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Asus VivoTab TF810C

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What's hot: Good quality materials, very good optional keyboard dock with extended battery, Wacom digitizer.

What's not: High price, driver support has been weak, Asus tech support seems unaware of product.


Reviewed March 11, 2013 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

The Asus VivoTab TF810C is yet another Windows 8 Atom tablet with transformer styling. But it's a classy, high end model with an 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.

Asus VivoTab TF810C

There are of course, long battery life 11.6" Intel Atom Windows 8 competitors like the Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T and the HP Envy x2 with the same 1366 x 768 high quality touch screens and transformer designs, but only the Samsung also offers the Wacom digitizer and pen. For those who don't need the digital pen, the more affordable and high quality metal-clad Envy x2 (keyboard dock included) is probably the better buy at an average current selling price of $699 to $749. If you do need the pen, the Samsung ATIV 500T is cheaper, but plastickier and lacks a secondary battery in the keyboard dock.

The tablet has single band WiFi (why, oh why when competitors have dual band WiFi?), Bluetooth 4.0, Broadcom GPS chip, NFC and a very decent 8MP rear camera with fast f/2.2 lens plus LED flash, and a competent 2 megapixel front video chat camera.

Asus VivoTab TF810C

Performance and Horsepower

All Windows 8 Intel Atom tablets have the same basic specs and similar performance, and the Asus VivoTab TF810C is no exception. The tablet has a 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760 dual core Clovertrail CPU with 2 gigs of DDR2 RAM and 64 gigs of internal storage (eMMC like all Atom tablets). It also uses the same PowerVR SGX545 graphics licensed from Imagination Technologies by Intel. The tablet can handle MS Office, 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. Office 2013 is responsive while Photoshop takes longer to apply filters (negligible with an 8 meg JPG file, but 2x longer with a 20 meg RAW file compared to an Intel Core i5 machine like Surface Pro or the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T). What isn't a good fit? 3D gaming with Windows 7 games (Metro games are fine) and forget HD video editing. iTunes runs decently (even HD video playback) but ripping media takes 5x longer than the Core i5. Handbrake takes between 5x and 9x longer to rip video from one format to another.

Asus VivoTab TF810C

Application launch times are longer than laptop and Ultrabook counterparts due to the slower CPU and eMMC rather than SATA storage interface (the Clovertrail doesn't support SATA or mSATA), but once Windows 7 programs like Office and Photoshop are up and running, they're surprisingly tolerable. OneNote 2013 starts to lag once you've filled a page with handwritten notes, though it's useable with a tiny bit of patience. This isn't the VivoTab's fault, we've seen the same small slowdown on all Windows 8 Intel Atom Clovertrail tablets so far.


PCMark 7: 1256

Windows Experience Index (scale of 1.0 - 9.9):

Processor: 3.4
RAM: 4.7
Desktop Graphics: 3.6
Gaming Graphics: 3.2
Primary Hard Disk: 5.8

PC Mark 7 Benchmark Comparison Table, Windows 8 Intel Atom (unless otherwise noted) Tablets:

Asus VivoTab TF810C 1256
HP Envy x2 1424
Samsung ATIV 500T 1273
Samsung ATIV 700T (Core i5) 4034
Acer Iconia W510 1258
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 1425
Asus VivoBook X202 (Core i3) 2218
MS Surface Pro 4657
Sony Vaio Duo 11 (Core i5) 4772


Deals and Shopping:


Asus VivoTab TF810C Video Review

Design and Optional Keyboard Dock

The VivoTab is a pleasant looking machine, and not in the least bit flashy. It's finished in subdued silvers and warm tones. The back is mostly metal and there's a broad strip along the top back area because plastic interferes with wireless radios much less than metal. When combined with the optional keyboard dock, the look is less holistic and pleasing, though both the dock and the tablet look good by themselves.

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. The latching mechanism is much better than on the Samsung ATIV tablets (it stays connected!) but the side release switch is fiddly and more awkward than the very solid HP Envy x2's docking mechanism. The tablet also wobbles back and forth a bit in the dock, which is disconcerting.

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.

The tablet has rounded sides that are comfortable to hold, and weight is very manageable though it's not as light as the smaller Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 or the Asus MeMO Pad 10 Android tablet. Intel Atom tablets have a silent fanless design and get warm but never hot to the touch.


Yes, everyone wants a super-duper high res display on their tablet thanks to the iPad with Retina Display and upstart Android tablets like the Nexus 10. And yes, the Core i5 Windows 8 tablets have full HD 1080p displays more often than not. That said, Windows 8 Intel Atom tablets have 1366 x 768 displays, and we're not complaining too much since Windows 8 has very crisp typography and these tablets have high quality IPS or PLS displays with wide viewing angles and high contrast. The Asus VivoTab TF810C is no exception, and the IPS+ display has excellent contrast, good colors, very wide viewing angles and better than 350 nits of brightness that put average laptop displays running at the same resolution to shame. It's a very nice display. And the resolution makes for readable text and normal size icons in Windows 8's desktop mode with no scaling required. Still, if super-sharp text and magazine reading with Zinio are your thing, you might wish for that full HD resolution. Zinio's small type in magazine layout mode is hard to read on a 1366 x 768 tablet but readably sharp on a full HD tablet. And yes, if you look close, you can see some staircasing and jaggy text, but you do have to look close.

