Asus introduces VivoTab Note 8 Windows tablet with a Wacom pen

The first 8 inch Windows 8.1 tablet from Asus is also one of the first small Windows 8.1 tablets from any company to feature a Wacom active digitizer. That means the Asus VivoTab Note 8 supports pressure-sensitive input when you use a Wacom digital pen to writer or draw on the screen.

While Dell beat Asus to market with a pen-friendly 8 inch tablet, the Dell Venue 8 Pro’s pen technology is a bit hit or miss, while Wacom has a very strong reputation among pen computing enthusiasts.

vivotab note 8_01

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the small Windows tablet space, the rest of the specs for this tablet should look familiar. The VivoTab Note 8 features a 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, an Intel Atom Z3740 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and up to 64GB of storage.

The tablet has a 5MP rear camera, a front-facing HD camera, and a microSD card slot. It’s powered by a 15.5Whr battery and features stereo speakers.

It’s the pen that really helps this tablet stand out though. It supports more than 1,000 levels of pressure sensitivity and works with the handwriting features built into Windows or with drawing and graphics apps. You can also use the digital pen to hover over the screen the way you would with a mouse pointer, which could make some desktop apps easier to use on a touchscreen tablet.

The Asus VivoTab Note 8 measures 8.7″ x 5.3″ x 0.4″ and weighs about 13.4 ounces.

The VivoTab Note 8 will be available at the end of the first quarter of 2014 or the beginning of the second quarter, and it’s expected to retail for $299 with 32GB of storage, or $349 for a model with 64GB. That’s about the same price as 8 inch Windows tablets from Acer, Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba — but the Asus model is the only one to feature a Wacom digitizer.

  • jm2c

    Is that Z3470 or Z3740? I’m surprised this is not more expensive than the rest. It doesn’t sound like it has HDMI output?

    • loopyduck

      Z3470 is not a thing, and no HDMI output.

      • CyberGusa

        I believe he meant whether it has a Intel Z3740 or Z3740D Bay Trail SoC, difference include single versus dual channel RAM as the models ending with D are for more budget/cheaper configurations…

        So far it appears to be the regular Z3740 but they don’t always specify that clearly…

      • Brad Linder

        No, I had a typo… and fixed it, but didn’t have time to reply to the comment.

        Sorry about the confusion!

  • Jason

    Looks like I’ll be getting the ASUS Vivotab Note 8 (long name) instead of the ThinkPad 8. I’m not pixel junkie and video out isn’t useful for me. Too bad I lose USB 3.0 though. Oh well.

  • tk76

    Another 8″ with no HDMI? I just don’t get why they are crippling these tablets. The biggest issue with a 8″ tablet is that some programs jst can’t be well used on such a small screen. If they simply included a mini-HDMI, then you could hook it to any monitor or TV and have a great portable work station.

    I guess I will just have to wait for the next generation (as the Toshiba with HDMI is too heavy.)

    • CyberGusa

      USB 3.0 at least would allow a docking station that you can then connect to an external monitor… Separate HDMI port is mainly important because these models also tend to use the USB port as the charging port and you generally can’t use them for two things at the same time…

      While most of these 8″ models are also stuck with USB 2.0 and thus generally limited to using Miracast or similar for any video output…

    • Blu Scarab

      Its actually because HDMI has been phased out and is supposedly being replaced by DP. So in the near future, products wont have HDMI ports – so they say. That’s what they said about VGA ports over 10 years ago.

  • Doug Dunfee

    Lack of video output on these 8″ Windows tablets hurts a lot and it just plain confusing.

    • buzz86us

      for $35 you have an HDMI output it is called Chromecast

      • me

        You could use WiDi/Miracast. It’s wireless video out. Chromecast is different and limited.

  • hfoster21

    I had an Android tablet and never used the video out port. I had an iPad and never used it to output video. I have a Clover Trail Windows 8 tablet and never use the video out but I use the Wacom pen ALL the time. I’m getting this ASUS when it’s released.

    • jm2c

      I have used the video out on all my tablets so far. I hardly use the Wacom pen on my Surface. I guess different people use tablets in different ways!

      • John

        For the once every few months I use video out, WiDi works well enough.

      • name

        Or a USB 2.0 to HDMI. It’s good enough for me. I much rather have the Wacom pen AND built in slot. If there were no slot than I’d pass on the ASUS. A magnetic dangling holder like the Surface is lame too.

  • Jeremiah Yong

    D’awww asus t100 or this

    • buzz86us

      hoping for a 10′ model for about $400-500 to be announced..

  • Michael Thompson

    I have to join with the “give me video out and lots of ports in my Windows machines” crowd.

    • buzz86us


      • jm2c

        I don’t think Chromecast does video out in the way people are talking about. The HDMI is really good if you wanted to connect the device to an external monitor, connect it to a keyboard and mouse and use it as a desktop. People could then use this device as their only machine provided it can do what they want. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but Chromecast is going to only send video from Chrome browser to a tv/monitor. It won’t let you extend your desktop or even mirror your desktop unless you use some type of hack. At the moment you need either Chrome or special Chromecast apps to use with Chromecast. I tried out the Chrome plugin and it’s not that performant compared to hdmi.

      • buzz86us

        there is a beta plugin that does mirroring but basically any miracast dongle will do…

      • jm2c

        Yeah, Miracast is like the Chromecast, but even with that I believe it can only mirror your display? An hdmi out would allow you to extend the display so you can use both the 8″ and external monitor for different things. I’ve also seen miracast and chromecast mirroring at work and they are not very responsive. There’s a noticeable delay between what happens on the device and what is shown on the display probably due to network conditions.

      • john

        WiDi/Miracast acts like any other dual monitor. You can extend or mirror.

      • jm2c

        Thanks for that. I didn’t know Miracast could do that. That’s pretty nice.

      • CyberGusa

        May only be an option for the Bay Trail T models, though, as Miracast in Windows uses Quicksync to help with the encoding the video stream but the Bay Trail M and D models will be sold under Celeron and Pentium branding and will fall under the same feature limitations as the traditional core based Celeron and Pentium models and thus have no Quicksync support…

        Even Core based models had trouble offering better than 720P with Miracast before they updated it for Quicksync support… So the Bay Trail models won’t have enough CPU performance to compensate but those models are much more likely to have HDMI out ports…

        Other issue is Miracast has optional components that not all OEMs agree on and thus not all Miracast setups may work with each other… Some even use 3rd party utility to set up the connection instead of the Windows 8.1 default… So there’s some reliability concerns if you have to use other people’s setups with your device…

  • HasithaP

    Thanks ASUS, this is the ONLY BAYTRAIL WACOM TABLET :-) Where’s the Samsung Ativ tab 4 with wacom pen :-(

  • Charlene

    Do the specs for this look like it would run a lighter drawing program like Manga Studio or Sketchbook Pro?

  • Blu Scarab

    We’ll see if this turns out to be better than Samsung’s 10.1 with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and a must have device for graphics artists. Anyway if it does do the trick, Samsung will blast its way back with 5 more ultra superior models as it always does.