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Asus Vivo Tab RT: hands-on

Asus were beaming with pride when they placed both the new Padfone 2 and the Asus Vivo Tab RT on display at an event in central London yesterday and luckily, we were there to get some one-on-one time with each of them. If you want to find out our thoughts on the Padfone 2, you can head here, but this is all about our first impressions of the Vivo Tab RT; Asus’s first Windows RT-toting tablet.

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If you’re at all familiar with the current Asus mobile device family, you’ll be well acquainted with the host of Android-based Transformers Pads that the company have seen success with. The aesthetic of the Vivo Tab RT is reminiscent of both the Transformer Prime and the Transformer Infinity Pad, two of Asus’s most powerful Android tablets.

The tablet portion itself features a vivid 10.1-inch IPS+ LCD panel, which sports a resolution of 1136×768 making it crisp and clear and perfect for Windows 8’s tile-based user interface. The touchscreen is equally responsive and lag was non-existent moving through the key menus, likely thanks to the quad-core Tegra 3 processor under the hood.

 

The majority of the visual design work has gone into the back of the tablet, which features a horizontal brushed metal finish, combined with a textured plastic top in which sits the 8-megapixel auto-focus camera, alongside a single LED flash. The feel of the tablet is extremely similar to the Infinity Pad, with a thin, sharp edge resting on the palm and a lightweight feel, even when held one-handed.

Docking the tablet into the keyboard requires an angled motion and the mechanism used by the Vivo Tab RT differs from that of the Android-based Transformers. The latching system actually felt easier to operate for both undocking and docking the tablet, so we hope Asus will use this for all their future dockable tablets. The keyboard itself is noticeably wider and the keys have significantly higher travel than the Android-friendly versions we’ve seen previously. This makes for a more enjoyable typing experience which users should find helps make typing more efficient.

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The tablet and keyboard joined together looked good, thin and not too heavy to hold wield in one hand. All we want now is to really put the Vivo RT tablet through its paces and see if it makes for as enjoyable an experience as the Transformer family.

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