While we haven’t had a good and proper play with a Microsoft Surface, we’re already not huge fans of Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 that was made specifically for tablets and won’t run Windows apps from previous generations of the operating system. But there’s good news if you’re after a slate that can.

A new model in the Asus VivoTab line up, the “Smart” aims to go beyond that of the Windows RT-enabled models and Microsoft’s own Surface tablet by offering a full Windows 8 experience, not just one compatible with Windows RT apps only.

While Asus has released some VivoTab units with Windows RT previously, the just announced model skips over RT and goes straight for Windows 8, providing more apps than just the few RT has seen.

The specs look pretty usable, with an Intel Atom dual-core chip providing the grunt, 2GB RAM, 64GB storage, 10.1 inch screen with the HD capable 1366×768 resolution, five point multitouch, WiFi, an 8 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera, and a battery rated for almost 10 hours of battery life.

Overall, the VivoTab Smart looks to be an interesting competitor to Microsoft’s Surface, no doubt thanks to its ability to run full Windows 8, not just RT, and isn’t much thicker either, measuring 9.7mm compared to Surface’s 9.3mm.

Interested customers should be able to find it in stores in both black and white over the next few weeks, fetching a recommended retail price of $599. Keyboard cases will be coming later in the year, but haven’t been officially detailed for Australia at this time.