Hoping to stick a Windows RT tablet under the Christmas tree this year? Then you might be hard-pressed to do better than Asus' VivoTab RT. The device seems to have gotten a fresh price cut, and right now, both Newegg and Amazon have it listed for $549.99—that's 50 bucks down from the launch price.
Of course, the trimmed price tag includes the VivoTab RT's keyboard dock accessory. While the dock doesn't actually come in the box, Asus is letting folks request one for free until December 31. Users just need to register on Asus' website and provide a purchase invoice and a photo of the label with the serial number.
As we pointed out in our review, the VivoTab RT is well-built, offers solid performance, and elegantly combines standalone tablet and removable keyboard dock components into a pseudo-netbook. In addition to a full QWERTY keyboard and touchpad, the dock adds extra connectivity and battery capacity, bringing web browsing battery life to over 21 hours by our count. On the flip side, Windows RT is still very much unproven, and its lack of support for x86 software curbs its appeal.
Asus initially intended to charge $599 for the VivoTab RT without the $199 keyboard dock. Just before the launch, the firm decided to throw in the keyboard for free. With this latest price cut, the VivoTab RT is looking like a potentially better value proposition than Microsoft's Surface, which starts at $499 sans keyboard. The $599 Surface comes with a Touch Cover, but that accessory doesn't include extra battery cells—and, since it attaches magnetically rather than with a hinge, the Surface appears awkward to use on your lap. (Thanks to Neowin for the link.)