The ASUS Transformer line of tablets have consistently been among the strongest contenders in the Android tablet world, so when it was announced that they would be one of the launch partners for Microsoft’s Windows-on-ARM push, big things were expected. And so we have the ASUS VivoTab RT. The VivoTab name comes from the Latin verb “to live”, while the RT part is of course an indication of Windows RT, the official name for the ARM version of Windows. Windows RT-based tablets are Microsoft’s first real competitors built for the modern tablet market, so this is a hugely important launch for Microsoft as well as its hardware partners. Obviously the elephant in the room here is Surface and how Microsoft entering the hardware market changes the Windows 8/RT launch, but we’ll get to that part in time. 

The division of Windows 8 (x86) and Windows RT (ARM) has resulted in a whole host of tablets with names ending in RT, and very similarly named examples running the x86-based Windows 8, so it’s worth keeping track of. For example, the VivoTab is x86-based, with Windows 8, Clover Trail, and an 11.6” display, a completely different product than the VivoTab RT that we have in front of us today. The RT is very important in making the distinction between ARM and x86 hardware platforms.

At first glance, the VivoTab RT looks pretty similar to what we’re used to seeing from the Transformer line, with a 10.1” IPS 768p display housed in a slim aluminum chassis and Nvidia’s Tegra 3 silicon underhood. The specsheet is actually pretty similar to the original Transformer Prime from last December, sharing identical width and thickness dimensions in addition to the obvious hardware-level similarities. The Transformer tablets have all been either 1280x800 or 1920x1200, so the switch to a 16:9 screen has allowed ASUS to make the VivoTab RT a bit shorter, as well as 60g lighter, than the Transformer Prime. At 1.15lbs, the VivoTab RT is quite the featherweight, helped along in this by the nano molding technology that injects liquid plastic to fuse the aluminum frame with the plastic components. 

Tablet Specification Comparison
  ASUS VivoTab RT Microsoft Surface for Windows RT ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity
Dimensions 263mm x 171mm x 8.3mm 275 x 172 x 9.4mm 263 x 180.8 x 8.3mm 263 x 180.6 x 8.4mm
Chassis Aluminum + Plastic Magnesium Aluminum Aluminum + Plastic 
Display 10.1-inch 1366 x 768 Super IPS+ 10.6-inch 1366 x 768 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 Super IPS+ 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 Super IPS+
Weight 525g 680g 586g 594g
Processor 1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (T30 - 4 x Cortex A9

1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (T30 - 4 x Cortex A9

1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (T30 - 4 x Cortex A9)

1.6GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (T33 - 4 x Cortex A9)

Memory 2GB 2GB 1GB 1GB DDR3-1600
Storage 32/64GB + microSD slot 32/64GB + microSD slot 32GB/64GB + microSD slot 32/64GB + microSD slot
Battery 24.4Whr 31.5Whr 25Whr 25Whr
Pricing $599/699 (includes dock) $499/599 $499/$599 $499/$599

The heart of the VivoTab RT is a 1.3GHz T30, the same chip as the Transformer Prime and international HTC One X, amongst other devices. It’s paired with 2GB of DDR3L memory, 32GB of NAND storage, 2.4GHz 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, cameras front (2MP) and back (8MP with an LED flash and 1080p video), a 10.1” 1366x768 Super IPS+ panel, and a 25Wh battery. In addition, it has a microSD card slot, a micro-HDMI port, and the proprietary charging/dock connector. The port itself is different from the ones on the Transformers, the VivoTab RT uses a smaller and lower-profile connector. Included in the box is a USB 2.0 dongle that connects up to the dock connector. It’s a bit unwieldy, but it’s better than not having any options for USB support. 

When the VivoTab RT went up for preorder, it was priced at $599/699 for the 32GB and 64GB versions, respectively, with various online retailers offering a pre-order bundle with the 32GB VivoTab RT and the laptop dock together for $749. Shortly before this review went live, however, I received an email from ASUS saying that final pricing would be $599 for the 32GB model including the docking station, with most of the focus being on selling the bundle rather than the individual pieces. This was likely a response to the more aggressive pricing of the Surface RT, which offers similar hardware for $499 (32GB), or $599 when bundled with the Touch Cover keyboard case. It’s good to see ASUS adjust to Microsoft’s pricing this quickly, but I’m not sure there was much of a choice there if they wanted to be competitive. The laptop dock is more functional than Microsoft’s keyboard covers and throws in a near-doubling of battery capacity for good measure, so the new pricing quickly turns the VivoTab RT into a good value. 

ASUS VivoTab RT - Design
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  • lmcd - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Either way just wait for S4 Pro tablets.
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    It's got minor lag in desktop mode, noticeable but livable. Anything slower than T3 though, and livable quickly becomes intolerable. Most of the time, you live in Metro anyways so it's not that big of a deal.
  • TrackSmart - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Just a heads-up, in case it is the Anandtech ad servers, and not my own system: Clicking between pages on this site, I got a popup that looks like adware. The link, after making it non-clickable was this: surveyorster dot net /d/j4u2i16147?

    I also saw an annoying "floating advertisement window" recently on the site, which I've never seen in the past.

    I have not seen anything strange while browsing other websites.
  • shomizu9 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    In a google search, I'm seeing a few mentions of similar behavior involving the domain name "" for other sites (wowhead, etc). I haven't personally seen any redirects like you mention on Anand. If it was my pc, I'd suspect malware and check it out with something like MalwareBytes.
  • Urizane - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    It has happened to me only twice. I don't remember the URL, but I have clicked on an article link from the main page, got the article, and one second later was presented with a page that copied the facebook design and called itself some kind of survey. I saw fields asking for my name and phone number and something else, but my CTRL+F4 reflexes kicked in. The next time I clicked on the article, that didn't happen. I got one roughly 2 weeks ago and another last Friday, and that's all. I think it's something that wedged itself into the ad rotation.
  • michal1980 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    No offence to Vivek. But apple comes out with a "new" product, we get a 200 page in depth review with deep analysis from Anand.

    Microsoft releases both a huge new OS, a new tablet platform. and gets Vivek? And like 5 pages of coverage.

    Unbiased? Just based on volume you can tell Anands bias.
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    You speak too soon, my friend. Between myself and Anand, we're dumping roughly 20k words of Windows RT-related coverage on you today. Just wait for the full Windows RT review.
  • magnimus1 - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Vivek, This is a slight change of subject.....but do you guys have any plans to review the RAZRi?

    Also, Thanks for this article......are you going to do a similiar one for the Vivo Tab? I'm torn between the VivoTab and the full blown Transformer book. I need AT to help me choose!! :-)
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    If you were actually familiar with the site or Apple products you would now they often take weeks longer than anyone else to write a review.
    Don't you need to run the malware scanner on your Android phone now?
  • Relic74 - Tuesday, January 1, 2013 - link

    That is just silly, I personally have never gotten a malware nor have I ever met anybody who received one. If you stay away from cracked apps and add ridden games it should never be a problem. Besides I would gladly endure such a nuisance just to have a system that includes a filemanager, able to play almost every media codec, Java, Flash, SD Card slot, complete rom/system/data backup, ability to side load apps, true multitasking, multi-view, SAMBA/FTP/SSH support within the filemanager, DLNA, printer support, removable battery, NFC, ect. iOS is an overrated mobile OS but I'm glad your happy with it, that's all that matters.

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