Performance Analysis and Final Thoughts
Performance Analysis: Though we weren't able to fully quantify the numbers in dedicated benchmark tests, the ASUS Vivo Tab RT offered a very responsive, fluid and satisfying tablet experience overall. Switching between applications and multitasking in general was very impressive, actually besting or matching virtually any competitive tablet solution on the market currently, in general use. Though there were a few application glitches along the way for Windows RT and the Vivo Tab RT's camera didn't impress us much, overall Windows RT and the NVIDIA Tegra 3-power ASUS Vivo Tab RT is an impressive combination in terms of usability and general performance.
So then, let's go back to that original question we asked in the beginning of our coverage here. Do Windows RT (and Windows 8) tablets have what it takes to compete in the sea of Android and Apple tablets currently on the market? I would offer that answer is a firm, convincing "yes," absolutely. To be candid, we went into this evaluation with significant skepticism just due to the fact that Android 4.X and iOS have been on the market so long gaining traction and maturity. Now that I've had a week's worth of regular use with the ASUS Vivo Tab RT, in short, I'm sold and in a big way.
In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I actually prefer Windows RT/8 to the Android experience I've gotten used to, save for the spotty Flash support in IE10 for Win RT. I can also draw further assumption that I'll likely be as impressed with Windows 8 Pro tablets when they hit the scene in the coming weeks as well. Windows RT and Windows 8 are natural, built from the ground up tablet-centric, touch-centric operating systems. Microsoft's real challenge will come on the desktop. Here I think we'll likely be looking at a situation similar to that of Windows XP, where users and especially the enterprise will cling to Windows 7 for a long time to come.
Conversely, early adopters who take time to live with and learn the OS will reap the benefits of superb multitasking and application resource management, a feature that any performance enthusiast will surely be jonesing over. While the ASUS Vivo Tab RT doesn't necessarily step out with anything remarkable in terms of the hardware (Microsoft has standardized things again it seems, as they did with early Windows Phone 7 devices), it does offer a pretty great tablet experience, one that Windows users especially will appreciate for its interoperability with their current desktop and notebook platforms.
It's a multi-screen, multi-device world these days and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft competes moving forward across the venues. At this point, with respect to tablets and hybrids at least, they're off to a great start.