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Asus VivoTab Smart ME400 review

The Windows 8 tablet to beat?

Our Verdict

This is the best Windows 8 tablet we've yet seen in terms of power efficiency and capability. But we do have reservations over the processor, which can cope with basic tasks yet does struggle due to the complexity of Windows and multitasking with desktop apps.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel

View full specification

For

  • Excellent general specs
  • 8MP camera
  • full Windows 8

Against

  • Processor slow
  • Ports problematic
  • Could be brighter

Despite the Asus VivoTab ME400 featuring the very latest Clover Trail generation dual-core 1.8GHz processor, it's immediately and sadly noticeable that performance can seem a little slow, especially if you have a few desktop apps running. Atom is not a performance processor at present, and for gaming you can only play mobile-style Windows 8 game apps rather than desktop games.

The Atom processor is able to be passively cooled, so you don't get any annoying fans or grilles like you'd find on a device powered by an Intel Core processor. That's not to say those devices would necessarily be noisy, but it does mean this small form factor can be used.

Graphics power is lacking across the board, with the PowerVR SGX545 chip really lacking any kind of punch. Benchmarks barely registered, and 3D tasks are beyond it. This is a shame, since while basic image editing can be achieved, it's about the limit of what is capable. Even some desktop apps can't run, since the graphics simply aren't powerful enough, though these are rare and would require a reasonably powerful laptop to run anyway.

Asus VivoTab Smart ME400 review

The processor and graphics are, however, adequate for most general use – browsing and word processing are no problem, for example. The graphics can also accelerate even Full HD video on an external display while web video, such as that from iPlayer, works without issue.

Aside from the processor and graphics, the remainder of the specification on offer is staggering, while the whole package remains excellent for the money.

Battery life should always be a major consideration when buying a tablet, and it's one of the reasons why Intel believes Atom-based Windows 8 devices will do well. A 25Wh lithium polymer battery is used here.

Asus VivoTab Smart ME400 review

Asus cites 9.5 hours of battery life, but it is possible to get more if you turn everything off, such as the Wi-Fi. However, for practical use you can get around seven to eight hours and at very peak performance spooling HD video we got around 3.5 hours, which still means that the Asus VivoTab ME400 will last a train journey or more. Or pretty much all of a 10 hour flight, especially as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will be off.

It does seem strange not to turn a Windows 8 device off as you would with a conventional PC, but you do get used to it quite quickly, and soon we found we were using the tablet just as we would an iPad or phone. There's no way to really par down the device to save power, but it's quite refreshing not to have to nurse a Windows device through different power saving modes.

You get very little inside the box, just a charger, cleaning cloth and a few leaflets, but a year's warranty is included.

Asus VivoTab Smart ME400 review

Tech Specs

Product TypeNet-tablet PC
Green CompliantYes
Flash Memory Capacity64 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerImagination Technologies
Graphics Controller ModelPowerVR SGX 545
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Maximum Battery Run Time8 Hour
HDMIYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyVivoTab Smart ME400C
Operating System Architecture32-bit
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor ModelZ2760
Operating SystemWindows 8
Brand NameAsus
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.80 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)580 g
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Height9.7 mm
Width262.5 mm
Depth171 mm
Screen ModeHD
Product SeriesME400C
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelME400C-1B043W
Product NameVivoTab Smart ME400C-1B043W Net-tablet PC
Product LineVivoTab Smart
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberME400C-1B043W
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing Information

Always on. Always connected

With the brand new touch focused Windows 8 operating system and advanced power saving capabilities of the next generation Intel® Atom™ processer Z2760, with burst 1.8GHz., the VivoTab™ Smart offers a true mobile experience. Always stay on, connected and up to date!

Multimedia Enjoyment at Hand

With a 580g ultra portable and 10.1" design, enjoy the incredible multimedia experience with the IPS Panel and ASUS SonicMaster technology every moment!

Package Contents
  • VivoTab Smart ME400C-1B043W Net-tablet PC
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year