Many organizations have been waiting for an enterprise-friendly, productivity-enhancing tablet. The ASUS VivoTab Smart ME400C affordably fills that need.
The VivoTab Smart — a lean, 1.28-pound slate of plastic and glass — comes in black, white or red. The corners are rounded more than other tablets I've held, and while there's a bit of a sharp edge along the seam, it doesn't detract from the device's simple beauty.
Flicking the power switch brings the VivoTab Smart ME400C to lifewith a full Windows 8 operating system. Users can install not only apps available from the Microsoft store, but also standard enterprise software such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader.
The 10.1-inch LED backlit display works well in most indoor environments, but viewing the display outdoors on a sunny day is more challenging. The lack of brightness stems from the tablet's long battery life. ASUS measures battery life at 9.5 hours using a continuous-movie-loop test, but a test involving standard office applications seemed more reasonable to me, so I carried it from meeting to meeting. At the end of the workday, it still had 30 percent of battery life remaining — enough for some overtime.
Best of all is the optional ASUS TranSleeve Keyboard — a wafer-thin, Bluetooth 3.0 QWERTY keyboard. The accessory includes a cover and attaches to the tablet with magnets. Its trackpad supports Windows 8 gestures, and the 450mAh Lithium polymer battery reportedly lasts three weeks when fully charged.
The VivoTab Smart's world-class camera records 30 frames per second of full, high-definition 1080p video. For still photos, it shoots a whopping 8 megapixels on the rear camera and 2MP on the front, which looks fantastic on the tablet's 1366x768p screen.
Why It Works for IT
The VivoTab Smart runs a full 32-bit version of Windows 8 on an 1.8 gigahertz, Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core processor and features 2 gigabytes of RAM under the covers. Unlike Windows RT or iOS, enterprise-class security and management tools work on the tablet, giving managers some piece of mind as the device travels from place to place.
Connectivity is provided through 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 support, and the device also offers three ports — micro SD for additional storage, micro HDMI as an alternative output, and micro USB for connectivity and power. A dual-function audio port sits on the right near the volume rocker switch.
The 64GB solid-state disk drive seems small. Out of the box, only 20GB are free, likely because Windows 8 consumes a lot of space. With this squeeze, the micro SD port and cloud storage should come in handy.
From a graphics standpoint, the Intel graphics card seemed a bit sluggish when pushed. However, the tablet performed well for a typical business day and provided quite a productivity boost — not to mention admiring looks from colleagues.