Announced at January’s Consumer Electronics Show, the Asus VivoTab Note 8 tablet is now available for sale. The original price was slated to be $299, but the Windows 8.1 tablet launched on Microsoft’s online store for $329 on Monday, notes Engadget. Just hours after its initial availability, the VivoTab Note 8 shows as “out of stock” in the Microsoft Store.
I’m not reading the lack of stock as a successful launch, mainly because we have no idea how much inventory Microsoft actually started with. The VivoTab Note 8 is also slightly more expensive than its peers in the store: Similar tablets from Toshiba, Dell and Lenovo are currently priced at $299 and recently were on sale for as low as $229.
One key difference the VivoTab Note 8 has is a Wacom digital stylus that can register more than 1,000 levels of pressure sensitivity. Unlike Microsoft’s own Surface products that also include a digital pen, the VivoTab Note 8 can store the stylus inside the tablet — a much better solution.
Like most tablets in this class, Asus chose a recent 1.33 GHz Intel Atom processor to power the slate, which has an 8-inch, 1280 x 800 IPS touchscreen display. Memory is a standard 2 GB of RAM along with 32 GB of internal storage. Instead of taking some of that storage space for a Windows recovery partition, Asus smartly includes an 8 GB recovery microSD card; this tablet should have at least 3 or 4 GB more user-available storage as a result.
The VivoTab Note 8 has a pair of cameras (5 and 1.2-megapixels — includes Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 software, has Bluetooth and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and weights 0.85 pounds. Asus says to expect 8 hours of battery life on a single charge.
Although I’ve used Windows 8.1 on both an Asus Transformer T100 and Surface Pro 2, I haven’t tried a smaller slate with Windows of late. I’ve reached out for a review unit and will share thoughts in the near future to see what the experience of Windows on a small screen is like. The idea behind such devices is that consumers will use touch-friendly apps the majority of the time and will use Windows apps occasionally, perhaps extending them to a larger display as needed. I’m curious to see if these slates deliver on that promise.