Review: Asus VivoTab Smart (ME400C)

In our reviewing experience, the stand case was at its most stable when it was on a flat surface and you weren’t touching it, and it couldn’t be used on a lap, for instance, which makes it a little limited.

You can also get a keyboard working with this, and it even magnetically clips into the case quite easily, but there is a catch in this part, too.

You can’t, for instance, keep the keyboard in the case and make the tablet sit straight up – like a proper laptop – because the tablet section has no stand built in and will just fall backwards.

So you have to take the keyboard out of the case, push the case into position behind the tablet while still keeping the magnetic hinge attached, and then use the keyboard outside the tablet, which takes more effort than just opening a case, propping the tablet up, and starting to type.

All in all, it’s a little clunky, and likely because Asus chose not to build a stand directly in the tablet like how Microsoft did with Surface.

It’s not at all like how Asus handled other products in the Vivo range, which included a port at the bottom for plugging it directly into a special keyboard dock, as the company has been doing previously with Transformer tablets running on Android OS.

In fact, there’s no port at the bottom, so you can’t do that at all. Rather, your keyboard option is this one designed by Asus, so if you’re interested in an extra battery built into your keyboard, you need to look at a different tablet.

The odd part of this is that the keyboard is actually designed quite well, and is not only very thin and charges – like the VivoTab itself – from a microUSB connection, but also features a small multitouch trackpad, with gesture support included too. The button under the trackpad could be a little better: we found it a touch too firm at the top, but easier to click near the bottom.

You might find the origami-like case and keyboard solution works a treat for you, though, but it is by no means as fast as a dedicated keyboard dock or tablet keyboard case.

It can work on your lap, but it's not the most stable tablet stand we've felt.


It’s not the best option out there, but if you need the power of Windows 8 and want a touchscreen, the $600 price tag makes this an interesting choice.

We’re not sure if it’s as good a value as say the $500 netbook-replacement touchscreen Asus we reviewed a few months ago, but if you only want a tablet, it might be worth looking at, especially if Microsoft Surface is what you’re after, but you feel limited by Windows RT.


Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Runs proper Windows 8, not that RT thing; Relatively inexpensive for a Windows 8 tablet; Charges over microUSB;
Keyboard doesn't really attach at the hinge; Takes more effort to set this tablet up as a notebook replacement compared with other tablet keyboard cases out there; Lacks the same hinge design as the Transformer range, so you can't plug it into a keyboard-dock with battery;