Preview of ASUS’s new Windows RT VivoTab RT TF600 (Japan)
ASUS will be releasing their own Windows tablet tomorrow (in Japan) to do battle with the multitude of competitors all itching to get their hands on a slice of the mobile computing pie. But how does it stand up against its rivals? Your favorite writer (me, in case you were wondering) is here to find out!
On Nov 11, ASUS fans will get an early Christmas gift in the form of a new Windows 8 tablet by the Taiwanese manufacturer. Launching at 59,800 Yen ($750 USD), the tablet will run Windows RT on its ARM SoC platform.
Of course, beneath the pretty veil that is the common Windows UI lies the controversial debate of ARM's compatibility with various apps/software. It is said that 10% of the apps on the Windows Store are not compatible on RT, and not only that, but device drivers compatible with the OS are few and far between.
If it looks like a tablet and works like a tablet, then its probably a tablet.
Users who just want a basic tablet with Internet functionality and a familiar interface should be happy enough with the VivoTab in its current state, but those wanting a little more bang for their buck should probably hold out for an X86 model. Of course, that’s not to say the folks at MS won’t some day solve the compatibility issues with RT, but those of us with memories somewhat more lengthier than a goldfish may still be haunted by flashbacks of the early days of Vista… and Windows ME…. And we all know just how long those problems lasted for.
One advantage of ARM’s System-On-A-Chip hardware is that being originally designed for use in smartphones, it’s motherboard and cooling components can be shrunken down to fit into small spaces. This means any tablets that use it should be thinner and lighter by default. And on the software side, sure you may not have access to every app out there, but at least you get Office 2013 (well.. this device only comes with the ‘Preview Version’ of Office, but its better than nothing. I guess.)
Lookin good, VivoTab, have you been on that new juice diet that's all the rage?
Of course in America, Microsoft’s own flagship ‘Surface’ is getting most of the limelight, but over in the land of the Rising Sun, the only Windows tablet currently available is the NEC LaVie Y. Starting tomorrow, Japan will have a grand total of 2 Windows tablets on the market. Not exactly piping hot competition, but that is sure to change in the coming months.
Anyway, lets get down to the nitty gritty. That’s what you’re all here for, isn’t it?
CPU: NVIDIA Tegra3 (1.3GHz quad core with embedded graphics)
Display: 10.1” Super IPS + Liquid Crystal
Resolution: 1,366×768 dots
Interface: IEEE 80211b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Micro HDMI, microSD, microphone & headphone jacks.
Extras: Mobile keyboard dock available separately for 14,800 Yen ($186 USD) (yikes!)
Sensors: GPS, compass, accelerometer, gyrometer, 2MP front camera, 8MP back camera
Dimensions: 262.5 x 170.9 x 8.3mm (same as ASUS Pad)
Sure it looks cool now, but just wait until you get your greasy fingerprints all over it…
Judging from the above, you may be thinking “why, that’s exactly the same as an Android tablet!”. If so, give yourself a cookie, because you’re quite right. It seems that at this point in time, ASUS is merely offering existing hardware wrapped up in a different bow. Maybe when competitor devices start showing up in Japan they’ll try harder, but until then you should probably keep that credit card stored safely in your wallet.
That is, unless you really really loved Windows ME.
Source: PC Watch