Asus Vivo Tab RT Review: Windows RT Takes Flight

ASUS Vivo Tab RT Design

The ASUS Vivo RT is pretty standard fare when it comes to 10-inch tablets these days, though ASUS does offer a bit of polish and quality you won't find in other designs.  The primary upside with the Vivo RT is its Super IPS+ display that offers great brightness, contrast, color saturation and viewing angles.  Perhaps the Windows 8/RT color scheme helps here somewhat, because the Metro UI looks rich and just seems to pop on the display.

Unfortunately that display is limited to a native resolution of 1366X768, as we noted earlier, but that may or may not be a concern for you.  If you're a pixel snob looking to compete with the likes of the new iPad, the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity or Acer A700 Android tablets, the Vivo RT doesn't measure up to the 1920X1200 displays on those higher-end slates.  In our opinion, however, 1366X768 is high res enough for 10.1 inches of glass.  We're not making excuses; those higher res displays offer more field of view and tighter image quality to be sure.  That said, the Vivo Tab RT's display is still one of the nicer displays on the market in 10-inch tablets, no matter how you slice it or what operating systems you're on.


That Vivo Tab RT casing is built with the same brushed aluminum finish we've come to know (and love actually) from previous generation ASUS Transformer series tablets.  Seen here is the gray finish version of the tablet, though we'd call it more of a champagne silver, with a subtle hint of pewter in the mix.  It's a fairly durable, mostly fingerprint resistant material that will unfortunately have a tendency to scuff on the back side of the tablet, if you set it down on a hard or coarse surface.  The back side of the Vivo RT does have a rubberized top around the camera, power button, volume rocker and microSD card slot area that will help in this regard, though it does break the overall polished look just a bit.

The keyboard dock isn't as "optional" as previous generation Android slates from ASUS, since the company is pushing a tighter coupling of the two, which makes sense given the fact that Windows RT straddles the line better between a PC and tablet experience.  The dock does a nice job of providing that additional functionality and you do find yourself actually using it a bit more than you would with an Android tablet.  More on this later.

With a Micro-HDMI and microSD card slot on board, as well as the ability to directly add a USB 2 connector via an included dongle, the Vivo Tab RT is a pretty complete slate even before you add the keyboard dock.  All told, for a retail price of $599 for 32GB and $699 for 64GB variants, ASUS provides a fairly competitive offering, especially when you consider Microsoft throws in Office 13 RT Home/Student Edition to the mix.  We'd like to see tablet only SKUs out there eventually for $399 - $449, since historically ASUS sells the dock separately for around $150, but that hasn't been confirmed as of yet.

Let's look at the software side of things and see what else you get for the pesos you put up.

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