Skip to navigation

Asus VivoTab RT TF600T review

Verdict

Asus harnesses its expertise to deliver the best Windows RT tablet yet, but the immature OS and high price diminish its appeal

Review Date: 18 Jan 2013

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: Tablet, £458 (£549 inc VAT); Mobile Dock, £96 (£115 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

Microsoft risked irking its PC partners with the release of the Surface, but going by the VivoTab RT TF600T, Asus isn’t bothered in the slightest. Instead, the Taiwanese manufacturer has let its hardware speak for itself. Taking the hybrid design pioneered by its Android-powered Transformer tablets, and adding Windows RT, it takes the fight to Microsoft’s own-brand tablet with gusto.

At a glance, you’d barely be able to tell the VivoTab RT from its Android-powered cousins. Apart from a subtle tweak to the Mobile Dock’s hinge, and the capacitive Windows Start button on the tablet’s screen surround, it’s practically identical to its Transformer-branded stablemates, with the same gorgeous brushed-metal finish.

Asus VivoTab RT TF600T

That’s no bad thing. Compared to Microsoft’s Surface, the tablet part of the VivoTab RT is an absolute featherweight. Asus has opted for a 10.1in form factor, half an inch smaller than that of the Surface, and the result is a tablet that, at 530g, weighs 20% less than its rival. We’ve only one complaint: after the diamond-grade toughness of the Microsoft Surface, the Asus hardware feels noticeably more flexible – but that’s being really picky.

Top of the docks

The tablet and optional Mobile Dock are a winning combination. The tablet slots home into the Mobile Dock base with a pleasing thunk, and a haptic buzz reassures that it’s locked safely in place. With the dock attached, the VivoTab RT weighs in at 1.07kg, only 107g more than the Surface with its optional Type Cover.

Asus VivoTab RT TF600T

The transformation from lightweight tablet to fully functional netbook is seamless. The keyboard’s keys have a crisp action and a satisfying amount of travel, and while the layout is still a touch cramped, we’re pleased to see that Asus hasn’t had to shrink the cursor keys to unusable proportions. The buttonless touchpad generally works well, too, with two-fingered dabs bringing up the right-click context menu and two-fingered swipes smoothly scrolling you through menus and web pages. The only niggle is pinch-to-zoom gestures are juddery – it’s better to reach out and use the touchscreen itself.

The 10.1in display feels small after Microsoft Surface’s 10.6in unit, but it shares the same 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution and quality is noticeably improved. The display oozes with intense, saturated colour, and with a maximum brightness of 466cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 932:1, the Super IPS+ panel puts in a superb all-round performance.

1 2
Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
User comments

You had me until....

...£550.

Why would ANYONE pay that much for an iPad competitor when you can buy an iPad for less? Forget about the storage or the keyboard, no one cares. RT should be enabling a device I can pick up to check the news/weather on, browse email as quickly as I can on my phone and use it on my sofa. Given the limitations on Apps, this should cost at least a third LESS than an iPad before I would even think about going there.

By cardch on 21 Jan 2013

@Cardch

Then don't buy it then. Some people DO NOT want an iPad. Full stop.

By rhythm on 21 Jan 2013

@rythm

exactly. The reason I haven't bought an iPad is that I don't want an iPad!

As to the "premium" price, it is over 120€ cheaper than the equivalent iPad, or if you buy the dock, the same price as the iPad, how much does the 64GB iPad with a Keyboard Dock cost?

That said, I'm looking forward to the launch of the Surface Pro, that might be the one to get me to take the plunge into the world of tablets...

By big_D on 22 Jan 2013

You had me until...

1,366 x 768 pixel resolution.

Pathetic.

By Gogster on 22 Jan 2013

@big_D

The tablet costs £549 on its own; the Mobile Dock is £115 extra. I did mention it in the final paragraphs, but I've added the prices to the top of the review for clarity.

Apologies for any confusion!

By SashaMuller on 22 Jan 2013

@Sasha

I meant, the VivoTab with Dock costs the same as the iPad without. I was asking how much an "equivalent" keyboard dock for the iPad adds to its price. ;-)

By big_D on 22 Jan 2013

Leave a comment

You need to Login or Register to comment.

(optional)

Latest Category Reviews
Fujitsu Stylistic Q704 review

Fujitsu Stylistic Q704

Category: Tablets
Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro review

Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro

Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 review

Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2

Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Tesco Hudl 2 review

Tesco Hudl 2

Category: Tablets
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £129
Compare reviews: Laptops

advertisement

Most Commented Reviews
Latest News Stories Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Features
Latest Real World Computing

advertisement

Sponsored Links
 

 
SEARCH
Loading
WEB ID
SIGN UP

Your email:

Your password:

remember me

advertisement


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010
 
 

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from www.pcpro.co.uk

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/registration.

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.