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The Great ASUS VivoTab Note 8 Mystery



I have been sporting my ASUS Note 8 for a about three months now, shortly after it was re-launched and the 64GB variant became available. This nice little 8” tablet was originally announced at CES last fall, and the 32GB version became available, in limited supply, about January. While it does cost a bit more than the popular Dell VenuePro 8, it is a little lighter, includes GPS, and has a Wacom digitizer that works perfectly, despite some early negative comments/reviews (I assume an update along the way corrected any problems as I have yet to experience any). I thoroughly enjoy using this quick, light tablet just about every day. Sound quality is excellent (for an 8” tablet), BT and WiFi connectivity are non-issues. Battery life is great, burning through less than 10% each day on standby. As they say, “it just works”.

My only negative is that a few times while it was rebooting after an update, or if I chose to reboot after an install, the screen would go dark and remain that way for 5 or more minutes. It puts me in a little panic each time it happens, as the power button appears to be unresponsive. Plugging it into a power source though seems to get things working again. Interestingly, if I power the device down, the power button will immediately start the bootup process. I know it uses juice, but I really wish these little devices would include some sort of tiny LED to let you know that it’s either on or off. During the bootup, the front camera light will turn on for a second or two, but otherwise the device appears dark when sleeping.  There is a small LED on the power button, but it only comes on while charging.

You can find it today on Amazon for; $269.99 (32GB) or $329 (64GB). Microsoft also offers both models for a few dollars more. Staples has both models for $357/$412, and you can find the 32GB at BestBuy for $299. TigerDirect; $329/$409. Not available at Office Depot. So, despite this devices general availability at most outlets since at least March, I have yet to see it appear in any print advertising. I see the VenuePro 8 every week. And the Lenovo or Toshiba 8” offerings every other week in one advertisement or another. But not the Note 8. Why? Is ASUS ashamed of what they brought to market? Is the pricing so different than the VenuePro 8 that it’s not worth the effort? That does not appear to be the case for the dozens of laptops and 2 and 1s promoted each week. It almost seems like ASUS is purposely trying to hide this device from the general public. Now I don’t really care one way or the other, as long as no one tries to pry my Note 8 from my hands. But I do think ASUS is doing their well made offering a disservice.

What say you? Any idea why this tablet is being hidden from open view.

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