ASUS VivoTab RT, a decent Windows tablet for productivity stuff

Written by B Johnson January 19, 2014
Windows RT may not be a popular platform, especially compared to iOS or Android. But there was one interesting Windows RT tablet from Asus - ASUS VivoTab RT. But is it great for gaming?
Hi guys, welcome back.

In the past few weeks, from last year actually (i mean last December of course), i’ve been showing you guys here some of Asus tablets that i think are worth buying tablets, especially as gaming tablets.

Many of the Asus tablets that i’ve been showcasing on this website are mostly Tegra tablets, either Tegra 3, Tegra 4 or even the oldie Tegra 2.

Right now, i have one other tablet packing a Tegra 3 chipset. This is also made by no other than Asus.

It’s ASUS VivoTab RT.


As the name implies, yes, ASUS VivoTab RT is a tablet running Windows RT.

Having used Windows RT on its platform, then ASUS VivoTab RT definitely needs some beefy specs in order to run smoothly and perfectly.

However, just like any other Android tablets that i’ve been showing you here, this ASUS VivoTab RT surprisingly comes with the Tegra 3 quad-core processor, bundled with 2GB of RAM and 12-core GeForce ULP GPU.

This is actually not that weird given that Microsoft Surface RT tablet (first edition) also equips itself with the same Tegra 3 chipset made by NVIDIA.

To be honest with you, this is actually the first time i just heard about this tablet.

I mean, i know that Asus is well known for its Asus Transformer, Asus Memo Pad and Asus Padfone series, which are 3 of my favorite tablet series from this company.

However, as for ASUS VivoTab RT, this is definitely the first time i met with this tablet.

Well, if you’re interested to know more this tablet, from its design, software, hardware, performance and especially its gaming power, then check out my personal review of Asus VivoTab RT TF600T.

But as usual, before you go straight to this review, please allow me first to give you the brief introduction of this tablet. Enjoy!


In the past few years, Asus has been popularly known for its tablet line under the flag Asus Transformer series.

This tablet series is in fact, the one that keeps this company going in the fierce tablet market competing with big players like Apple, Samsung and Amazon, that have major success in selling hordes of tablets every quarter.

However, despite only aiming the sales in tablet market, Asus with its Asus Transformer series is also targeting the sales in netbook market, given its keyboard dock, which is designed, engineered and manufactured by Asus itself.


As a result, Asus Transformer series manages to make Asus so popular in both tablet and netbook markets, thus gaining more sales in both markets successfully.

However, there is one thing that keeps holding back this tablet series to become the real netbook replacement.

And that is the Android OS that is running on Asus Transformer tablets.

Even though ASUS VivoTab RT series is equipped with keyboard dock just like on netbook or laptop, it’s obviously that most of netbook shoppers would not be interested to choose Asus tablets over netbooks given that these tablets are not using the full-fledged Windows OS.

The good news is, Asus manages to bridge this gap by bringing ASUS VivoTab RT, a hybrid tablet like Asus Transformer line that is running on Microsoft’s homemade OS, Windows RT.

Just like the Surface RT tablet made by Microsoft, this ASUS VivoTab RT is also packing the same internals found on Microsoft’s tablet, like the same Tegra 3 processor, 2GB of RAM and 12-core GeForce ULP GPU, not to mention, the same 1366x768 pixel display just like on Surface RT.


Interestingly, just like Surface RT, the design of ASUS VivoTab RT kind of resembles that Microsoft’s tablet, with the same looking bezels and rounded corners on the front side.

The difference of these tablets can be seen when you flip the tablet and look at the edge side of this tablet.

As you probably know, the edge side of Microsoft’s Surface RT looks similar with Surface Pro, where the edge around the side of this tablet has that sharp edges.

On the other hand, the edge of ASUS VivoTab RT doesn’t look anything like Surface RT, it has more soft rounded edge around the side, making it more comfortable to hold and feel nice in hands.

ASUS VivoTab RT, the tablet for professionals
Plus, this tablet also looks much thinner than Surface RT.

However, overall, ASUS VivoTab RT still looks kind of bit similar with Surface RT, maybe it’s because they both use the same platform, Windows RT.

