| | 12-05-2012, 10:26 PM #1
First off, let me start by saying YES, I have owned all three of these tablets in a very short period of time. The reason being that I've found faults in the first two that I just couldn't get past. I've decided to share my impressions of each in a short summary, and I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone might have.
Let's start with the Asus Vivotab... I was a big fan of the Android Transformer series, so the Vivotab seemed like the ideal choice. Overall, it was responsive enough and I loved having a TRUE office suite that Android never seemed to perfect. Unfortunately, there were build and software issues that I just couldn't take. First off (and this is admittedly my own fault, because I knew this before I bought it), it won't run ANYTHING that's not in the Windows Store. I really thought that wouldn't be a big deal, but I quickly found myself missing the little things. For example, my Amazon MP3 music collection.. .Amazon requires that you install a very small program that allows you to download your music onto your device, but it won't install on Windows RT, so all that music would have to be transferred from another device or a USB stick. Dropbox was similar. I know I can go to their web site to access my files, but the program they have that makes it seem like another drive on your computer is awesome. No luck on RT though...
The second issue I had with the Vivotab was the build quality. First, tablet itself didn't sit well in the dock. There was a LOT of "give" in the docking section, so the tablet was able to move back and forth a little when docked. Not a huge deal, but I didn't like it. Also, the release switch was on the side of the tablet itself, which made removing the tablet very awkward. Other than these issues, the tablet worked well. However, I was getting it so I could use it in college, and the drawbacks outweighed the benefits in my opinion, especially the software thing.
So, next was the Samsung ATIV 500T. The screen was a little bigger on this one, which is both a benefit and a drawback. I have small hands, so it was a little too big to use comfortably as a tablet, but the extra typing space on the keyboard was nice. It was also great to have the real Windows 8 install, so all my little utility programs (Amazon MP3, Dropbox, etc) worked like a charm. The one and only thing that made me send this one back was the connection between the dock and the tablet. I had read about a couple folks having issues with it, but I was hoping it was an anomaly and not the norm. Unfortunately, when I plugged mine into the dock, it would disconnect and reconnect with even the SLIGHTEST movement. It was a HUGE pain in the butt to be typing something with it in my lap and hear the "ding" disconnect sound. I looked around for a solution, but I couldn't find anything online. I called Samsung, and they said send it in for repair. I figured if I had seen it in other reviews, it must be a build quality issue, so... back it went.
Which leads us to the tablet I have right now... the Iconia W510. It goes back to the 10 inch screen like the Vivotab, but the docking station is MUCH better. It clicks and stays in place very nicely. It also has the exact same processor/memory specs as the ATIV, so it covers my Windows 8 needs too. They brag about the added benefit of the screen folding back almost 300 degrees to use as a presentation device, but I'm not sure how much I'll use that. Like the ATIV, everything seems to run smoothly, although there is the occasional lag here and there. Nothing major though. All the Metro stuff works like a champ. The only thing I've found so far that I don't like about this tablet is the touchpad. As hard as it is for me to believe, they didn't put a multitouch touchpad on here. That means no scrolling with the touchpad. Not a huge deal, especially with a touch screen, but it definitely would have been nice, especially since almost every laptop out there today comes that way. Not sure what they were thinking there.
So that's it... sorry it was a little longer than I anticipated. I probably could have written a couple pages on each, but I wanted to at least give an overview of the things I liked and didn't like about each. Bottom line... I'm sticking with the Iconia for now. It's faults are pretty minor compared to the others in my opinion. I've read a review that said it looks cheap, but I like the silver and white combination. I also read something about a spacebar that didn't work well, but I haven't had any problems with mine in that area.
If anyone has any questions about any of them, please let me know. I spent a few days with each before getting rid of the first two, and I used them pretty extensively in that time.