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Asus packs a Wacom stylus into its new $299 8-inch Windows tablet

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Asus VivoTab Note 8
Asus VivoTab Note 8

Asus is making its VivoTab Note 8 official today. The 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet includes a 1280 x 800 display that packs in a Wacom digitizer. It’s the standout feature of this otherwise fairly standard small Windows 8.1 tablet. While other competitors like Lenovo’s Miix 2 and Dell’s Venue 8 Pro have offered optional stylus support, none have opted to include full Wacom capability with a pen that sits inside a holder attached to the tablet.

Wacom support is the standout feature of a fairly standard 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet

Asus is aiming this particular tablet at sketchpad users or those who like to jot down notes, making it an obvious companion for Microsoft’s OneNote or Fresh Paint Windows 8.1 apps with its full stylus and ink support. Inside there’s no surprising specifications. Asus has opted for an Intel Atom Z3740 Bay Trail processor clocked at an unspecified speed, 2GB of RAM, and up to 64GB of storage. A microSD slot allows you to boost the storage, but there’s no Micro HDMI option to extend this particular device to a monitor. Wacom support is the clear selling point here, but other alternatives like Lenovo's ThinkPad 8 offer more power and ports inside a small Windows 8.1 tablet. It appears that Asus has followed Dell and Lenovo with a lack of a Windows button at the bottom of the front of the device.

At 10.95mm thick, the VivoTab Note 8 is a slightly chubbier alternative to other 8-inch Windows 8.1 rivals, but at 0.83 pounds in weight it’s not the heaviest out there. A recent Microsoft presentation listed Asus’ VivoTab Note 8 with a price of $299 and a holiday availability. It’s clearly debuting a little later than Microsoft expected, but Asus isn’t providing an exact release date just yet. A 32GB model will launch at $299, and a 64GB version is priced at $349. Asus says both models will be available in late Q1 or early Q2.