So this makes these tablets look identical one to another.

Besides, ASUS VivoTab RT also has that white speaker grilles on the top and Windows logo on the bottom of the front tablet when it’s positioned in landscape mode.

Personally, i really like the design of this tablet more than the older-gen Asus Transformer tablets.

On the back side of Asus VivoTab RT, you can see that on the top of this tablet, there are 2 different materials being used on this area.

The bottom part uses this brushed metallic appearance, while the top area uses a rigid plastic finish.

This design actually kind of reminds me with the back cover design of Google Nexus 10 made by Samsung, which also hast 2 different materials on the back.

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  • No SIM
  • Released 2012, November
  • 10.1 inch Super IPS+ LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1366 x 768 pixels, (~155 ppi pixel density)
  • Microsoft Windows RT
  • Chipset Nvidia Tegra 3 T30 Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU
  • ULP GeForce GPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera, autofocus, LED flash
  • 2 MP front-facing camera
  • microSD card slot for up to 64 GB
  • 32/64 GB Internal storage,
  • No GPRS
  • No No
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • NFC
  • USB
  • No Radio
  • No GPS
  • Java
  • Asus WebStorage (32 GB)
  • HDMI port
  • Non-removable Li-Po battery (25 Wh)
  • Up to 9 hours of Talk time
In terms of specs, ASUS VivoTab RT is blessed with many great quality high-end specs on it, which is not surprising given that this tablet runs on Windows RT tablet and will need some horse power in order to work seamlessly and perfectly for daily tasks.

Windows RT may not be that heavy and as complete as the full-fledged Windows 8 Pro OS (which needs PC or laptop’s hardware), however, that doesn’t mean that Windows RT on Asus VivoTab RT will be inferior compared to Windows 8 Pro OS.

As the app ecosystem of Windows RT keeps growing even further with more and more developers porting their apps to this platform, then it’s just a matter of time before we finally see this OS becomes popular, if not huge like Android or iOS of course, and attract more followers in the market.

Besides, based on the recent finding, now Windows RT has many apps that have been so popular on Android and iOS.

So the owners of Windows RT tablets will need to be a bit patient before all the popular Android and iOS apps become available on this platform.

Anyway, ASUS VivoTab RT comes a 10.1-inch display sporting the resolution of 1366x768 pixels, a quad-core Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.3GHz, 2GB of RAM, 12-core GeForce ULP GPU, 8MP camera on the back, 2MP front-facing camera, microSD card slot for up to 64GB (which is nice) and a bunch of other standard features.

The screen of ASUS VivoTab RT is actually the same one found on Microsoft Surface RT, the same 10.1-inch with 1366x768 pixel resolution, which is not weird given that these 2 tablets are powered also by the same internals, like Tegra 3, 2GB of RAM and GeForce GPU.


When it comes to display, it’s great to see that ASUS VivoTab RT is packing a 1366x768 pixel display with the pixel density of 155 ppi, which is a little bit higher than the standard 720p display (1280x800 pixel).

However, in the real world quality, the display quality of this tablet is actually still on the same level with other 720p tablets with 10.1-inch display, ASUS VivoTab RT just has more pixels than other rivals, which is great.

But then again, this kind of display is still left behind other 10-inch rivals on today’s tablet market, like Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1, Sony Xperia Tablet Z or iPad Air, which have really high resolution screen.

The good news, that 1366x768 pixel screen on ASUS VivoTab RT is still considered as good even on a huge 10.1-inch display, if not great.

Doing things like watching HD movies, reading books or magazines, browsing the web and playing games, will be a pleasing experience for users, thanks to its sharp and huge display.

Movies will looks sharp. Books, magazines or webpages will looks clear thanks to its huge display, but we do still need to zoom in/out if the text or images look small in normal view.

Playing games will also look so great and crisp on this tablet, thanks to its sharp display.

However, given that there are not many games that you can find on Windows RT platform just yet, then you will be left behind in the tablet gaming party until this platform becomes huge in the future, which i believe will happen soon.


What makes Windows RT tablet like ASUS VivoTab RT much better than any other regular Android tablets out there or even the iPad is definitely the features that are packed inside tablet.

