Windows RT and Asus Vivo Tab Review

Posted on:June 10 2013

A few months ago I blogged about the Asus VivoTab RT I bought, which is basically a tablet with removable keyboard, running Windows RT on it (Details on the official website). Now I've used it for quite a while, time for a review:
In short, that device is really nice, and I'm really happy with it. It has quite some advantages:
  • As known from Windows 8, also Windows RT is very, very fast. As programmer, I'm really impressed, and also wondering how they actually managed to do that. Boot times are so short that you don't think twice about shutting the system down anymore. You can start it up again within 3 or 4 seconds.
  • The duration of the battery is incredible. I think there is a second battery in the keyboard, and I'm using the device usually attached to the keyboard, so maybe that's the reason. But since about 2 months, I've used the Vivo tab quite a lot, and had to recharge it only two or three times. I estimate that the battery endures something between 15 and 20 hours for me. Quite impressive.
  • As written before, the keyboard is great for typing. The one on Microsofts Surface (Pro) sucks compared to that.
  • Although I hate to use the Internet Explorer, Microsoft managed to create a really nice touch screen version of it. It's very fast and responsive, and IMO especially the scrolling feels much better than the browsers on Android or iOS. Not sure why, tough.
  • I can actually use it for doing work. And that's what I'm using it for. Since it is so small and very light, I noticed that I'm taking it with me nearly everywhere, without thinking much about it. I didn't do this with my notebook before, maybe because it was about 3 times heavier.

But of course, it's not all positive. There are some negative sides as well:
  • There is a big lack of apps for this device. The app store is getting bigger every week, but I still cannot find for example great games. And the few I tried to download stopped the transfer, because of a bug: The app store keeps claiming my internet connection is too slow. Yeah, right.
  • The mail client has a nice interface, but sucks big time. It doesn't support POP. Really, no joke. That's like creating a web browser without HTTP support. What did microsoft think? There are two official workarounds: 1) tunnel your mails through an account. (Really? - sure, and while we are at it, the NSA is reading my mails too, as we've come to know recently) 2) Download a mail client with POP support from the store. - Yes, great. The only client on the store supporting POP is ok, but has lots of tiny bugs (loosing mails in my case), preventing me from using it.
  • No way to install apps yourself on the device. Apps have to come from the app store. Even the apps I program myself using Visual Studio and put on the device don't really belong to me, they become invalid after some time. WTF.
  • Developing apps for Windows RT is another story. I think I might create a short blog post about this later.

All in all, I'm quite happy with the device, although based on the last negative points, it might not seem like this. I hope Microsoft will fix those problems with their next update. And I guess it only takes a bit of time until there are more apps.


Great summary. I'm waiting for the next post about programming with WinRT, i myself create software for WP8 so i'm curious what do you think about this technology.
2013-06-11 09:56:00

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