Hands-on with the Asus VivoTab Note 8 Windows tablet

The Asus VivoTab Note 8 is a Windows 8.1 tablet with an 8 inch screen, an Intel Atom Bay Trail processor, and a Wacom digital pen.

With a starting price of about $299, it’s about the same price as similarly sized tablets from Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Toshiba — but this is the first model in its class to have a Wacom digitizer and pen.

Asus VivoTab Note 8

During the brief time I spent with the tablet, that pen seems to be much more responsive than the one you get with the Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet. It’s also easier to store — there’s a slot in the tablet where you can slide the stylus when it’s not in use, something you don’t get with the Venue 8 Pro.

On the other hand, the Dell’s pen is a bit more… pen-like. It’s thicker and feels better in your hand than the Asus stylus which feels like a small piece of plastic… which is pretty much what it is.

The most important thing, though, is that the Wacom digitizer supports over 1000 levels of pressure sensitivity and enables support for actions that would otherwise be difficult on a tablet such as hovering a cursor over on-screen elements. That doesn’t matter much when you’re running tablet-specific apps, but when you want to interact with classic Windows apps that were designed for a mouse and keyboard, hovering can be a lifesaver.

Other specs include a 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, an Atom Z3740 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB to 64GB of storage. There’s a 15.5Whr battery, front and rear cameras, and a a micro USB port and microSD card slot. There are stereo speakers on the back of the tablet.

What the VivoTab Note 8 tablet doesn’t have is HDMI output, but that’s not too surprising since it’s a feature missing from most small Windows tablets.

The tablet weighs a little over 13 ounces and feels just about as light as my Google Nexus 7. Since it has the same processor as the Asus Transformer Book T100 it’s likely it should have similar performance… albeit in a smaller package and one which doesn’t come with a keyboard dock.

Asus says the VivoTab Note 8 should be available around late March with the 32GB model selling for $299 and a 64GB model going for $349.

  • Tom

    This is currently at the top of my list when I plan on buying an 8″ UMPC around May. Hopefully, some other ones come out until then. Specifically, 4 GB of RAM, USB 3.0 and LTE. A Wacom digitizer with a built in holder and 4 GB of RAM are the major requirements for me.

    • buzz86us

      This is the tablet I am buying if they don’t make a 10.1 version or if Lenovo doesn’t update the Thinkpad tablet line. I’d really like an Android dualboot but doesn’t seem like that is gonna happen anytime soon

      • CyberGusa

        The dual boot like the Asus Duet uses just requires a custom firmware and standard x86 Android ROM… So, if we bug them enough they may offer it as a optional upgrade later…

        But actual models with that feature should come out later as they should steadily be offering more and more models with Android as a added feature…

      • buzz86us

        hoping so but my primary concern is the wacom digitizer though android would be nice to have to conserve battery and underclock when just performing basic tasks.

  • HildyJJ

    One thing to note on the pen. My Thinkpad Tablet 2 has a similar small stick pen but it also works with all the old Wacom “Penabled” pens. Amazon has them new from about $25. I’ll report back if this is the case with the Vivotab as soon as I can get one.

  • me

    For me, this seems to be what I would buy if no other 8″ Windows 8 tablets come out by Spring time. Having used Windows on past UMPCs, an accurate mouse pointer is very useful no matter how touch friendly MS makes the desktop.

    Although, I would really rather have an OQO slider type device over using a stylus that I could and will lose at some point. Especially since I plan on installing Linux when I can do so without some kludgy hacks.

    • CyberGusa

      Check out a 3rd party utility called “TouchMousePointer”, it allows you to turn part or all of the touch screen into a virtual touch pad for mouse functionality… Very useful for using the desktop on these small screens and something to hold us over until they start making an optical mouse or similar standard…

      • UnpopularOpinionPuffin

        What a gem! Thank you.

  • Kyle

    The only thing i would worry about is the battery, it’s like 20% smaller than other 8 inch windows tablets :/

    • BlackBoy88

      Or ASUS used a screen with a low maximum brightness….

  • jeff

    Finally, a Windows 8 mini tablet worth buying.

  • artinvent

    The true Wacom puts this near the top of my list, and the price puts it about the same as a Galaxy Note 8.

    But honestly I have a very very hard time buying any tablet with less than 1920×1080 screen. And that’s why I didn’t go for the G Note 8; and with the new Galaxy Note Pro and Tab Pro announcements, Samsung still neglected to upgrade the 8 incher Note to hi res screen. Sigh.

  • Grant Russell

    No HDMI is disappointing, but I am really excited for this tablet. One minor thing that has me excited is the MicroUSB port is on top, not on the side. this means if I connect an OTG adapter for accessories, and I have the tablet on a stand in Landscape orientation, my USB cable isnt standing straight into the air, doing damage to the port (I’m looking at you Dell Venue 8 pro)

  • thekreek

    Can you ink with this tablet and how well will it behave with onenote….
    Those are my main points in order to purchase it.

  • Alan

    Does the pen have a button for right clicking?

    • Pablo Nilo

      usually wacom has different options for right clicking like holding down a few seconds on the screen… or doing different gestures

      • name

        I prefer a more instant button than holding for some time. It gets annoying on my phone when I’m used to instant everything. What gestures do other Wacom devices have for right click?

  • Kevin

    Does this tablet support wake/sleep smart covers?

  • imti

    i have this tablet..can i install android on it……plz hlp