Just like the full-fledged Windows 8 OS, the software of Asus VivoTab RT shares some of most important features and UI of the full-fledged Windows 8 Pro tablets, like the same look of UI, the same Windows features and all bunch of stuff that resemble the “Godfather OS”.

However, given that ASUS VivoTab RT is not running the real Windows 8 Pro OS, then there will be some features that are stripped down by Microsoft in order to make this Windows RT platform run fast and smooth on the tablet-dedicated hardware (i.e Tegra 3, 2GB of RAM, 12-core GeForce GPU, etc).

Besides, if the hardware inside this ASUS VivoTab RT are forced to run on the full-fledged Windows OS, then this tablet will run insanely slow and will drain the battery life much even faster.

Overall, the experience of using Windows RT tablet like ASUS VivoTab RT is still great though.

It may not have all the features found on the real Windows Pro OS nor run the legacy software on your Windows laptop, however, with this platform, you still get most of the important features on the regular OS, especially the productivity-related features.

User Interface

Just like other Windows 8 Pro tablets out there, the User Interface of ASUS VivoTab RT also looks identical one to another.

It has that Metro UI with colorful tiles or boxes that are spreading out across the screen.

This experience of its UI is also really smooth and fast in daily tasks, and the whole performance is really consistent given its simple UI.

You can also set the UI with a wide range of color options in order to personalize this tablet according to your preference.

The background can also be changed with the standard wallpaper provided on this tablet. Too bad though, we can't use our own favorite picture or scenery as the background wallpaper on this tablet.

I believe if Microsoft allows this feature on the next Windows OS updates, more people will be attracted to buy Windows tablets in the future.


It’s good to see that ASUS VivoTab RT is packing some great powerful internals just like Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet, from a quad-core Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.3GHz, 2GB of RAM and 12-core of GeForce ULP GPU that comes bundled on Tegra 3 SoC.

This type of specs also reminds me with the specs found inside the first-gen Google Nexus 7, which has a super fast and smooth performance (although Google’s tablet only has 1GB of RAM).

So for daily tasks, the performance of ASUS VivoTab RT will also be consistently fast and smooth, especially given that it’s running on Windows RT platform, the simplified and lighter version of Windows 8 Pro OS.

And the fact that this platform deploys some simple UI with simple Tiles or boxes, makes this tablet run much even faster for doing pretty much anything.

Watching HD movies, browsing the web, reading books or magazines or even playing games, all can be executed perfectly in buttery smooth performance.

Besides, ASUS VivoTab RT is only packing a 1366x768 pixel display (which is on the same level with 720p or 1280x800 display), so the Tegra 3 inside this tablet will only be tasked to deliver the power on this medium resolution display.

The story would be different if Asus VivoTab RT came with a 1080p display (1920x1200 pixel).

It might not run that laggy, especially thanks to its simple UI and OS, however, the whole performance of this tablet would not be as fast as when this tablet was only using a 720p display.

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On the gaming performance, ASUS VivoTab RT is definitely a good gaming tablet.

With the a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 2GB of RAM and 12-core GeForce ULP GPU, these specs are more than capable to run any games across Windows RT Marketplace, even the most graphically demanding ones, all in buttery smooth performance and in full graphics.

Sadly though, ASUS VivoTab RT is running Windows RT, not Android OS or iOS. So not all the popular games on both popular platforms can be found on this Windows RT platform, let alone apps.

Not to mention, as a Windows RT tablet, ASUS VivoTab RT also cannot install the legacy software from your Windows laptop.

And given that this Windows RT ecosystem is still in the growing phase and still very far away from catching up with the app collection on Android and iOS, then as the owner of ASUS VivoTab RT, you must be willing to be left behind in the tablet gaming party, at least until Windows RT becomes more popular and huge in the future.

The good news is, ASUS VivoTab RT is a Tegra-powered device.

And that means, you’ll gain the exclusive access to Tegra Zone app through this app.

If this is your first time knowing about Tegra Zone, on this Tegra Zone app, you’ll find a plenty of games that are well-optimized only for Tegra-powered devices.

So games on this Tegra Zone will have more graphics, detailed particles and more sophisticated visual effects than the games on other non-Tegra devices or iOS devices (given that all Apple devices don’t use Tegra processors).

