Most helpful customer reviews
67 of 70 people found the following review helpful.
Thin and Light! Very Smart!
By Jeff James
First off I would like to clarify that this a full blown x86 machine running full Windows 8 and it's only limited by it's hardware, it runs all legacy programs as well as Windows store apps, this is a PC that looks and feels like a tablet and for me that is excellent. Also this is not a Windows 8 review.
Now that we got that out of the way, on to the review.
This is a long review but I hope is useful if you're on the fence about this tablet or a Windows 8 tablet in general, I will point out some aspects I would've liked to know before I purchased this tablet as it may be helpful to you too, please read on.
HARDWARE AND BUILD
*You can read the full specs on the product description
-It has almost the same footprint as an IPad and the weight is very comfortable without making it feel cheap, even with a case on this tablet weights less than 1.5 lbs. Actual weight is 1.3 lbs which is very nice. Mine came with a light creaking on the right side (landscape orientation) of the bezel but not a mayor issue
-The Screen is superb for what it is(1366x768 IPS display), viewing angles are on par with an IPad and better than on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, crisp and clear images are produced and colors a very accurate, it also has adaptive brightness. Screen response is very fast and it has full Windows touch support and 5 point multi-touch support also it has no active Wacom pen support
-The Back panel has a rubbery feel to it makes it feel more expensive and it does not attract fingerprints nor it scratches easily, also the camera decoration ring gives it an upscale look
-Only one speaker is built in, not stereo speakers like advertised, this is really my only hardware compliant, it is really quiet and puny, but I kind of expected that. Since it has a combo mic/headphone jack and Bluetooth 4.0 and the output trough the jack is very good getting audio out of this thing is no problem, you will need an adapter for separate microphone and headphone use, also I've found that the Intel sound driver has a weird way of recognizing when you plug in something and it sometimes kills the audio completely and you have to restart the tablet, this appears to be more of a bug than problems with the actual hardware,
-The battery is non removable and is superb for a full Windows 8 machine, I've managed to get about 9 hours out of a charge using Bluetooth, WiFi and running several apps
-The back camera is very good, it takes full 8 megapixel stills and records 1080p videos, front camera has a wide lens though is off centered, it looks weird but it makes sense for video calling
-NFC and GPS are supported, you may share websites and contact cards with most NFC enabled devices but keep in mind that file transfers are restricted between Windows 8 products only (Includes RT and Windows Phone 8), this is a "security feature" in Windows 8 (Dam you Microsoft!)
-The wireless antenna is very good but it will not connect to ad-hoc networks(like the ones created by some smartphones) and creating a WiFi hotspot is not supported, these are "security features" in Windows 8 (Dam you again Microsoft!), you can install a third party app for WiFi hotspots creation but is not working for me yet
-Bluetooth audio and remote control are supported as well as Dial Up Networking via Bluetooth and Nokia Suite in my case (solves my ad-hoc problem), audio streams with no problems, as well as the internet connection via DUN, fast enough
-Charging requires at least 1.5 amps output from your power supply (if not using the supplied one) for a slow charge, don't expect it will charge off from your regular USB port on your computer these put out 0.5 amps at most, by the way the USB to Micro-USB cable for charging that is included is very short (like 3 ft.), you can use an equal longer cable
-Haven't tried out the Micro-USB OTG feature and the Micro-HDMI port yet,I will be updating this review when I get some adapters, the Micro-SDXC port supports up to a theoretical 2 TB of storage, mine is 64 GB no issues
Overall very good hardware, build and finish is well executed and materials feel more expensive.
This tablet flies on Windows 8 it opens apps and desktop programs(depending on the program) very fast is responsive and it handles multitasking quite well, stability is not an issue, had one freeze up during a Windows update but it resumed quickly, the Modern UI feels perfect for this hardware spec, the desktop side will depend on what you are running.
This tablet has a Dual-Core Intel Atom z2760 @ 1.8 GHz and 2 GB of Ram @ 800 MHz, an integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator with a minimum of 64 MB and a maximum of 725 MB of shared memory and Direct x 9.3 installed and an on-board Intel STT Audio Device (WDM) with an eMMC 64 GB (~58 GB formatted) HDD.
