Monday, December 17, 2012

Asus VivoTab RT 32GB with Mobile Dock - Trumped by the Surface

So far the only Windows RT powered device we have seen in the local market is Microsofts Surface. Asus has launched its own Windows RT device locally. 
A note on Windows RT. Windows RT is basically Windows 8 for ARM, and is not compatible with your traditional PC apps. 

Asus VivoTab RT

The Asus VivoTab RT is a 10.1-inch tablet with a mobile keyboard dock that gives it the functionality of laptop. Essentially, it is a Windows RT version of Asus Transformer line of tablets with mobile docks, which have not enjoyed all that much popularity in the Philippines. With the Asus VivoTab RT hitting the Philippine market at Php37,999 I do not see that changing the fortunes of the "Transformer" series in the county.

The Microsoft Surface really sets the standard for what a tablet with a keyboard should be like.

Specifications wise, it has the same specifications as the Microsoft Surface with a HD display (1366 x 768) and a quad core Tegra 3 and 2 GB of RAM doing the grunt work.  The Microsoft Surface does have a larger display, at 10.6-inches, and does weight more. The Microsoft Surface hits the scales at 1.5 pounds, while the Asus VivoTab RT weighs in at a bit under 1.2 pounds.

But anyone thinking of buying these two devices will want to drag the keyboard around with them. In this mode, the Asus VivoTab RT with dock at just under 2.3 pounds, while the Microsoft Surface with either a Touch or Type keyboard cover will tip the scales at just under 2 pounds.

Pricing also favors the Microsoft Surface. A 32 GB Surface with a Touch Keyboard Cover will set you back just Php33,999. With a Type Keyboard Cover, the price goes up to Php36,998. 

The only real advantage of the Asus VivoTab RT gives you is that it comes with a second battery in the dock. If the 8-10 hours of battery life on the Microsoft Surface is not enough for you, the Asus VivoTab RT, with the dock attached can give you 14-16 hours of battery life.   

For me, those looking for a Windows RT Tablet, the Microsoft Surface looks to be the better choice. It can be used as a laptop, and the is easily folded away when you want to use it in tablet mode. like its not there. The Asus VivoTab RT still has this awkward design of forcing you to decide whether you will be using the keyboard today or not. And if I would opt to bring the keyboard around most of the time, well it would like having a very expensive touchscreen Netbook.

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