1. Brian Pratt's Avatar
    I have decided I definitely want a Windows 8 tablet, but I'm having trouble flip-flopping back and forth on which model is right for me.

    I'm still trying to decide how important x86 functionality is to me; with a simple consumer tablet, I could probably get by with just Windows Store Apps... probably. But I do have a couple desktop apps that I would miss (Visual Studio and Live Writer, anyone??).

    I like the look and feel of the Surface RT; it feels right. I like the kick-stand, the metal chassis, the industrial edges and the snap-in keyboard.

    But I just found out about the VivoTab Smart today, and it seems like the best of both worlds. It's got the battery life of the Surface RT (very important) and the cost (also important), but it has the ability to run legacy x86 apps like the Surface Pro. I played with it at Best Buy for a couple minutes today, and it was nice and thin and light, but the plastic wasn't quite as nice as the brushed-metal Surface.

    Obviously the Surface Pro would be the most powerful option, but the battery life, thickness and cost make it a non-starter for me.

    I think the deciding factor will be performance; how does the responsiveness and reliability of the VivoTab Smart compare to the Surface RT? All the online reviews seem to be comparing the Atom processor against other Atom-based tablets, but I really want to compare it against the Surface RT, since that seems like direct competition.

    I will likely purchase one of the tablets this weekend, with the currently-running Staples trade-in offer. Has anyone used both devices (Surface RT and VT-Smart) in-depth? Could you provide a couple helpful comparisons (and maybe even a recommendation)?

    (Ugh - Why couldn't they just put an Atom processor in the Surface RT... that would make this decision so much easier.)
    03-21-2013 05:32 PM
  2. Kiwi Dave's Avatar
    have only had a quick play with the Surface, so can't really compare. I agree about the 'plastic' type feeling of the Smart, was something I was originally worried about. having now used it for a couple of months, it's not an issue at all. chances are one of the first things you'll do is put it in a case (or get the transleeve with keyboard) - in which case you don't notice the plastic at all.

    some small issues with the Smart, all of which are outlined in this forum (ie Bios, Windows Button responsiveness etc), but I still highly recommend it. Personally I don't think I could live with an RT device (if I could I would have gone with a Surface, I really like the look of the hardware).

    Other thing to note is that it's much easier to get accessories (cases etc) for the surface, not as easy as it is for an iPad, but much easier than it is for the Smart...

    kd
    Brian Pratt likes this.
    03-21-2013 06:04 PM
  3. Mr. Brown's Avatar
    I had the same question as you, but I actually owned the Surface RT. I really liked the RT for the hardware and especially the keyboard always being available to use when needed. When I say keyboard I'm also referring to the touchpad for when a mouse is useful. After owning the RT for a while I went into Best Buy and played with Smart and really liked the slim, light, fast, and full x86 capabilities. I decided to get one from Amazon and sell my RT. I really like this device and prefer it over the RT and my iPad 2. The only thing I really miss is having a keyboard and touchpad/mouse available at all times. I've considered getting the transleeve and keyboard, but it sounds like the transleeve doesn't work that well. I wish I could buy just the keyboard but I don't think that is a option. I'm now debating on buying the Microsoft wedge keyboard but I'm afraid there's no easy way to keep it with my Smart so its always available when needed, if I don't keep the keyboard with my Smart I likely won't make good use of the keyboard. If anyone has any suggestions for a keyboard solution, I'd love to hear about it.
    Brian Pratt likes this.
    03-22-2013 01:35 AM
  4. Brian Pratt's Avatar
    Mr Brown would you say your Smart has better performance than the Surface RT?
    03-22-2013 06:49 AM
  5. Anthonyfear's Avatar
    Hi Guys

    Sorry to Butt into the conversation but I may be able to assist.

    I originally bought the Vivotab RT (same design as Smart but with the RT specification) because my order for a surface RT got messed up and I couldn't buy one locally.
    But I found Windows RT too limiting and the performance was lacking too.

    I returned it and 'upgraded' to the Vivotab Smart. It's has more memory, the intel clovertrail processor is significantly quicker than the ARM in the RT versions and it has the ability to run x86 software.

