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Asus VivoTab Windows 8 slate coming 31 Jan for £399

The Asus VivoTab is a 10-inch tablet running full-fat Windows 8 for the very reasonable price of £399.

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Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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Andrew Lanxon
2 min read
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Want to get your fingers all over Windows 8 on a tablet, but don't want to pay the Earth? Eyes this way, chum -- Asus' new VivoTab Smart is hitting the UK's shelves at the end of the month for only £399.

In order to be so affordable, Asus has had to keep the tablet's specs on the basic side. Its 10.1-inch screen has a 1,366x768-pixel resolution which is considerably less than the 2,560x1,600 pixels you'll find on Google's Nexus 10. Still, it seemed bright and colourful in our early hands-on.

It's running on a dual-core Intel Atom processor with 2GB of RAM. That's not going to deliver lightning-fast performance, but it'll hopefully tackle the essentials without too much argument. It's running on the full-fat version of Windows 8, rather than the tablet-specific RT version. This means you're able to install regular desktop software, but with such low-powered chips inside, don't expect to be tackling your video editing with Adobe Premiere.

If you want more power for all your applications then you'll need to check out Dell's XPS 12 or Asus' own S400. They both pack Intel's powerful Core series processors, but you'll be shelling out hundreds of pounds more for them.

The VivoTab will be available with a keyboard cover, which looks very similar to the Touch cover offered with Microsoft's Surface tablet. It should let you type comfortably for long periods but I'll see just how comfortable it is when I get one in for review. Sadly, it's an optional accessory and it's going to set you back £90 if you want it. Unlike the Transformer Pad's keyboard dock, it doesn't increase battery life or provide a USB port.

It's not going to be a powerhouse, but the low price could make it an attractive option for those of you simply wanting to enjoy the basics of Windows 8 on a touchscreen. It's due to land in Argos and at the Carphone Warehouse on 31 January for £399.

What do you think to the VivoTab? Does a cheap and cheerful Windows 8 slate appeal? Pop your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.