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CES 2014: Hands-on preview with the Asus VivoTab Note 8

Samsung has a Galaxy NotePRO, but Asus may have a Galaxy Note killer. I spent some time with the VivoTab Note 8 this afternoon, a little Windows tablet with a monster feature set: A full version of Windows 8, plus a pressure-sensitive Wacom stylus for just £300.

The VivoTab Note 8's secret, of course, is the Intel Bay Trail chipset, which lets low-cost devices run Windows at an acceptable speed. There are a bunch of Windows 8 tablets around like this one, not only from Asus but most notably from Acer, Toshiba, Dell and Lenovo.

This 8in tablet is comfortable to hold in one hand, and you can take notes in your favourite Windows application, whether it's OneNote, Asus' own Supernote, or for that matter Photoshop.

I scribbled around for a while with the pen, and I was very impressed by the lack of lag. Pen input lag is something with which Android tablets continue to struggle. Samsung's Galaxy Note line is the best because of the active Wacom digitiser, but the VivoTab Note 8 felt even more responsive; drawing on this tablet really felt like drawing on paper.

It's £300, so no, it doesn't feel premium, but neither does the VivoTab feel flimsy. The other big advantage over the rival Galaxy Note 8.0 is, of course, the fact that Samsung’s slate doesn't run any of those useful Windows productivity apps.

The VivoTab has 2GB of memory and either 32 or 64GB of storage, plus a microSD card slot. Asus claims it has 8 hours of battery life. This little tablet could be an excellent digital notepad if it performs as promised – look out for our review of the slate.