    The smart does feel a little cheaper in build quality but it's half the price of a surface pro so I guess it would. Actually in the hand its lighter and thinner than an iPad which I'm really starting to appreciate. Plus it lasts about the same time on battery as the RT version.
    I also ordered the transleeve cover with keyboard - it's a really clever design and the keyboard is quite pleasant to use. Again the build quality of the cover isn't quite up the standards of the surface or ipad but that's reflected in the cost.

    All-in-all I think the Vivotab smart has the best balance of cost / features / design of all the Win 8 Tablets I've tried.

    If you want a windows 8 tablet I don't think you'll be disappointed with the Smart.
    03-22-2013 08:26 AM
  6. Mr. Brown's Avatar
    Mr Brown would you say your Smart has better performance than the Surface RT?
    Yes, it is more responsive . I'm not much of a gamer, so I can't comment on that. But it certainly seems more responsive in everything I use it for (Word, excel, internet, email, etc.). Like you, I just wish that MS put the Atom in the RT, seems like a no brainer.

    Have you guys noticed that none of the Atom tablets have detachable keyboards? I think only the RT models do. Compare VivoTab RT/Smart and Dell XPS 10 / Latitude 10.
    03-22-2013 10:21 AM
  7. Mr. Brown's Avatar
    Hi Guys

    Sorry to Butt into the conversation but I may be able to assist.

    I originally bought the Vivotab RT (same design as Smart but with the RT specification) because my order for a surface RT got messed up and I couldn't buy one locally.
    But I found Windows RT too limiting and the performance was lacking too.

    I returned it and 'upgraded' to the Vivotab Smart. It's has more memory, the intel clovertrail processor is significantly quicker than the ARM in the RT versions and it has the ability to run x86 software.

    The smart does feel a little cheaper in build quality but it's half the price of a surface pro so I guess it would. Actually in the hand its lighter and thinner than an iPad which I'm really starting to appreciate. Plus it lasts about the same time on battery as the RT version.
    I also ordered the transleeve cover with keyboard - it's a really clever design and the keyboard is quite pleasant to use. Again the build quality of the cover isn't quite up the standards of the surface or ipad but that's reflected in the cost.

    All-in-all I think the Vivotab smart has the best balance of cost / features / design of all the Win 8 Tablets I've tried.

    If you want a windows 8 tablet I don't think you'll be disappointed with the Smart.
    Hi Anthonyfear, do you always keep the keyboard with you? I understand it has a magnet to stay tucked in with the sleeve. If you do keep the keyboard with you, what do you do when you want to use the Smart as a tablet?
    03-22-2013 10:29 AM
  8. Buren06's Avatar
    The Acer W510 has a detachable keyboard dock.
    03-22-2013 01:35 PM
  9. Brian Pratt's Avatar
    I don't see a dedicated forum for the VivoTab TF810C, but further research revealed this compelling third option. It looks like it's all-around more feature-rich and aesthetically pleasing than the VivoTab Smart.

    For an extra $300, you get:
    • Brushed metal design
    • Docking station option (not included, $150 extra), which provides keyboard, extra battery life, and full USB port
    • Wacom active digitizer
    • 1.5" bigger screen (11.6" vs 10.1" in the VivoTab Smart)
    • Higher brightness (full 500 nits)


    Has anyone had experience with this tablet, who could offer some additional insight into its value?
    03-24-2013 01:33 PM
  10. Kiwi Dave's Avatar
    I don't see a dedicated forum for the VivoTab TF810C, but further research revealed this compelling third option. It looks like it's all-around more feature-rich and aesthetically pleasing than the VivoTab Smart.

    For an extra $300, you get:
    • Brushed metal design
    • Docking station option (not included, $150 extra), which provides keyboard, extra battery life, and full USB port
    • Wacom active digitizer
    • 1.5" bigger screen (11.6" vs 10.1" in the VivoTab Smart)
    • Higher brightness (full 500 nits)