Wacom Inside

The Asus VivoTAB TF810C, like Samsung ATIV tablets and the ThinkPad Tablet 2, have Wacom digitizers that work with a digital pen for precise input. Writing notes is easy and natural (other than the slippery feel of glass vs. paper) and you can do sophisticated artwork. This is much, much better than a capacitive stylus that feels little better than writing with a finger! You'll get pressure sensitivity in programs that use the newer Windows Ink APIs (ArtRage, Fresh Paint, Autodesk Sketchbook and OneNote 2013) but not older apps that require WinTab drivers like Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter and PaintTool SAI. So far, Windows 8 Atom tablets all lack WinTab drivers, but we've heard that Adobe is working on creating them. Still, I wouldn't spend $1,000 hoping that the drivers I need will someday appear. If you're a digital artist who needs WinTab now, look elsewhere (the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T and the last gen Samsung Series 7 Slate both have Wacom with WinTab drivers).

On another note, we love the included pen. It's a full size pen with a rounded eraser on the end and a button for commands. Folks complain when there's no silo to hold the pen, but if you want a full size pen that's comfortable for extended use, you won't find one that fits in today's super-thin tablets.

Driver Torture

Asus actually released this tablet in early January 2013 in a limited fashion through mostly online retailers with a few bricks and mortar stores like Microcenter thrown in. While even quiet releases from Asus see great driver support via their website and their Live Update app on the device, driver updates were MIA until just a few weeks ago. Given that the Intel Clovertrail Windows 8 tablets had significant early driver issues largely relating to the new Intel chipset and thus plaguing all brands and models, that's a horrid problem. Manufacturers who released models in late fall 2012 pushed out driver updates fairly quickly, while models that came out more recently had newer drives pre-loaded plus downloadable driver updates. These drivers addressed problematic issues like the device not waking from sleep (requiring a forced shutdown and reboot) and sporadic WiFi. Ouch.

Now Asus has drivers available, but only via their Live Update program on the tablet. That might not be so bad were it not for a Live Update app that frequently fails updating itself, let alone other drivers on the device. We had to try several times over the course of two days to get Live Update working. Unfortunately, Asus hasn't published the drivers on their support website to offer an alternative download method as they do for their other tablets and notebooks. This isn't the Asus driver support we know and love, and we do wonder why the VivoTab seems to be the read-headed stepchild.

The Competition and Battery Life

Why choose an Intel Atom Windows 8 tablet when the price verges on Core i5 prices? Battery life, plain and simple. Bonus: a silent and cool running machine. The Asus VivoTab TF810C can run 8 hours on a charge alone and 14 to 15 hours when mated to the optional keyboard dock. In comparison, Microsoft Surface Pro runs 4-5 hours on a charge. Even the Asus Zenbook UX31A Touch Ultrabook, the current Energizer bunny of touchscreen Windows 8 Ultrabooks, only runs 6 hours on a charge.

The VivoTab ships with a small black wall wart charger. The charger output is just 2 amps (same as the iPad and some other tablets). That's not very high output compared to notebook style chargers, so the tablet and dock take up to 6 hours to charge.


The Asus VivoTab TF810C is a lovely Atom Windows 8 transformer whose launch has been hampered by spotty retail presence, a lack of drivers for the first two months and an enormous price tag in the US. Now that Asus has the drivers mostly sorted out, we're more bullish on the tablet, but given its small retail distribution and absent review program, we're not sure how strongly Asus is behind this product. Throw in the high price tag that makes this by far the most expensive Windows 8 Atom tablet, and it's hard to look past these issues and fall in love with the tablet. And that's a shame because the hardware is lovely, the keyboard dock offers a solid typing experience while greatly extending battery life, and it's one of the few with a Wacom digitizer and pen. Top that off with a few less common features like GPS, NFC and a truly decent 8MP rear camera and the VivoTab TF810C has what it takes to stand out.

Price: $799 for the 64 gig tablet, $199 for the keyboard dock



Related Reviews:

HP Envy x2

Microsoft Surface Pro

Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T

Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T

Acer Iconia Tab W510


Asus VivoTab TF810C


Asus VivoTab TF810C


Asus VivoTab TF810C


Asus VivoTab TF810C


Asus VivoTab TF810C


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Display: 11.6", 1366 x 768 IPS+ display. PowerVR SGX545 integrated graphics. Micro HDMI port.

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable 2 cell battery, 30 Whr. 25 Whr secondary battery in optional keyboard dock.

Performance: 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760 dual core CPU with 2 gigs of LPDDR2 533MHz RAM (2 gigs is max RAM). 64 gig eMMC flash drive soldered to motherboard.

Size: Tablet: 11.6 x 7.43 x 0.41 inches. Weight: 1.49 pounds. Keyboard dock weighs 1.5 pounds (total weight= 3 pounds).

Camera: 2MP front camera and 8MP rear camera with LED flash and f/2.2 lens.

Audio: Built-in stereo speakers, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated single band 2.4GHz WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and Broadcom GPS.

Software: Windows 8 32 bit.

Expansion and Ports: Tablet: 1 microSDXC card slot, docking port, USB 2.0 port via included adapter, 3.5mm combo audio and micro HDMI. Keyboard dock: 2 USB 2.0 ports.



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