My quest to find the perfect tablet/laptop for work/leisure is seemingly never ending. My recent purchase of the HP Envy x2 left me happy with the capability of the device, but it didn't last. The Envy misses one feature that I have come to realize I really want in a Windows 8 hybrid, and that's an active digitizer for inking on the screen.
That's the primary reason a new Asus Vivo Tab (model # TF810C-C1-GR) system with a keyboard dock is being readied in an Amazon warehouse to be delivered to me shortly. The Vivo Tab is similar in most ways to the HP Envy x2, so I'm pretty sure I will like it. It adds the active digitizer (Wacom) and pen which really excites me to get back to handwriting notes for my work.
I also ordered the dock which is not included with the tablet, which is annoying. While some buyers might want the tablet only I think Windows 8 is much better with a keyboard available.
I miss the ability to take handwritten notes, and have for a while. I relied totally on Tablet PCs for a decade in my previous career as a geophysicist so I'm familiar with how well inking works for me. I have been wanting to get back to handwritten notes for my writing work, as it stimulates the creative part of the writing process. There's something satisfying about jotting down ideas and then outlining them for a writing project. I find the ideas flow seamlessly, much more so than with a keyboard.
I also miss creating mind maps for projects, especially writing projects. The ability to quickly enter topics and then flesh them out with the pen is so productive. Dragging topics around on the map to instantly reorganize the flow is priceless.
The new Asus should be here tomorrow and I intend to jump on it quickly. I'll share how well it works in general and for inking in particular. The Asus Transformer Prime tablets and keyboard docks have impressed me since their release and I'm looking forward to trying this Windows 8 version in the Vivo Tab.
Those wondering why I didn't go with a Surface Pro to do this work, that's a valid question. For me it came down to two things: battery life and keyboard. The Asus gets over 10 hours with the tablet and another 9 hours (claimed) with the keyboard dock. That's important to me as I prefer having all day operation with no power worries. Secondly, I write so much that I prefer having a real laptop-quality keyboard. The TypeCover with a Surface Pro comes close but not quite close enough for me.