    Has anyone had experience with this tablet, who could offer some additional insight into its value?
    I had a quick play with it before opting for the Smart. I've ruled out all 11.6" screens, they just feel so.... unbalanced in the hand. There are lot's of good 11.6" tablets out there (Samgsung, HP, Acer etc), so make sure you have a look at them all. The HP Envy x2 looks and feels like a lovely piece of kit (have only played with in the shop), the brushed metal finish has to be one of the best around - and is about $300 extra as well. But again, it's 11.6" which feels a bit too long and unbalanced to me. I'd suggest you try and have a plan with an 11.6" tablet that isn't attached to a store securtiy cable, before jumping in to purchase a bigger device...

    kd
    Brian Pratt likes this.
    03-24-2013 02:24 PM
  11. Edward Mansfield's Avatar
    I looked at the Surface tablet before buying the Vivotab Smart. I decided that I wanted the fully Windows8 capable tablet rather than the RT version and I found the Surface to be really heavy and clunky in comparison to the Vivotab. The lower price-point was also a big deciding issue. So far I am quite happy with the Vivotab, although the problem of waking from sleep mode is really annoying. However, that appears to be an issue with all Clovertrail-based Win8 tablets, so I guess I should blame Intel or Microsoft rather than Asus. The battery draining while in sleep mode is also annoying, but that may just be a configuration issue.
    03-26-2013 10:20 AM
  12. Ray Adams's Avatar
    I was in same situation. BT I had only two options, vivotab rt or vivotab smart. And even rt version has bigger price! I am glad I took smart. Having full featured windows in tabled is very good point . If I cannot find something in App Store, I always can run its in x86 mode.
    For example good FTP client. I use FileZilla on my Smart. And it's free. I even can install Visual Studio on it, but I don't think I will be able to use it in same way as I use it on my laptop. Office? use what ever option you have. For example I installed free LibreOffice. Of course it's not like ms office, but I will not use it to create big documents. I just need ability to open any documents I receive by email.

