ASUS VivoTab RT TF600 First Impressions

ASUS VivoTab RT-9107
The ASUS VivoTab RT is the first tablet I’ve tested with Windows 8 RT on it. If this is the type of device that Win8 RT tablets will bring, then Microsoft is going to be hugely successful, and both Apple and Google need to get their game together ASAP.

That is to say, I’m loving my experience with the VivoTab RT. It’s almost like the Transformer Pad Infinity, except with a 1366×768 resolution display (instead of a 1200p panel) and Windows 8 RT instead of Android 4.1. The former isn’t so important, but the later makes what would generally be considered a strong tablet that isn’t quite on par with the iPad a tablet millions of people would rather have than the iPad, and any other tablet on the market.

What Microsoft has done with Win8 RT is pretty spectacular, though for months it has seemed mostly unimpressive. They built nearly every function of Win8 into a tablet running an ARM processor, the processor architecture used by every major tablet on the market today. These processors are highly efficient and very capable, though they lack the raw performance of laptop and desktop processors made by Intel or AMD. With Win8 RT, that doesn’t really matter. The operating system is very slim yet still does just about anything you could want…except run executable files. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Firstly, the best way to describe Win8 RT on a tablet is this: imagine Windows 8 and Windows 7 available on a touchscreen. Imagine that it works well. Imagine that it works with both a keyboard and mouse, with the touchscreen. Imagine that it has a full browser, not a dumbed-down one like most tablets do, but a tablet with power and functionality equivalent to today’s PCs. And imagine it comes with all of the basic Office productivity software. Now stop imagining because it’s true, it works great, and for the past week it the VivoTab has become my laptop and tablet. I finally found a device that replaces both without an enormous pricetag.

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