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.
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.