- 02-10-2013, 06:33 PM #1
Hello everyone, I'm new here and am looking into a Windows 8 tablet. I've narrowed it down to the VivoTab RT (with keyboard dock) or the Surface RT. I'm pretty sure Windows RT will suit my needs since I have a desktop I use with Windows 8 if I need more programs to run. I'll mostly be using this tablet for surfing, emailing, and light document editing.
My main concern between the two is build quality and keyboard. I plan on getting the Surface with the touch cover (I like the color options, and price) and like that the keys are spaced out. I've played with one at Staples and they seem well built. I haven't had a chance to see the VivioTab, but TigerDirect has a deal for $450 for the tablet and keyboard. I'm just not sure if the vivio tab's keyboard will be big enough to use comfortably, or if it's as well-built as the surface rt. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!
02-11-2013, 12:13 AM #3
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the vivotab's keyboard is better and the build quality is decent, but the main problem is that at my work, we had two out on display and both of those broke and we've seen a lot of customers having screen issues with it. It looks to be a problematic model, personally, I would pay the extra money for the surface RT since it is way better built with a better screen and its cooler looking as well.
- 02-20-2013, 10:18 AM #5
- 02-20-2013, 12:07 PM #7
02-20-2013, 12:33 PM #9
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Vivotab RT does indeed come with Office. I'm writing this on my Vivo Tab right now. Build quality, battery life, and performance is great on this thing, although I've never used or seen a Surface RT. The main factor in convincing me to get this was the price, now less than $400 on amazon. I think I read that the Vivo is a little thinner and lighter, while the Surface has better wireless capabilities. I'm sure they're both great, and I love the RT OS.
- 02-20-2013, 12:49 PM #11
My friend asked me for a sub $500 tablet and I am also debating between the Surface and the VivoTab.
The Vivotab is also on Amazon for ~$450 with prime shipping.
The main advantages of the Vivotab are price and battery life.
For the Surface, the build quality seems better. I also like to think that it's more optimized since MS controlled both the hardware and software.
One thing that the Surface has that the Vivotab doesn't is HDMI out. This could be useful when typing documents at home or doing a presentation.
The Surface also has a USB port in the tablet itself. With the Vivotab you have to use the keyboard dock.
Overall I am leaning toward the Surface, but it will be harder to convince her because she won't get a keyboard with it.
But there is also the atom full W8 tablets which start at $500 too. It's pretty great to have all these choices!
- 02-23-2013, 08:14 AM #12
I ended up getting a Surface RT with a touch cover. I saw there was a $75 off coupon from Staples the other day, so I jumped. So far, so good. The build quality is really good, generally it's been performing well. I played with the VivoTab in the store as well as the surface and it seems like a solid product. What sold me on the surface was the slightly larger size and the bigger keyboard size. I got the touch cover, and both it and the type cover have larger keys than the VivoTab, something my hand appreciate.
- 02-23-2013, 11:22 PM #14
So, my grandma has found herself in this boat (well, I am in this boat, really). She wants a tablet, and she really likes the Surface RT. However, that thing lacks a cellular antenna, and she wants Internet access wherever she is. The Surface RT would be about $630 for the 32GB model and a Type Cover. For that same $600, she could get the VivoTab RT on AT&T with the laptop dock, meaning same internals, but a nearly-doubled battery life via the keyboard dock.
One review I saw said that the VivoTab RT's locking mechanism doesn't feel as sturdy as the Transformer's; can anyone refute or confirm this? I'm really on-the-fence with which to recommend to her, as while I like the Surface RT myself, the VivoTab would be MUCH more painless, when compared to getting tethering on her phone or a mobile hotspot. The other thing is maybe waiting until MWC next week, in hopes that Nokia announces a superior RT device that will release quickly, but she's getting dangerously-close to the line where she'd be better-off seeing what Bay Trail or Haswell offers for the x86 tablets (not that she understands ANY of that stuff).
- 02-24-2013, 08:49 AM #15
That's a shame about the coupon. They must've changed it, since it worked fine for me.
