The Asus VivoTab TF810C is yet another Windows 8 Atom tablet with transformer styling. But it's a classy, high end model with and 11.6" IPS+ display, Wacom digitizer with full size pen and less ubiquitous features like GPS and NFC. It has a mostly metal back, a very nice optional keyboard dock with battery and a price tag that will likely put it out of reach for many US shoppers. The tablet sells for $799 and the keyboard dock is an optional accessory priced at $199. For that $1,000 you could get a Microsoft Surface Pro or Asus' own excellent Zenbook Prime UX31A Touch Ultrabook, but then you wouldn't get the extreme battery life of the VivoTab 810C. The tablet can easily go 8 hours on a charge and the dock nearly doubles runtimes. Sweet!
Like all Windows 8 Atom tablets, the Asus VivoTab has a 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760 dual core Clovertrail CPU with 2 gigs of DDR2 RAM and 64 gigs of internal storage. It also uses the same PowerVR SGX545 graphics licensed from Imagination Technologies by Intel. The tablet can handle MS Office fine, light to moderate Adobe Photoshop CS6 and streaming HD video fine. Application launch times are longer compared to current Ultrabooks and Intel Core i5 tablets, but the apps are usable once launched. What isn't a good fit? 3D gaming with Windows 7 games (Metro games are fine) and forget HD video editing.
The VivoTab TF810C has a 1366 x 768 IPS+ display. So far full HD displays haven't made their way to even higher end Intel Atom tablets, perhaps because of the greater load the higher resolution would put on the CPU and GPU. It's a lovely looking display with high contrast and pleasing colors, and it doesn't look grainy. The Wacom digitizer and included full size pen with eraser are a welcome feature, but as with other Windows 8 tablets other than Samsung's, there's no WinTab driver available yet for pressure sensitivity in Photoshop and Corel Painter. You do get pressure sensitivity in OneNote 2013, ArtRage, FreshPaint and Sketchbook since those apps don't rely on the WinTab driver.
The tablet weighs 1.49 lbs. and the optional dock is 1.5 lbs., making them relatively well balanced. When docked in laptop mode, the display doesn't tilt very far back, but the bright IPS+ display with 178 degree viewing angles doesn't require a wide berth. Balance is reasonably good for a transformer model, and we greatly appreciate the additional 25WHr battery in the keyboard dock that nearly doubles runtimes. The dock has two USB 2.0 ports and a small but usable island style keyboard and passable Synaptics trackpad. Unlike the HP Envy x2, there's no full size SD card slot or other ports on the dock.
Asus includes a small adapter that connects to the dock port on the bottom to provide a single USB 2.0 port, so you don't have to buy the $199 keyboard dock just to get a USB port for peripherals. The tablet has a micro HDMI port under a very stubborn plastic door and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. This is a fanless tablet so it's silent and it doesn't get very hot-- another benefit of Atom.
Here's our Asus VivoTab TF810C video review. Our full written review will follow soon.