TAIWANESE HARDWARE FIRM Asus announced UK availability of its "affordable" Windows 8 tablet today, the Vivotab ME400, which initially was seen at CES under the "Vivotab Smart" moniker.
Looking to challenge the iPad 4 and Google Nexus 10, the Asus Vivotab ME400 features a 10.1in 1366x768 IPS multitouch display that boasts 178 degree viewing angles.
Though dubbed as one of Asus' "affordably priced" tablets, the Vivotab ME400 will cost a quid shy of £400 when it hits shop shelves on 31 January. The firm's Transleeve Bluetooth keyboard accessory that offers a similar experience to Microsoft's Surface RT will be sold separately and, as we were told by Asus at CES this year, should be in the £70 price range.
We can't say that it is one of the most affordable budget 10in tablets out there. Nevertheless, the Vivotab ME400 features a rather nippy Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz.
Although that doesn't sound as impressive as some of its competition, our hands-on review at CES in Las Vegas found that it offers a slick and fluid user experience.
This is helped by its 2GB of RAM coupled with 64GB of internal storage. It has a 2-in-1 audio jack, a micro HDMI slot and a microSD card reader. It also features an 8MP rear-facing camera and a front-facing 2MP camera for video chats. All this is bundled into a 9.7mm thick casing with a weight of 580g.
Available in white, blue or red, the Vivotab ME400 has a 6,760mAH Li-polymer battery that Asus claims will provide up to 9.5 hours of battery life on a single charge.
Expect to find the Vivotab ME400 in retail outlets such as Argos and Carphone Warehouse by the end of the month. µ