    if surface pro will cost about 700$ with 128 SSD and keyboard, it will be ber tablet! :) but right now we have vivotab smart.
    03-26-2013 07:44 PM
  13. igorhk's Avatar
    Hello, I am having exactly the same question and from reading this thread I should buy the vivotab smart without any second thoughts.
    However from reading other threads about this tablet (in this forum and several others) it seems to me that all Atom based Win8 tablets are having major problems (lots of freeze, bios problem, a live update app that doesn't work, battery charging problems...). Comparatively reading threads about the surface RT, it seems it has much less problems than Atom tablets. So am I correct or am I just reading too much?
    I am in the belief that nowadays, if you buy a computer with any pre-installed OS, it should be able to run without any noticeable problems, for instance I bought a win7 desktop PC about 3 years ago and it has not crashed once (really not once and it's not any fancy expensive stuff since it's an MSI...). So really I don't know what to do because I don't want to buy a computer that doesn't work... Not picking on ASUS here since it appears most Atom tablets have the same problems.
    So is it really that bad?
    Thanks in advance :)
    04-01-2013 08:44 PM
  14. ninjaap's Avatar
    Hello, I am having exactly the same question and from reading this thread I should buy the vivotab smart without any second thoughts.
    However from reading other threads about this tablet (in this forum and several others) it seems to me that all Atom based Win8 tablets are having major problems (lots of freeze, bios problem, a live update app that doesn't work, battery charging problems...). Comparatively reading threads about the surface RT, it seems it has much less problems than Atom tablets. So am I correct or am I just reading too much?
    I am in the belief that nowadays, if you buy a computer with any pre-installed OS, it should be able to run without any noticeable problems, for instance I bought a win7 desktop PC about 3 years ago and it has not crashed once (really not once and it's not any fancy expensive stuff since it's an MSI...). So really I don't know what to do because I don't want to buy a computer that doesn't work... Not picking on ASUS here since it appears most Atom tablets have the same problems.
    So is it really that bad?
    Thanks in advance :)
    Well, if I may, I would like to say that I myself will never ever buy an Atom based Windows machine again. They left a bad taste in my mouth during the days of Windows 7 tablets and netbooks. Sure they give the best of both worlds now, but IMO, I would rather pay more for an i5 or i7 tablet if I absolutely must have desktop. Otherwise, I am sticking with the Surface RT with ARM for tablets.
    04-01-2013 08:56 PM
  15. igorhk's Avatar
    Well, if I may, I would like to say that I myself will never ever buy an Atom based Windows machine again. They left a bad taste in my mouth during the days of Windows 7 tablets and netbooks. Sure they give the best of both worlds now, but IMO, I would rather pay more for an i5 or i7 tablet if I absolutely must have desktop. Otherwise, I am sticking with the Surface RT with ARM for tablets.
    Hi and thanks for your answer. Regarding RT that is pretty much what I am thinking right now as the ARM processor seems to be more stable from what I read here and there.
    I had a Win XP netbook few years ago with an atom processor and yes it wasn't very fast but at least it did not have any major flaw. The whole thing was working as advertised, it was just really slow. It doesn't seem to be the case with today's Atom processor. I can live with a not so fast processor but the whole thing has to work somehow...
    For i5 i7 tablets I agree but I won't buy because the battery doesn't last long enough IMO.
    04-01-2013 09:25 PM
  16. Ray Adams's Avatar
    Guys, Atom in smart not that old useless atom CPU , you sow in old netbook
    this one is faster than ARM, battery live the same. And as I said, if you don't have metro version of an app, you can use x86 version.
    I use smart for about two months and never had any issues with bios or anything else.
    If you don't believe me, or other users, buy surface RT. but don't say later we didn't stop you :)
    04-02-2013 12:54 PM
  17. WindowsAcolyte's Avatar
    If I could just chime in, I really think that it all depends on what you are going to be using your tablet for. For example, my primary work PC is a Dell XPS8300 as I work from home as a Freelance Translator. I use the Surface RT for just casual computing, nothing too intense and to take my work on the road with me if I am travelling. I have both the Type and Touch Covers and I like the fact that the keyboard is always attached and serves as a cover to protect the screen when not in use. I find that the speeds for the Surface RT are acceptable and after the latest firmware update, I've noticed my speakers are quite a bit louder and the processor seems to be much more responsive. I would not consider the Smart Tab because I simply do not need all the extra bells and whistles. Yes, it can run legacy programs, but I already have a fully functional and powerful machine to do that if it's necessary. Also, the Smart Tab does not come with Office so add that into your price as well if you need to be productive while on the go (as I always seem to be). The only complaint I have regarding the Surface RT is the awkward screen dimensions. the tablet is not meant to be held in portrait mode. the width of the screen just makes everything so crunched together and the sheer length of the tablet makes it very difficult to hold. All in all, I am very pleased with the Surface RT. It is a great companion device for those who already have a great PC that they use for heavy computing. However, as far as the Smart tab, given the fact that its processor is similar to what is being used in Netbooks, I believe that a full version of Windows 8 would be quite taxing on the processor and cause significant issues. Best of all, I love the fact that I can use Flash with the Surface RT :) I sold my iPad 2 to some foreign guy from India for 300 dollars (awww the poor guy didn't know it wasn't worth that much I am so bad!) but I was broke and needed the money to get the Surface RT. So, I highly recommend that you compare the specs between the devices and decide what you are going to mostly be using it for forget about "which is the better deal." The good thing about Windows tablets is that they are fully customizable to fit YOUR needs. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions regarding the Windows RT operating system. I actually don't understand the negative press. Yes, it can only run apps from the Windows Store but why is no one complaining about the fact that the iPad can only run things purchased through iTunes? At least you are able to save and upload documents to and from your tablet, respectively, with the Surface RT! And, yes, I totally just typed this using the touch keyboard on my Surface RT:)
    05-25-2013 04:10 PM
  18. WindowsAcolyte's Avatar
    Well, if I may, I would like to say that I myself will never ever buy an Atom based Windows machine again. They left a bad taste in my mouth during the days of Windows 7 tablets and netbooks. Sure they give the best of both worlds now, but IMO, I would rather pay more for an i5 or i7 tablet if I absolutely must have desktop. Otherwise, I am sticking with the Surface RT with ARM for tablets.
    My feelings exactly man. I find the ARM processor to be more than sufficient for what I use my tablet for (basically, when I a not in my den here in the house working on translation projects. However, when yhe AMD Radeon HD 6870 card went out on my Dell XPS 8300 I did use the Surface RT to finish up some projects. The RT recognized my Microsoft magic mouse and I just switched out the Touch keyboard for the Type keyboard and voil, I was able to turn in the project to my employer without any delays. So unless you don't have another computer, stick with the Surface RT and I promise you that you will not be disappointed!
    05-25-2013 04:16 PM
  19. stephen_az's Avatar
    I must admit I have a very different of the VivoTab Smart than some here and find myself wondering if people really have used both tablets. I have owned both and still own the Surface RT and the best thing I can say about the VivoTab Smart is its performance wasn't quite as bad as an old netbook. That, however, is hardly a ringing endorsement. I found that when comparing like apps, the performance was almost identical. In fact, the VivoTab performance was actually slower at loading the default video and music apps. It also seemed to be taxed when it came to something heavy like Office. When performance was being pushed, you could easily tell it was an Intel processor as well since the back did get quite warm. Finally, the VivoTab build quality is pretty poor, and downright embarrassing in comparison to Surface RT. There is lots of plastic and the microusb port that doubles as the power connector is quite flimsy. In fact, while in a couple Best Buy stores this weekend, build quality cried out as an issue on the VivoTab Smarts they have on clearance. Across several stores, all had screen responsiveness issues and one, sure enough, had a broken microusb port.

