Asus announced the Vivo Tab and Vivo Tab RT at its IFA press conference in Berlin last week, and we got a chacne to have a look at the Windows 8 tablets/laptops to see how they stack up.
The Vivo Tabs by Asus are the Windows 8 eqivalent to the Android-powered Transformer Pad range, in that they are convertible tablet/laptop hybrids that offer a touchscreen tablet for portable use and a keyboard dock when you want to use the device more like a regular laptop.
At first glance, the two devices look near-identical and you could be mistaken for thinking they are conventional Ultrabooks, it's only when you open the Vivo up and peer around the back that the integrated hinge and dock reveal that the display can be easily removed.
The Vivo Tab RT runs the touch-optimised Windows RT operating system, while the Vivo Tab makes use of the full version of Windows 8, which it displays on its 11.6in screen - one inch larger than the Tab RT.
Other differences between the two models include storage; Vivo Tab has 32GB, Vivo Tab RT offers 64GB, and battery life; the Tab can manage 13 hours while the Tab RT can keep running for 15 hours when docked to the keyboard, which contains extra battery capacity for both models.
With their cool-to-the-touch, aluminium designs, both Asus convertibles looked and felt great during our limited hands-on time with them, although they are of course a little top-heavy, with the tablet/screen weighing more than the keyboard.
When used as a tablet, the 11.6in Tab felt a little cumbersome, as we're used to tablets no larger than the 10.1in devices from Samsung, and its 675g weight would get uncomfortable if you were holding the tablet up to read from.
At an inch smaller and more than 150g lighter, the Tab RT feels more like the tablets we're used to, and the quad-core Tegra 3 processor by Nvidia saw the tablet brush off everything we had to throw at it - we'll be sure to test both tablet's performance in more detail when we get hold of them again soon.
Both keyboards provided good, tactile feedback to our typing and the trackpads were both as you would expect, but - and this is probably while the novelty is still there - reaching out and using the touch screen was our prefered way of controlling the Tabs.
IBTimes UK reviewed the Asus Transformer 300 a while ago and enjoyed using it, so we can't wait to get our hands on the Vivo Tab's for in-depth reviews soon - and with Windows 8 and RT due out by the end of October, hopefully we won't have to wait long.
Asus has yet to announce a price for the two devices, but given the great design and especially the processing power of the Vivo Tab, we're not expecting them to be cheap.
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