We've got our second Windows RT tablet in the labs, the Asus Vivo Tab RT, so it's time to ask the big question: Which one do you want? On the one hand, there's the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT ($699 for 64GB, 4 Stars), Redmond's pristine example of what a Windows RT tablet should be.
Now, an alternative has arrived, the Asus Vivo Tab RT ($599 for 32GB, 3.5 Stars). Both models put Windows RT into a portable touch-friendly package, but the two strike a balance between tablet convenience and laptop productivity in very different ways.
The Asus Vivo Tab RT can be used as a standalone tablet, but that doesn't make the keyboard an afterthought. The docking keyboard latches firmly to the tablet display, combining to create a clamshell device that bears some resemblance to Asus's Zenbook ultrabooks. For those who want something a bit more substantial that the flimsy Touch Cover included with the Surface RT, the Vivo Tab RT offers a keyboard with chiclet keys and an extra 22Wh battery. It also adds a full-size USB 2.0 port, but the Surface RT offers a full-size USB without requiring an extra dock or adapter.
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