Asus VivoTab Note 8 hands-on: $300 for a Wacom digitizer tablet and Windows 8
ASUS unveiled the VivoTab Note 8, joining the ranks of 8" Windows tablets that Win 8.1 made possible, and graced it with a professional Wacom digitizer stylus that lets you scribble directly on the display. We took the small Windows slate for a spin, and here is what we found out.
Designed for one-handed usage, the tablet offers very slim bezels, 220.9 x 133.8 x 10.95 mm dimensions, and just 380g of weight, which is a pretty good achievement for a full-on Windows 8.1 slate. We found one-handed usage possible indeed, albeit handling with with smaller palms would be a stretch. The most interesting part is, of course, the integrated Wacom digitizer stylus pen that sits in a silo alongside the bottom edge of the tablet, offering over a thousand levels of pressure sensitivity for a natural writing or drawing feel. The VivoTab Note 8 hints that it's targeted towards professionals and students, as it arrives packing Microsoft Office Home and Student edition.
Provided by the so-called Golden Ear team at ASUS, the tablet's two rear stereo speakers with larger than usual resonance chambers sport SonicMaster audio tech, giving "rich, rounded bass," though we have to hear it before we pass any judgment.
The 8" screen features a humdrum 1280x800 pixels resolution, which on this screen diagonal looks fine, unless you are a hi-res junkie and always looking for the individual pixels to dismiss a device before you even use it for a while. Its brightness could be higher and reflectivity lower, so using it in direct sunlight would be a chore, but indoors the imagery is decent. Let's not forget the stylus, too, who can take good use of the pressure-sensitive layers on the screen, which is an advantage of the Note 8 before the other small tablets out there.
Processor and memory
Powered by Intel's new Atom Z3740 processor, the tablet offers up to 8 hours battery life from the 15.5 Whr battery, 2 GB of memory, up to 64 GB of storage plus a microSD slot, and a free year of unlimited ASUS WebStorage.
Camera and connectivity
You will also get a 5 MP rear camera and HD front-facing camera, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0+HS, Miracast, and a micro USB port connectivity.
Availability for the 8-incher will be known further down the road, but it certainly sounds like a small Windows tablet with a lot to offer, and it will be priced in a fun way, too, as we've come to expect from ASUS, starting at $299 for the 32 GB version. That's a very decent pricing for a full-on Windows tablet, especially if you're envious towards those expensive Samsung Note devices because of the stylus.