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The VivoTab RT runs Windows RT, which isn't compatible with traditional x86 desktop applications. The only way to get programs, software, applications, apps, or whatever you want to call them is through the Microsoft Store, which is a little short on performance benchmarks right now. Good luck finding cross-platform tests that work on Android, iOS, and Windows RT.

Fortunately, there are a couple of benchmarks we can run in the browsers associated with each tablet platform. Tablets are used primarily for web browsing, so testing browser performance makes perfect sense. We'll start with SunSpider 0.9.1, which probes JavaScript performance in a number of different scenarios. We've tested the VivoTab RT against a handful of the other contemporary tablets we have available, including the iPad 3, the Nexus 7, and the Transformer Pad Infinity.

Lower execution times are better in this test, and the VivoTab RT cleans up. It's substantially faster than the iPad 3, which is only marginally ahead of the Transformer Pad Infinity. Keep in mind that the VivoTab's processor is only a little bit faster than the one in the Nexus 7. Windows RT and its version of Internet Explorer deserve most of the credit for the VivoTab's strong showing here.

Next, we'll move onto FutureMark's Peacekeeper benchmark, which mixes JavaScript tests with a side order of HTML5.

Interesting. Higher scores are better here, and the iPad 3 walks away with the win, well ahead of the Android tablets and the VivoTab RT. I'm surprised the Nexus 7 scores higher than the Transformer Pad Infinity, a result that persisted after multiple reboots and test runs. Although both Android tablets are running Jelly Bean, the Nexus 7 has a more recent version of the OS, which may account for the difference.

When considering these results, it's worth pointing out that the VivoTab RT completed more HTML5 tests than the other tablets. The iPad 3, the Transformer Pad Infinity, and the Nexus 7 finished only one of Peacekeeper's next-gen HTML tests, while the VivoTab RT completed three.

One other thing we can test easily is the cold boot time of each tablet. We hand-timed the boot process with a stopwatch, starting the clock when we first pressed the power button and stopping it when we arrived at the lock screen or, in the case of the VivoTab RT, the Windows RT Start screen.

The VivoTab RT boots in about half as much time as the Transformer Pad Infinity. That's not quite fast enough to catch the iPad 3, though.

Odds are you won't spend much time cold-booting a device like the VivoTab RT. Windows RT tablets are meant to idle in connected standby, a new sleep mode that allows email and other updates to trickle in while the system remains in an ultra-low-power state. Like other tablets, the VivoTab RT wakes up from standby mode instantly.

Battery life
We test battery life in two scenarios: web browsing and movie playback. Our browser test loads up a version of the TR home page and refreshes it every 45 seconds. New ads are loaded each time, and browser plugins are set to "on demand" to prevent Flash from burning through the battery. Flash isn't an issue for the iPad 3, which doesn't support it, or for the VivoTab RT, which allows Flash to run only on approved sites. Apparently, our secret battery testing URL isn't on the approved list.

Oh, snap. Even without the dock's auxiliary battery, the VivoTab RT runs for more than 12 hours in our web surfing test, slightly longer than the iPad 3. Add the dock, and the VivoTab pushes past 21 hours.

The Nexus 7 and Transformer Pad Infinity don't last nearly as long, suggesting that Windows RT does a better job of power management than Android. Perhaps there's something to ignoring the Tegra 3's companion core.

Our second battery life test repeats a 51-minute Game of Thrones episode encoded at 720p with H.264. On the Android tablets, we used the DicePlayer app, which works with the video decoding mojo in Tegra SoCs. We used the OPlayer HD app on the iPad and Windows RT's built-in video player on the VivoTab. This test is run in airplane mode, with Wi-Fi disabled.

The VivoTab has the longest battery life once again, this time lasting a couple hours longer than the iPad 3. Curiously, though, the dock extends the run time by less than 50%, as opposed to 71% in the web surfing test. We'll have to run these tests again to confirm the results. We have double-checked our data for the first runs in each test, though.