This Atom-powered hybrid impressed but may not suit anyone
After being thoroughly impressed by the excellent Asus Vivo Tab RT, we moved over to look at its bigger brother – simply called the Asus Vivo Tab. It’s another ZenBook-Transformer mashup, taking DNA from both of Asus’ premier product lines to create a laptop-tablet hybrid with a metal chassis.
This is an 11.6in device, so it’s noticeably bigger than the Android-based Transformers we’re used to. Despite this, the tablet alone weighs in at 675g and so is surprisingly portable and easy to use, given its size. The dock adds an additional 650g. Docking the two together is a little stiff, but you get a little force-feedback buzz to tell you it’s clicked into place, and once done they feel like a single device.
The hidden difference between the two is that the Vivo Tab runs the more-traditional, full-fat version of Windows 8 – rather than the limited app-store only Windows RT. This means you can install applications from anywhere and run applications designed for older versions of Windows. To do this it uses an x86-based Intel Atom processor. This is a dual-core chip running at 1.8Ghz, making the Vivo Tab a touch ahead of modern netbooks in terms of speed.
The 32nm chip should be very power-efficient, though its size means it still can’t compete with ARM-based designs. The Vivo Tab is estimated to have a 13 hour battery life, that breaks down to eight hours for the tablet and an additional five for the dock, which has its own built-in battery. For a sizeable netbook that’s pretty impressive.