Windows Experience Index (Windows 8 32-Bit)
Gaming Graphics: 3.2
Primary Hard Disk: 5.8
That is good for the following(some examples):
-All Windows Store Apps
-MS Office and many document suites
-High quality Video/Audio playback and streaming (YouTube Full HD, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify Premium, Sony Music Unlimited, Full HD video files and looseless audio formats)
-Light Audio/Video and Photo Editing (Very light)
-Some older games(Age of Empires 3, World of Warcraft on lowest settings, Fallout, Emulators topping on Gamecube/PS2-like graphics)
-Some CAD programs and Audio creation programs (MathCAD, AutoCAD, Amplitube or Guitar Rig)
-Some programming and SQL programs (MS SQL Server, MS Access, NetBeans,Flash Builder,etc)
Basically anything that is not too CPU or Graphic intensive
Haven't tried virtualization yet(OracleVM for example), Windows 8 reports it's not supported by the processor but it may be configurable I'm not sure, also you can install Bluestacks or WindowsAdroid if you like to install some Android apps and since it's a x86 machine there's a possibility to put Mac OS X or Ubuntu on this thing.
Overall very good performance for every day computing, as well as some leg room for big programs, very pleased.
INCLUDED SOFTWARE AND ACCESSORIES
It includes the bare-bone accessories, only the charger cable, power supply and a cleaning cloth are included, as well as manuals and warranty info.
Asus choose to include as little bloatware as possible, this is good, they just included their LiveUpdate, WebStorage, MS Office trial install and some windows modern apps, also they included the restore partition which you can back-up to an external USB drive and delete after if you want to get those 8 GB back
Overall pasable software an accessory bundle, software wise is good since it doesn't rob me of my precious space, but accessory wise they should have included a Micro-USB OTG adapter and perhaps a cloth sleeve for travel. Also I would suggest getting a Bluetooth keyboard and a mouse since it makes things better on the desktop mode, in fact the more things you can use connecting Bluetooth or WiFi the better since the Micro-USB port doesn't seem to put out too much power and carrying around a USB hub (aside from the fact that the tablet probably is not going to be able to power your devices or even the hub itself) defeats the purpose of portability.
It starts at $499.99 for 64 GB (mine costed $487.99) and that gives you most of the power of a regular PC plus expandable storage in an tablet package, by the way speaking of tablets both the IPad 4 and the Nexus 10 are the same price and offer better displays and arguably better ease of use, minus less storage and no real PC capabilities. For me those tablets don't fit my needs like this one does because it has Windows.
By no means is this tablet a "anything-killer", each tablet fits different needs and does it in a different fashion, so this is rather a completely different beast, a new genre of tablets, this tablet is a great start to getting your Windows 8 groove on, highly recommended great product.
Look for options and do the research to know if a certain tablet fits your needs and then go from there, for me it's finally what I was looking for in tablet, a portable full blown computer.
275 of 290 people found the following review helpful.
Finally. A 10" Tablet for the rest of us.
By Justin Time
As potent as the iPad and its App store are, and as fabulous as Android Tablets have become, I still could not pull the trigger on either one.
I really, really, wanted a Windows 7/8 environment on a Tablet.
Thankfully the wait is over, but are we getting everything we wanted with this one?
Bottom line first:
This Asus is by far the best value 10" Windows Tablet in the market now and for sometime to come judging from the price tags of similarly equipped Win8 Tablets by Acer, Samsung, HP, DELL, Lenovo, MS and others.
To find the Asus' page with details about this model, Google eee asus vivotab-smart features
Or better yet: search 'ASUS Vivotab Smart Review Tablet-News' on YouTube for a true-to-life 28:07 minute video.
/-- See also Updates from 7/30 at the end of the review --/
The 10.1" feels surprisingly light in your hands at 1.16lbs/580gr. By comparison, the iPad retina is ~3oz heavier at 652gr. The Plastic back is sturdy with no flex and feels good to the touch.
The screen is bright and sharp. I found that I keep the brightness level at the very low end of the scale which also benefits battery life.
When using it for plain Windows 7 tasks, plus Windows 8 games, browsing, Skype, emails etc. the battery was good for over 11 hours(!) at which time it was at 10%.
Charging it back to 100% - while continuing to use it - took 4 hours.
