Stylus-toting Asus VivoTab Note 8 listed for $329.99

Yet another addition has been made to the growing list of eight-inch Windows 8 tablet—but this one isn’t quite like the others. As Engadget reports, the $329.99 Asus VivoTab Note 8, which recently appeared on the Microsoft Store, comes with a Wacom digital stylus.

Coupled with Windows’ rather reliable handwriting recognition, the stylus could be useful for text input. Artsy types could find other uses for it, as well, provided the touch screen doesn’t have too much input lag. Lag definitely is a problem with some other devices, like Samsung’s Galaxy Note phablets.

Stylus aside, Asus’ VivoTab Note 8 looks like a fairly run-of-the-mill 8" Windows slate. It’s got a Bay Trail processor (Atom Z3740), 2GB of RAM, 32GB of eMMC flash storage, a microSD slot, two cameras (1.2 megapixels up front, five at the rear), and an eight-hour battery. The Microsoft Store listing says the device is 0.4" thick and weighs 0.85 lbs, which is also not out of the ordinary.

The $329.99 asking price does make the VivoTab Note 8 a tad pricier than its competitors. Other, stylus-free slates with similar specs, like Toshiba’s Encore or Dell’s Venue 8, can be found for $299. That’s purely an academic issue at this stage, though—the Microsoft Store lists the VivoTab Note 8 as out of stock, and I see no way to pre-order.

Comments closed
    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    Honestly there is no need for an 8″ windows tablet right now. Their scaling issues are too pervasive and the screen res is generally lack luster, not to mention lack of adequate apps.

    • Andrew Lauritzen
    • 6 years ago

    If this thing turns out to be as well built as the Dell (man, I never thought I’d put “well built” and “Dell” in the same sentence!) I’m definitely picking up a 64GB one. My Venue 8 Pro has been amazing with my only complaints being the stylus (just not good, even after driver updates) and that I skimped at got the 32GB…

    Eagerly looking forward to reviews and availability in Canada.

    • dragmor
    • 6 years ago

    These are in stock in a lots of stores around Australia. $399 for 32gb and $449 for 64gb. Both come with MS Office home and student. Which is $199 RRP, but normally $120.

    Considering this is full windows with office it would be foolish to buy the 32gb model.

    • NeoForever
    • 6 years ago

    Disclaimer: This post is completely subjective and opinionated.

    It seems Asus is trying to cash-in on the Apple-factor. The product is only decent (in many cases) but they ask for a higher price and label it a premium product.
    eg. Asus Monitors, Laptops, GPU (I’m not 100% on this one), tablets, etc.

      • dragontamer5788
      • 6 years ago

      But it is $10 cheaper than a Dell Venue 8 Pro + Stylus, and has a Wacom stylus on it (widely regarded to be a better hardware manufacturer than Synaptics… at least in the stylus realm).

      If you don’t want a stylus, then the Dell Venue 8 Pro (sans Stylus), or the Encore are available. But from a TCO point of view, if you want a true active stylus, this is the cheapest device.

      • slowriot
      • 6 years ago

      Huh? Asus makes products in all of those categories from the lowest to highest quality. Yes, they have some higher quality products (generally in terms of build quality, not always features) that they charge a premium for but they also offer some of the cheapest monitors, laptops, tablets, GPUs, etc around.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 6 years ago

      Asus is a manufacturer but they also work with fox con, who makes all apple circuitry. Thought you’d like to know 🙂

      Also your price assertion is a total farce. nice troll

        • NeoForever
        • 6 years ago

        Well there is a disclaimer there, right? 😛

    • dragontamer5788
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]Other, stylus-free slates with similar specs, like Toshiba's Encore or Dell's Venue 8, can be found for $299[/quote<] The Dell Venue 8 has a $40 stylus add-on actually. Its an active digitizer stylus as well, although made by Synaptics instead of Wacom. I trust Wacom over Synaptics, but Microcenter was selling the Venue 8 Pro for $200 last week. At $90 cheaper than the Asus, I'm happy for my grab.

      • llisandro
      • 6 years ago

      FYI, the Venue stylus has major problems, documented here: [url<]http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/dell/59959-dell-venue-8-pro-active-stylus-fix-me-least.html[/url<] Dell knows this and it's so bad that they're not even selling the stylus right now (says temporarily unavailable on the Venue 11 page) even though it's still listed as a feature. They've already released 3 firmware updates to fix the problem, but it also seems that the stylus itself is the problem- very poorly manufactured, some work perfectly, most don't. So, you can buy the venue and hope they fix the stylus, but as of right now, this ASUS is really the only option if you want an active digitizer on Bay Trail. TMI for people who care about active digitizers: I really wanted a 10-11" Bay Trail tablet for PDF reading using Endnote, a reference manager for academia (database of citations that also stores PDFs, so I need full Win8) and stylus input. Since the Venue was out I was all set to buy the Note 8, even though I really want a 10" screen. Then last week, the 64GB (Clover Trail) Lenovo Tablet 2 dropped to $350 at Newegg, so I pulled the trigger. I can tell you that the Wacom stylus works amazingly well with the M$ recognition drivers. Accuracy is a bit off when using the stylus for precise pointing, but for handwriting recognition, it's awesome. Clover Trail is hella slow running programs in Desktop mode- if you really need the active digitizer, get the Note 8, unless you are absolutely married to the 10" size. It seems like everyone else has dropped stylus support on their 10" Bay Trails and moved the feature up to their $1k i3/i5 tablets (or is dropping 10" Bay Trails altogether). Fujitsu makes a 2560x1600 4GB RAM Bay trail (Q584) but it's the price of a Surface. I'm happy with my purchase, but only because the only other thing that can do what I need is a Surface. If I didn't need that one piece of legacy software, I would have gone with an Samsung Note 10 or 12, since it has a OneNote app for handwriting, wacom digitizer, and it actually has a real Gmail app. Tabletpcreview keeps a thread with an updated list of all devices with active digitizers: [url<]http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/hardware/52592-list-windows-8-rt-tablets-convertibles-stylus.html[/url<]

