The first 8 inch Windows tablet from Asus is a model with an Intel Atom processor and a digital pen for writing and drawing with pressure-sensitive input. The Asus VivoTab Note 8 launched earlier this year and has a list price of $330, although you can almost always find one for a lower price.

But what if you don’t need the pen support?

Meet the Asus VivoTab 8 (M81C). It’s a new 8 inch Windows tablet with an Intel Atom Bay Trail processor, but no digital pen and a few other differences which mean it’ll probably sell for even less than the already-affordable VivoTab Note 8 when it hits the streets.

asus vivo tab 8_02

The Asus VivoTab 8 features an 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, an Intel Atom Z3745 quad-core processor, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and Windows 8.1 software (plus a 1-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365).

While the VivoTab Note 8 has 2GB of RAM and 32GB to 64GB of storage, the newer tablet will only be available with 32GB of built-in storage and will come with 1GB or 2GB of RAM.

The new model also has 2MP front and rear cameras (the Note has a 5MP rear camera and 1.26MP front camera) and a 15.2WHr battery (down from a 15.5W battery).

In other words, for the most part the new tablet has specs that are pretty close to those of the VivoTab Note 8… but different enough that this tablet will likely be a bit cheaper.

Other features include stereo speakers, a microSD card reader, and a body that’s a little slimmer than that of the Note 8. The Asus VivoTab 8 measures 8.3″ x 4.9″ x 0.35″ and weighs 11.6 ounces. The tablet will be available in black, white, purple, or gold, and it also seems to have slimmer screen bezels than the VivoTab Note 8.

via Mobile Geeks

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23 replies on “Asus launches VivoTab 8 budget Windows Bay Trail tablet”

  1. Seems wise of them, since the screen lost the ability to read the pen on a load of the Vivotab Note 8s. (including mine!).

    1. This is quite a simple repair. The ribbon cable connecting the Wacom digitizer layer to the mainboard had been installed by Asus by folding hard over, resulting in some connections being intermittent. This is what causes the stylus to fail. There are two solutions: some folk have had success wth opening up the tablet (use a Bojo tool, guitar pick or similar to avoid scratches and damage), straightening out the cable and ‘massaging’ it a bit, and reinserting. Others have replaced the cable with an OEM replacement reported to be of higher quality than the original Asus part!! Just google ‘Asus Note 8 digitizer cable replacement’ for part number and supplier details. This will cost you only a few quid.

  2. “The tablet will be available in black, white, purple, or gold.”
    Really? Purple and gold?

  3. Brad, can you check to see if any of these low-end tabs have the ability to disable UEFI, and be able to boot/install from USB? The majority of these bottom-end units will end up as orphans, and being user-upgradeable to Win9 or perhaps Linux is an important factor.

    1. I think you mean disable Secure Boot… The UEFI is the firmware and that’s not going to change…

      Most should still have the option to disable Secure Boot but what’s really needed to be easier to boot Linux is a 64bit UEFI but they aren’t likely to push that until we see devices offered with 4GB or more RAM… Though, they may make an exception for some of the Android devices to push adoption of 64bit Android…

      1. How do you get Android on a Windows tablet (other than something like BlueStacks). I’d love to have it on my surface.

        1. It helps they’re actually releasing models with Android already on it and as long as the tablet is using the same SoC then the same ROM should work… Though, getting Windows back on it later may be a little difficult…

          While, it takes a custom FW to be able to dual boot… They exist but with both Google and MS blocking it it’s hard to come by and that leaves the Android x86 project option as something you could boot off a USB…

        2. I wanted to put android on a Windows 8.1 HyperV VM but I don’t know where to get it to do so.
          Subject: Re: New comment posted on Asus launches VivoTab 8 budget Windows Bay Trail tablet

        3. awesome thanks. I’m doing it on a Surface Pro 3 with 8 GB of RAM.

          Subject: Re: New comment posted on Asus launches VivoTab 8 budget Windows Bay Trail tablet

  4. This year’s batch of 8 inch wintabs haven’t really made an impact as their previous iterations. In fact, with oems cutting corners on internals to make cheaper rabs, they’ll end up competing with their previous, better spec’d tabs that are now about the same price as the newer models.

    1. Cheap wins the market share, though; there’s nothing especially amazing about Amazon’s top ten laptops (mix of W8 and ChromeOS) beyond that there’s none over 400 bucks, and only two over 300.

  5. Are there any “premium” 7″-8″ Bay Trail tablets coming out? Some of these “budget” tablets are worse than some of the last generation that’re currently around the same price.

    1. I’d say you could consider the Lenovos premium. fHD screens, HDMI out, various other odds and ends.

      1. Ya, I meant that I’m better off getting a tablet from the last batch than from the new refresh ones so far. A new budget one has worse features and about the same price as the previous batch. I’m wondering if the new premium tablets (if any are released) will be any better than the previous premium ones (ie. ThinkPad 8). Or is there a ThinkPad 8 refresh and I missed the article? I hope it has a Wacom digitizer and built-in pen silo.