Asus provides a 3 foot long cable that charges the Tablet via the micro-USB port and plugs either into the provided wall adapter or other power sources (laptops/Desktops/Car USB chargers).
Under the hood:
Out of the 64GB it comes with, the recovery partition occupies about 8. Additional 20GB are taken by the OS + Asus but no bloatware which is really appreciated, thus leaving you with around 33G free. The micro-SD slot will support up to additional 64GB.
The Tablet comes with 2GB RAM and that is the limit this architecture can support.
The CPU/Graphics provide for a snappy and incredibly fluid experience and the screen is very accurate to the touch. It's a true joy to use. The tablet is also silent because the CPU does not require active cooling (i.e. a fan or ventilation slots). The combination of total silence and a lively usage experience is quite addictive.
Note that the Atom Z2760 was developed with power conservation a priority, and the inevitable trade off is that it might not be able to play quickly or at high frame rate very demanding games, sophisticated graphics or video editing tasks. For those, you may need to stick with much more power hungry machines.
'ASUS Live update' - When updating the BIOS refrain from disturbing the process. It may take 5 min to complete including a reboot. Drivers update worked quickly and without a hitch.
After extensive daily use of the tablet for 4+ weeks, it has not crashed, nor hung even once!
This is quite commendable considering this is a new OS on a newly designed architecture.
1. The box does not come with a micro-USB to USB, or micro-HDMI to HDMI adapters. Those will run you about 2 bucks. Make sure the USB adapter is of the OTG type. With that type of adapter, the Tablet recognized instantly a corded Keyboard, corded Mouse, wifi dongle for a Wireless Keyboard/Mouse, and a 32G flash drive. It did not manage to play music or video off of an external Samsung DVD however. Likely due to a limit on how much Amps the Tablet can output. That same external DVD plays fine with just one USB port when connected to my Acer HTPC. Various external HD drives will work too (see comments by other users). An externally powered HD worked right away as well.
2. The charging USB cable that comes in the box is quite short at 3' and I use a much more practical 6' one. Again, not any cable will do. Mine was purchased elsewhere, but you can get one on Amazon for both Data and Charge, as mentioned by others in the comments thread.
3. This slim folio provides great protection and proved very practical for everyday use Blurex Slim Folio case for the ASUS VivoTab Smart ME400C Windows 8 Tablet -- With Built in Sleep / Wake Function.
4. The 'Smart' unfortunately does not come with a docking keyboard (the RT does, but the 'Smart' cannot dock into it).
Instead of getting the Asus' Transleeve Keyboard, I ordered a corded mini-Keyboard/Touchpad that also incorporates 2 full size USB ports.
The good news is that both USB ports of this Keyboard were recognized by the Tablet!
In spite of being a little smaller than the tablet - it is surprisingly convenient to type on (except maybe for people with large hands). The keyboard is extremely light at 10oz and provides ample feedback. The Touchpad is too sensitive though, which almost rendered it useless. To discipline it, I resorted to a no-Tech fix by applying scotch-tape on it and Voilà.
A corded KBRD does not draw battery power like BlueTooth or WiFi ones do, nor does it require charging. Another benefit is being able to plug more than one USB device via the keyboard instead of messing around with the more delicate micro-USB port of the Tablet itself (a micro-USB to USB adapter is needed to connect the Keyboard of course.)
Perixx PERIBOARD-510H PLUS, Wired Keyboard with Touchpad & USB Port - USB - Super Mini 9.05"x6.30"x0.90" Dimension - Built-in 2 x USB2.0 Hubs - Silent X Type Scissor Keys - 5.90 Feet Cable
A similar Perixx Keyboard with 2 USB ports and a trackball, only larger in size, might be worth considering too:
Perixx PERIBOARD-505H PLUS, Wired Trackball Keyboard With USB Port - Mini 12.40x5.79x0.83" Dimension - 0.55" Optical Trackball - 5.90 Feet Cable - Fit with Professional or Industrial Use - Built-in 2x USB2.0 Hubs - USB Interface
Alternatively, there are many BlueTooth/Cordless KBRD/TCHPD options out there.