        • dragontamer5788
        • 6 years ago

        There have been many issues with the Dell stylus… but Dell has had a final device driver update in January.

        It seems like most of the stylus issues have been fixed with the latest update: [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTTJGDVeUE0[/url<]. My stylus is still coming in the mail, so I haven't tried it myself however. Still, you can't argue with Wacom's quality. The Asus is probably the better deal on name-brand alone. Wacom is known for quality, Synaptics is not. [quote<]Clover Trail is hella slow running programs in Desktop mode- if you really need the active digitizer, get the Note 8, unless you are absolutely married to the 10" size.[/quote<] Good thing I'm running [b<]Bay Trail[/b<] then, isn't it? Clover Trail is the last generation stuff, FYI, and is SIGNIFICANTLY slower than the new Baytrail stuff that is coming out. Bay Trail is like night and day compared to Clover Trail. IMO, Desktop mode stuff works out decently. The 2GB of RAM is definitely a limiting factor... but a number of applications work out just fine. (Notepad++, the built in PDF reader, 1080p streaming from Youtube...) There was a time when Intel Atoms just didn't cut it. Bay Trail seems to finally be fast enough that I can make a solid recommendation for "fast enough" performance, even in desktop mode. Its still a magnitude slower than Haswell Laptops, but it is a magnitude better than where Clover Trail was. I've played a couple of games and it works out fine. I've even got Visual Studio 2013 to install (installation took forever...) and compile a few example programs. It certainly is much much slower than a laptop, but it isn't jerky or laggy at all. Responsiveness remains fine so far, as long as I keep the paltry 2GB memory in check.

          • llisandro
          • 6 years ago

          I agree that Wacom is the way to go, but disagree that drivers were the problem.

          If you want to buy a Bay Trail Win8 tablet with an active digitizer & stylus today, the asus is your only option. Dell will ship you a tablet with an active digitizer in the screen, but they are no longer selling the stylus. If drivers had fixed all the problems, I’d think they’d still be selling the old styli they have piled up in a warehouse. Presumably the delay means they’re sourcing an improved stylus. There is some talk about using a different model stylus from the XPS 11, but the venue right now is not shipping with a stylus, so unless you bought yours in December, you have no guarantee you’re ever going to get a stylus for your Venue. I have to wonder dell is looking at their Venue sales numbers, wondering if they should just 86 the stylus altogether, especially since people who own a Venue are getting wildly different answers from Dell about when and if a fix will come.

          Dell’s support forums are filled with people’s comments documenting the catastrophe- when they ask for replacements, they’re claiming Dell is now shipping wacom styli as replacements (wrong tech, doesn’t work), or even capacitive styli. Bizarre.

          This highlights another advantage to staying within the Wacom ecosytem- it’s the oldest, and still the most highly regarded, and there are several pens you can buy that work with wacom penabled tablets. You can buy a Surface, and buy a nicer, fatter stylus from Amazon. Manufacturers are using other technologies (synaptics and n-trig) in order to lower the price-point of active digitizers, which is cool, but most reviews agree they don’t work as well.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 6 years ago

      There have been problems with the Venue 8 Pro digitizer/stylus, although a driver update helped. Wacom is still the way to go, and this tablet will surely have a lower street price too.

        • dragontamer5788
        • 6 years ago

        I am much appreciative of both your and Ilisandro’s concern here. The Dell Venue 8’s stylus is currently documented to be bad. Nonetheless, the article on techreport is still technically wrong, and the sentence I highlighted should be revised.

        The Vivotab Note 8 is already sold out however, so it is very very clear that this market segment is [b<]very[/b<] interesting indeed. You're now left with risking yourself with the Dell's lower-quality stylus (whenever it starts shipping again), or waiting for the next shipment of Vivotab Note 8. Or, paying a few [b<]hundred[/b<] more dollars for a Surface Pro.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 6 years ago

    At that price, that’s one tablet that’s hard to swallow!

    *Rimshot* Thanks, I’m here all week!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 6 years ago

      If there’s some sort of special touch device required for the stylus to help with pressure sensitivity or something, then it’s a worthwhile price increase for digital artists looking to sketch. If it’s just some capacitive stylus that uses a standard touch display then this is less interesting.

        • codedivine
        • 6 years ago

        It is a Wacom active digitizer and does have pressure sensitivity, and yes it is useful for artists as well as for note-taking.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 6 years ago

          Then I say that for certain people that’s $30 well spent. And also, that was like the first sentence of the article, I’m embarrassed to say I missed it the first time. 😳

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