However, to be honest with you, i’m not really sure if the collection of games on Tegra Zone within the Windows RT App Store is as complete as on the Google Play Store.

So i don’t think all the Tegra-optimized games on Android tablets can be found on the Tegra Zone app of this ASUS VivoTab RT.

And that means, not all the games or even the latest ones can be found on Asus VivoTab RT.


When it comes to camera, the owners of this tablet can be really happy because ASUS VivoTab RT is packing an 8MP rear-facing camera that doesn’t suck.

According to the camera test of PhoneArena, the 8MP camera of this tablet is able to take some great quality photos.

However, for video recording, the results might not be as impressive as other rivals, like iPad Air or Samsung GALAXY note 10.1.

Meanwhile, on the front side of this tablet, there is a 2MP front-facing snapper, which enables you to do selfies or video calling.

Battery Life

One of the strongest points of Asus VivoTab RT is definitely its battery life.

According to the Phonearena reviews, the battery life of this tablet is really amazing.

Even in heavy usage, this tablet is able to last in 3 solid days, which is really mind blowing given that it’s really rare to see tablets can survive that long.

However, if you’re gonna use this tablet for doing some heavy intense usage, like for playing Tegra-optimized games in the row or maybe, watching HD movies in marathon, then you can only expect to see this tablet last in probably 1 solid day, or 2 days the longest.

I believe the keyboard dock of this tablet is the one that keeps the battery life last really long.

The story would probably be different if you detached the tablet from the keyboard dock and only used the tablet for most of the time.

The battery life would drop to just 1 solid day of heavy usage and just around 8 hours in heavy intense usage.

My Personal Opinions

So in conclusion, i personally like Asus VivoTab RT a lot.

I really like:
  • its design,
  • its great display,
  • its powerful hardware,
  • its experience (User Interface),
  • its performance
  • and the most importantly, its battery life that could last in 3 solid days in heavy usage, which is beyond amazing even for today’s standards.
However, there is one thing that keep bugging me about this tablet.

And that is its platform, Windows RT.

As you know, Windows RT is the simplified or lighter version of the regular Windows 8 Pro OS.

So there will be some sacrifices made by Microsoft in order to make this platform run smooth and fast on the tablet-dedicated hardware inside this tablet (i.e., Tegra 3, 2GB of RAM and 12-core GPU), compared to the real full-fledged Windows 8 Pro OS that requires way more powerful hardware like Intel CPU and GPU, plus 8 gigs of RAM.

So there will be some major features of Windows 8 Pro OS that can’t be found on this Asus VivoTab RT.

Not to mention, with Windows RT OS on this tablet, you’re also not able to install the legacy software from your Windows laptop, given its less powerful hardware than laptop.

So with that being said, then you will be stuck for good with the Windows RT ecosystem that is now still playing catch up with the current top leaders, Android and iOS that both have huge app ecosystems on their Google Play Store and App Store.

And that means, you will find a lot of problems finding your favorite Android or iOS apps for this Asus VivoTab RT on Windows RT Marketplace.

I know - there are some alternatives of some popular apps that you can find on this platform, but they will NOT be as GREAT as the real original apps on Android or iOS.

Therefore, if you’re getting this tablet, you must be willing to be patient for many many months or even years, until Microsoft manages to make this platform huge and popular in the future, although not as popular as Android or iOS for sure.

Other than that, Asus VivoTab RT is still a great Windows RT tablet, probably better than any other Windows RT tablets out there.
  • It has a great design,
  • powerful hardware,
  • great display,
  • smooth performance and experience,
  • solid build quality
  • and the most importantly, long lasting battery life that could last in 3 solid days even in heavy usage (of course when merged with the keyboard dock).
If you’re planning to buy this tablet in the near future, my advice to you is to be patient.

It may take some time, even months or even years, until this Windows RT platform becomes popular and huge.

And if that finally happens, more and more developers especially the popular ones, will be more than happier to port their apps for this platform.

And that means, in the future (which i don’t know when, but it will happen soon), you will not find any trouble anymore finding your favorite apps on Android or iOS, on this Asus VivoTab RT.
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