices.”

  • Eric

    This seems to be the best 8″ Windows 8 tablet so far where emphasis was put on the more important tablet usage experience. An active digitizer greatly enhances the user experience. Also, not going to a very high PPI is a good thing for the desktop. The desktop is still not very resolution independent and DPI scaling solve it.

    It’s unfortunate that video out and USB 3.0 aren’t available but those are for secondary use cases. Being able to charge either through micro-USB or a dedicated “fast” DC charging port would be nice too. Maybe next time but for now I’ll enjoy the Vivotab until next good UMPC comes out but not before a year from now. I’m just waiting on some more feedback on the following:
    -stylus experience
    -general build quality
    -WiFi performance (range and speed)
    -max power output of the USB port in host mode

  • Name

    It’d be nice to get that recovery micro-SD card for the 64 GB model as well. Do you just boot from that SD card directly to reset your tablet to factory defaults? If so then it’d be easy to create a backup image of that card in case it gets lost or damaged. I’m sure you can backup that recovery partition but it seems like more work.

    For people who buy from the Microsoft store, do they have a different recovery SD card/partition because the tablet supposedly has no bloatware. Does Microsoft offer a downloadable recovery image that only works on that tablet model for the specific serial numbers sold from the Microsoft store?

  • Andrew

    >>SSD disk speeds
    eMMC is not equal to SSD, I think

    • me

      More like eMMC is a type of SSD (solid-state drive).

  • Reid

    Do you know if the US version includes the Broadcom GPS?

  • Aaron K.

    Can this boot from USB and SD card? If so, can it boot UEFI compatible Linux distros or is it like the T100? I’d like to install Linux onto a microSD card and boot from that for some stuff. It’s only for a few things and I’ll be using a keyboard and mouse. For most tasks, I’ll be using Windows 8. Also, has anyone tested how well VMware virtualization software works on any Bay Trail device? I may be able to do some stuff with an okay performing Linux VM if I can’t boot it directly.

  • dizi

    Are there setting in the BIOS/UEFI to make the eMMC and SD card reader faster like on the Dell Venue 8 Pro? It noticeably sped up the internal storage and SDXC cards on the Dell when the settings were enabled.

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