    Just as an overall assessment, beyond issues with the specific tablet itself, I view the Atom processors as still being the equivalent of the bargain basement of the x86 tablet world and that is not meant as a compliment.. Yes, you can technically load things but the performance is still noticeably lagging. Personally, I think they would better named cloverleaf (as in the type of highway interchange famed for bottlenecks). Just being able to load an application is meaningless if it is then not worth running. My suggestion to anyone would be to carefully consider whether they really need the x86 compatibility. If you are mostly going to do light app stuff, entertainment, and use the Office 2013 applications, then Surface RT will be a great option. If you do need x86 compatibility, try to swing by someplace selling the units and play with them. Best Buy and Fry's have the Surface tablets a few feet from the Atom models and you really might be surprised a how little performance difference there is between RT and the Atoms. At that point you might recognize as I did that half the price of Surface Pro or one of the other Intel iX tablets for 30% of the performance is not a good deal.
    05-27-2013 01:33 PM
  20. Reflexx's Avatar
    Things to keep in mind...

    The RT comes with MS Office.

    The Atom, while letting you slowly open x86 apps, also leaves you open to malware and viruses that run on x86. And with an Atom, you probably dont want to run antivirus software or the whole OS is going to crawl.
    05-27-2013 02:19 PM
  21. Ray Adams's Avatar
    Virus? If you don't install strange software , don't care about it.
    x86 atom works faster that ARM in terms of running Metro applications. So tell me please, why we should buy slow ARM if for same money we can buy after table with backward compatibility?
    I even able to run Visual Studio on my Vivotab! I can play games, designed for x86 systems.

    But, if all what you need is internet browsing and a little document editing, you can buy Surface RT. It has much better design, materials. And
    if you don't care about materials, I highly recommend to buy Vivotab, or similar tablet from any other vendor.
    05-29-2013 02:24 PM
  22. Reflexx's Avatar
    Virus? If you don't install strange software , don't care about it.
    x86 atom works faster that ARM in terms of running Metro applications. So tell me please, why we should buy slow ARM if for same money we can buy after table with backward compatibility?
    I even able to run Visual Studio on my Vivotab! I can play games, designed for x86 systems.

    But, if all what you need is internet browsing and a little document editing, you can buy Surface RT. It has much better design, materials. And
    if you don't care about materials, I highly recommend to buy Vivotab, or similar tablet from any other vendor.
    Sure. If you never ever want to let somone use your tablet it's fine.

    I let my father-in-law use my old laptop and hot a virus within a day because of pop-ups that tricked him into thinking they were regular warning windows.
    Happened again a few months later.

    ...then again.
    05-30-2013 11:03 AM
  23. Ray Adams's Avatar
    Don't want to argue in that, but if you going to let everyone use your tablet, even RT will die :)
    windows 8 has good UAC and Defender app. This is not antivirus, but in most cases can prevent from starting strange apps and prevent changes in system. Also you always can create guest account will lowest access rights and give tablet to other with this account, not your one :)
    05-30-2013 11:50 AM

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