(Price Update: In July there was a huge Asus VivoTab Note 8 price cut from $329 to $199.)
This is Asus first 8-inch Windows tablet, which goes head to head against four rivalling tablets launched by its competitors over the last 4 months, with these being the Dell Venue 8 Pro, Lenovo Miix 2, Acer Iconia W4, and Toshiba Encore.
These four Windows 8.1 tablets were all launched with a MSRP of $299 or $329, with Dell Venue 8 Pro currently being the cheapest one, now selling for $249 on Amazon’s Dell Venue 8 Pro page.
So with a launch price of $80 more than a similar Dell, the Asus VivoTab Note 8 better be good.
Unfortunately, all these five 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablets have almost identical specs, from the same choice of 1.86GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3740 processor, to 2GB of DDR3 RAM, to 1280 x 800 resolution. So what warrants a higher price at launch?
It’s not the dual cameras, since two of its competitors have a 2MP front camera and a 8MP rear camera, while the Asus VivoTab Note 8 only have a 1.26MP front camera and a 5MP rear camera, approximately the same as Dell and Acer. And it’s not in features either, since all these five tablets comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013.
So, the thing that sets the Asus VivoTab Note 8 apart from its four competitors is the integrated stylus that slots neatly into the bottom on the back of the tablet. This is a proper digitizer pen that works with the whole Wacom stylus system with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity. And for some people that feature means a lot, especially taking into consideration that several people have complained about the experience of using a stylus on any of the other 8-inch Windows tablets. So the VivoTab beats them there, hence the Note 8 name.
Other areas where the Asus VivoTab Note 8 have something special to offer is the Reading Mode where the screen turns grey to help comfort the eyes during reading, and the SonicMaster audio technology that offers a better audio experience than its competitors.
So, the cameras does have a lower resolution than two other tablets in this category, but the Asus VivoTab Note 8 have a few tiny things about it that just makes it slightly more attractive. For those who can afford to splurge a little, at least they have the reassurance that they will get the best tablet in this segment.
See full specs and details: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/ASUS-VivoTab-Note-8
– Jim Miller