Briefly put, it does take getting used to, but once you are up to speed you forget all that critics had to say ever since Win8 was introduced. Win8 really shines in Touch environments, and before long you will find yourself swiping right and left, splitting the screen to share apps on your real estate, run Skype and Pandora in the background, open files and browse the Internet the perfect way that only true Browsers can, flip effortlessly between the desktop and Win8 Apps, update drivers on the fly, plug in USB devices, attach, send, share and manage any kind of digitally captured file, and what not.. You will have just one thing to say then: Hallelujah.
I did miss the Start button on the Desktop application, but it was very easy to add. Win8 provides very generous customization options far beyond what I have already implemented. That's very nice to know.
Windows 8 Apps Store:
As of Early march 2013, with 31000 'English' Apps, the App store leaves a lot to be desired and is 'under construction'. The Built in search tool is rudimentary at best and is a hindrance to finding what you are looking for. I found some of my favorite games, News Apps, Utilities etc. to get a reasonable starting point, but it is still lacking in many areas.
When you Search the Store using the Charms 'search', the Free version of some games would not show up, like 'Fruit Ninja' Lite. But they are very much there.
Luckily, sites like Intel's AppUp.com or windows8apps.com are a great help in searching the store.
Lastly, some aspects of the Tablet could have been better..
-- I wish Asus offered a docking Keyboard/Touchpad and I think that Asus fell short with their TranSleeve contraption, which is the thin keyboard + origami-style cloth cover. The Cloth cover can be folded to support the Tablet from the back, but is useless should you want to hold the Tablet on your lap for example. Also, the Magnets that attach it to the Tablet are not sufficiently strong and both the keyboard and cloth cover can separate from the Tablet too easily, potentially causing it to slip.
-- Although the sound quality is acceptable, with only one speaker on the back, stereo effects are, well.. non-existent.
-- While charging the Tablet via the micro-USB port, the port cannot be used for anything else. At least the 10+ hours of battery life gives you ample opportunities to charge when the port is not in use.
-- The GPS is not of the kind you have on your Cell. It's only usable when you have WiFi.
The shortcomings however pale in comparison to what you are getting. This fantastic Productivity & Entertainment companion is a keeper for me.
Update - 7/30/2013
After 6 months of extensive daily use, this delightful tablet performed almost flawlessly.
1. If you can wait a month or two, look for tablets that feature the new Haswell Intel CPU for a bit more performance, better graphics and even longer battery life.
2. Do yourself a HUGE favor and only buy tablets that have a proper *docking* Keyboard w/Mousepad(!), saving yourselves the agony and frustration that come from relying on the virtual Keyboard or an external real one (not to mention that the virtual Keyboard covers almost 50% of the screen).
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful. See all 241 customer reviews...
Tab and PC in one
By Santosh G
I was in market for last 1+ year to own a tablet. Initially i bought ipad retina and returned it as it is too big and bulky for my taste. Later bought kindle fire and galaxy but didnt like the interface and waited for ipad mini. Once ipad mini came , i was no more intrested in it. Now i was looking for windows 8 tablet. But didnt like th RT version as it is very limited and no scope of expansion. Then i found VIVOTAB Smart.Its a great tablet with almost every thing i was looking in talet.
Lighter then ipad. Though while holding the weight is not very significant but still its 30 grams around lighter.
Cheap: This tablet is much cheaper then other windows 8 tablets.But the quality is very good.
On screen Keyboard: Ipad has keyboard which layout cannot be changed. I have to reach from one corner to other while typing.Didnt like that so wanted a smaller tablet. But this tablet at very same size has multiple options for keyboard layout. Very easily split the keyboard into 2 on either ends and can be operated with 2 hands very easily.
Slim design/video out. Tablet is very slim for what it is. It has both RT and full windows 8 desktop. Just hook it up to LCD tv via mini hdmi and you have big screen.So the scope of using as a full windows 8 tablet is better then Just RT or ipad.
Memory. Can be expanded with SD card. While on trip add sd card full of movies and you can use it as entertaining device on go.
Battery life: Too early to comment on but it will have better battery life then other hungry processores like Core I5 or I7.Also no heat issues.
Camera: Camera is definitly better then other tablets. The images looks crisp and clear.
Speaker: Could be better but as space is limited,one can live with it.
Screen: it is beautiful ,not retina screen. But it is not bothering.
Overall a nice tablet for cheap price. Low end processor gives better battery life and reduces the cost.So i prefered this over durface pro etc.