        1. I don’t believe Lenovo has another tablet due out soon… looks like only the Thinkpad Tablet 10 will have the WACOM digitizer and they’ve yet to release the more premium version with 4GB of RAM… Lenovo is not usually given to releasing another new model this soon after the last release and the market still isn’t good enough to really justify a more rapid release yet… at least for Lenovo…

          Mind, they haven’t gotten the best reviews… The Thinkpad Tablet 10 even has some benchmarks that scored lower than the Asus Transformer Book T100… Despite the T100 having the older Z3740 and the TT10 having a Z3795…

          Along with typically having problems with the USB port unable to really power many external devices and pretty low battery life… So they really need to improve their tablet designs…

        2. if Asus would just release an Asus Vivotab note 10 tablet I’d have my perfect tablet. I think M$ has an anti-compete or something that is keeping that is keeping a cheap 10′ with a wacom pen off the market. I honestly just want something that is thin and light just slightly over 1lb with great battery life. If M$ makes it fine… can someone say Microsoft Surface Pro Lite? I think this is pretty short-sighted since putting a small tablet with a pen for about $400-$450 would sew up the college users.

        3. Well, for one thing WACOM isn’t cheap… and that’s mainly WACOM’s fault… Just look at how much they charge for their direct purchase products like the Cintiq…

          It also doesn’t help that they haven’t significantly advanced their technology in aspects like screen thickness and power consumption…

          Companies like Samsung with their S-Pen adaptation of the WACOM digitizer at least try to offer some power consumption enhancements, like automatically turning off the digitizer when the pen is in its silo but WACOM itself has done very little in this regard and that makes it less ideal for mobile devices…

          WACOM could also offer a add on digital smart pen that doesn’t require a active digitizer be already installed but so far they only offer it for the iPAD and probably because they feel that’s the only market worth their time and the price range they’d rather people pay for it…

          Thus why we still see N-Trig offered and why the MS Surface Pro 3 even went with the N-Trig instead of a WACOM because it allows for thinner design because the touch screen and pen digitizer layers are merged instead of separate and the pen itself runs on batteries to reduce power consumption from the system…

          Sure, WACOM is still the better technology in terms of pressure sensitivity, reliability, and accuracy but WACOM wants it to stay a premium option…

          So, we’ll have to wait for everything else in the tablet to get much cheaper before we see more devices offer a WACOM digitizer and not be a high priced premium product…

          Though, Asus did a pretty good job with their Bay Trail 8″ tablet with WACOM digitizer but that brings up the other problem with the fact that the tablet market is still not big enough to draw the profit margins that will really get these companies interested in giving out too many premium features…

          But, the upcoming Braswell update should help because it is finally optimizing the platform for better costs and with Windows 9 possibly coming out next year it could mean a renewed interest in the market that could very well let us finally see the type of configurations we want…

          We, just unfortunately, still have to wait till the later half of 2015 before this all happens…

      2. The thinkpad 8 was retired. Lenovo isn’t making them anymore. And any Lenovo sub 10″ tablet will now be Android not windows.

    2. Worse is relative… These are still cheaper, you’d have to find a pretty good sale of the previous releases to actually be in the same price range of the higher up low cost models but some of these new low cost tablets go down to as low as $99 and that’s still below even the discounted previous gen releases…

      While there are some performance differences… Newer release Bay Trail have tweaked GMA’s with up to 16% faster GPU performance and the thermal limits have been tweaked as well for a little better overall average performance…

      And then there’s the newer WIndows 8.1 optimizations that lowers the minimum system requirements to 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage space for minimum drive space, basically about half of what it was before… WIMBoot is the default for these newer releases and that means the 32GB have much more free space than the previous gen models with the same capacity drives… Not as much as many of us would want but still more and thus not as compromising with these otherwise lower specs…

      So, I would say they’re more comparable than worse and are generally cheaper than even the discounted last gen releases…

      Not to say many of us don’t want better but I think they’re biding their time until Braswell updates come out and they seem to be presently focusing on Intel’s higher end Core M for premium tablets…

      Mind, the Core M is replacing the Y series and manages to get as low as 4.5W TDP for fan-less operation… They’ll still be priced as Core processors but can be put into products even thinner and lighter than the MS Surface Pro 3 with likely only a small decrease in performance compared to the MS SP3 i3…

      Though, they reserve the option to provide extra performance when docked to a docking station that also provides additional active cooling and thus allow the Core M to operate at a higher TDP when docked…

      Part of the problem is the industry is also waiting on LP-DDR4 to start replacing LP-DDR3 RAM… since it will be able to offer more capacity in the same amount of space and still reduce power consumption despite increasing capacity… Though, we may have to wait till Broxton comes out before they fully roll out LP-DDR4…

      But Braswell should help lower costs enough that they can start increasing the other specs without needing to raise the average pricing of these tablets… Since Braswell will optimize material costs, lower parts sourcing costs, and reduce space usage…

      Some minor improvements to battery and display technology should also start coming out about then as well, but this still means waiting until about the second half of 2015…

      Even the rumored 4GB of RAM for the newest Samsung Galaxy Note release proved false and it will come out with only 3GB of RAM to show this is a industry wide issue but 2015 should be the turning point at least…

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