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Review: ASUS VivoTab Note 8.

Samsung and Apple would love you to believe that the tablet market is a two horse race, and with the iPad and Galaxytab dominating the market, it does seem as though they have a valid point. Other companies have tried to enter the market including Motorola, HTC and Blackberry and they usually end up limping away licking their wounds. There has been one company who has slowly and quietly been creating a quality product. Asus, who I would say is better known for their PC business, has got some award winning tablets in their roster. With the critical success of the Asus tablets in the past let’s take a look at the ASUS VivoTab Note 8 and see if they can recreate their award winning triumph.

What’s Inside

The ASUS VivoTab Note 8 is running Microsofts OS Windows 8.1. As the name would lead you to believe, it has an 8 inch LED Backlight WXGA (1280×800) Screen. The VivoTab also has IPS and multi-touch support. The VivoTab has a Intel® Atom™ Z3740 Quad-Core, 1.86 GHz cpu under the hood. This makes any request you ask of this machine very quick and seamless, even if you have a few other apps open at the same time. The VivoTab has 2 GB of RAM, plus you can either get 32 or 64 GB of on board storage as well as Unlimited One Year ASUS Webstorage Space! Not even Google with it’s prized Chromebook offers that much!

The Wacom Stylus

One of the features that I was most excited to try on the ASUS VivoTab Note 8 was the wacom stylus. You may be familiar with the Mircosoft surface pro which uses something similar to this technology The wacom stylist is a digital pen that can sense a ton of different levels of pressure sensitivity. This allows you to have a very natural feeling when using the pen. Not quite like the real thing… but as close as you can get for $379.99.

The OS

The ASUS VivoTab Note 8 runs Microsoft’s Windows 8.1, which for the most part, I’m a big fan of. Windows 8.1 is very minimalistic and angular… well maybe tile interfaced?… blocky? Ok…I’d say it’s symmetrical in it’s design. Something that I like about Windows 8 is that all the apps follow the same UI design as Windows 8. I find this to add to the ease of use of the operating system. Once you find out how to navigate windows 8 then you’ll in turn know how to operate most of the apps available in the Windows store. So now, my only real gripe with Windows 8.1 is the fact that they kept the old desktop! I’m sure there is some technical reason why this has happen and I hope someone will comment below and explain it to me, because to me, it’s awful. I mean talk about redundant! Why would you create this great streamlined OS that is perfectly fitted for 7-10″ screens and then add this old OS? Maybe just to get my relatives lost so that they can call me and ask what they’ve done wrong? I really can’t think of what other reason they would do this.

The Display

As stated before the VivoTab has an LED Backlight WXGA (1280×800) Screen. I found that movies, pictures and websites looked great on the 8″ screen. I did struggle in finding an easy way to get the srceen to auto rotate. Finally I just had to change the screen orientation to landscape in order to watch a movie. The VivoTab handles the contrast of colours ease. I did a gamma calibration test and the Asus VivoTab didn’t fair so well. The gamma defines how the amount of light on the screen and depends on the 8-bit RGB values. Gamma doesn’t really affect your day to day viewing of the screen unless you are planning to use the VivoTab for photo editing. The VivoTab did really well on picking up different blacks and whites. Greyscale gradients showed up smooth as butter. All in all, the VivoTab is excellent for day to day use, however I wouldn’t recommend it if you need a tablet for doing photo editing.

Conclusion

So when you try and decide which tablet is right for you, I would definitely recommend the VivoTab note 8. The wacom stylist sets this device apart and with the great screen the Asus VivoTab note 8 would satisfy your tablet needs. Plus at prices like $379.99 for 32GB and $429.99 for 64GB and an additional 1 year subscription to Asus WebStorage with unlimited storage, the VivoTab beats many of it’s competitors in the price department as well.

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