As far as the vivo tab mechanism, it seemed fine in the store. It was definitely solid when it was in the dock, but seemed flimsy when you take it in and out. Otherwise it seemed like a good tablet, but the build quality is noticeably less sturdy than the surface.
- 02-24-2013, 01:33 PM #16
The best alternative to the Surface is the HP Envy X2 IMO. With the right coupon (CAMPUS498) you can get a 128gb model off their site right now for $649, and it appears built just as well as surface, obviously more storage space, and the more rigid keyboard allows for better lap use.
The Envy X2 is Intel Atom, so it may not run some 3D games as well as surface, but for all other functions I.e. web, email, 2d win8 games, etc, it works fine (and in many cases for non-gaming better). It also lets you run non-gaming x86 apps like turbotax, photoshop, and even Cubase.
- 02-25-2013, 12:54 AM #17
I personally won't recommend HP products. My one time owning a laptop of theirs was a customer service call from ****, and my friend (who is a Staples technician) says they're ALWAYS a pain to deal with when trying to help customers with warranty claims. That, and the laptop I had went to **** in under a year, and they claimed the issues from overheating were issues from water damage, and such.
Oh, and just for the heck of it, I tried that code, and it didn't work on the 64GB or 128GB models.
- 02-25-2013, 03:41 AM #18
Must be dead, I have an 128GB on order with them. Who actually does have decent support these days? Lenovo? Dell?
The only reason I recommend the Envy X2 is that it appears the best out of the ATOM crop. The ATIV is too plasticy and has a physical home button, I am not convinced reliability-wise on ACER and ASUS for the atom, and the LENOVO LYNX looks pretty meh. The HP ENVY X2 is a nice blend of quality build plus functionality. The main problem I've heard with it is that the keyboard can be finicky when you type fast, hopefully they can fix that with software.
- 02-25-2013, 02:18 PM #19
If there is ANY company I'll trust for quality, it's ASUS. My dad's purchased computer parts from them for years, and has never had a problem. I've had my motherboard and graphics card for over 3 years each, and haven't had issues with either. My sister has a Transformer and likes it. However, I have seen crappy stuff GALORE from HP and Dell, not known anyone to get a Lenovo. Oh, and don't even start me on Acer.
Still, while these might be the best of the Atom bunch, that's something people might not be looking into. For example, I'd recommend and Atom tablet to my grandma, but they're not sold with cellular antennae, to my knowledge. That basically means the VivoTab RT is the way to go for her, and I'd put the quality of the Surface RT over one of these random Atom tablets for her, as legacy software isn't likely to be an issue.
I kind of see Atom tablets today as in a weird spot. Either you'll get a nicer hardware device like the Surface RT or VivoTab RT if you want a low-power device, or you'll go all-out on an XPS 12, Yoga 13, or Surface Pro if you want legacy software and productivity. Hopefully the next group of devices (the Bay Trail/Haswell ones) can push power consumption way down, then maybe the ARM-based tablets won't be all that meaningful long-term.
- 02-25-2013, 02:59 PM #20Still, while these might be the best of the Atom bunch, that's something people might not be looking into. For example, I'd recommend and Atom tablet to my grandma, but they're not sold with cellular antennae, to my knowledge. That basically means the VivoTab RT is the way to go for her, and I'd put the quality of the Surface RT over one of these random Atom tablets for her, as legacy software isn't likely to be an issue.I kind of see Atom tablets today as in a weird spot. Either you'll get a nicer hardware device like the Surface RT or VivoTab RT if you want a low-power device, or you'll go all-out on an XPS 12, Yoga 13, or Surface Pro if you want legacy software and productivity. Hopefully the next group of devices (the Bay Trail/Haswell ones) can push power consumption way down, then maybe the ARM-based tablets won't be all that meaningful long-term.
You could look at the Atom Clover Trail as underpowered, or you could look at it as a credible alternative to Windows RT that is much more flexible in many ways, as long as your are not into 3D gaming. Bay Trail should fix the 3D gaming shortcomings of Clover Trail.
- 02-25-2013, 05:07 PM #21
I pretty much agree with you spot-on. I liked the price of ARM tablets the most, and while the Clover Trail tablets have a lot of potential, I still think they have another generation or two before they become mainstream. The i5 tablets today are simply too hot, too heavy, and too little battery for what I want a tablet for. This device is supposed to supplement my main computer (which is a desktop), not replace it entirely. Then again, that's just me, but I think in a few years, Intel will have a powerful, low voltage chip that gets passive cooling and the battery benefits of the Atom, but much more powerful.
For now (for me at least) the Surface RT and the ARM architecture is the best option for a windows tablet.
- 02-25-2013, 08:20 PM #22
For the hardcore gamer, neither the Tegra3 ARM nor Intel Atom will work, as both fail at Steam. So that person needs an i5-i7 based tab like the surface pro.
For the gamer that likes 3D games but does not need the depth of the Steam library and wants extended battery life, a Tegra3 ARM WinRT like Surface will probably work fine - while on the other hand the Intel Atom will be too sluggish for these type of games.
For the business user that wants a tablet with extended battery life, the Intel Atom tablet is the best choice due to its ability to run legacy apps.
And, for the casual net user probably either a Tegra3 RT device or Intel Atom device will work fine. It boils down to preference, I think. The Atom is prone to have more quirks, but then again it has more flexibility in what it can run.
I personally have a tough time deciding between the Surface RT and HP Envy X2. I can get both for the same price, but the latter at the same price I can get with 128gb storage instead of the 64gb in Surface. And, while I do believe Surface is going to be less quirky, this tablet is going to be someone's main computer essentially. They do want a tablet as their main computer, though - but one that has a physical keyboard option. So if I get Surface for them for their main computer they will be 100% dependent on the WinRT app store and I'm not sure I'm fully comfortable with that idea. Also I like the HP's keyboard dock over the surface's keyboard covers. The Envy X2 also has 1" bigger screen and is less radical transition for this person who has used a laptop their whole life. Reliability, Microsoft is usually good but then again look at long term reliability of XBOX360 when it first came out :). I don't think we have good data for long term reliability of any of these products.
In the end for me, I will probably end up test driving the HP for the 21-day return period. If I get one that has a keyboard dock that behaves properly (some mention repeating letters) and does not have any major stability problems, I think it will be best for the person destined. If it doesn't work up to par though, I will end up returning it for Surface RT likely as my second option.
In the future it may be a less radical decision, but I think NVIDIA ARM chips will likely always have stronger graphics while Intel Atom chips will always have stronger cpu functions. Bay Trail is Intel's next big step, but it will have a cut down version of the Intel HD4000 graphics. A lot better than Clover Trail, but not convinced it will beat Tegra4 in GPU functions as Bay Trail will not have the full HD4000 graphics but rather a reduced version. The difference is that Bay Trail may be "good enough" for light 3D gaming while Clover Trail is pretty much a fail in most 3d gaming. Clover Trail is still good for casual Win8 store 2D games, though.
- 02-25-2013, 09:15 PM #23
I'm with you on that stuff. If it's me, RT isn't an option; I'd take an Atom tablet over an ARM one. I don't want to replace my desktop either, but I'd want to be able to compile some Java (well, C for the class I'm in now) while I'm not at home, while also being able to use the light apps I use on my desktop now (Trillian being the main one). I like my Lumia 920 MORE than enough to accept it as my ARM-based device, meaning it'll handle the light-use browsing and games via the Microsoft Store.
With my grandma, though, she wants cellular access, and an RT device with such an antenna is much more painless than getting tethering and teaching her to turn that on and off. She wants a light-use browsing/game device, and isn't concerned with legacy app usage, seeing as everything she does at home is on her iPhone anyway. That, and after having her convinced to get a Surface RT, then switching her to a VivoTab RT, AGAIN telling her to get an Atom-based tablet will just confuse the mess out of her, especially if it again means going the tethering route. Then again, she'll probably never even GET a tablet..
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