Review: For those thinking of jumping ship to Asus Vivotab for better stylus

Discussion in 'Dell' started by bugelrex, Jul 30, 2014.

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  1. bugelrex

    bugelrex Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Had the DV8P since January and have had every single pen iteration up to A02 (May build). Just got an Asus Vivotab Note 8 expecting a much better writing experience. There is a difference, but it may not be deal breaker for some:

    - build quality, Dell is better in every single way. Thinner, sturdier
    - Dell unit gets much warmer than the Asus, Asus remains cool/luke warm
    - Asus has a GPS and works well with Nokia Here Maps
    - Having the pen inside the unit is great, had to make a pen holder for the Dell on the cover. May not matter if you intend to use a larger pen anyway instead of the q-tip like stylus.

    stylus: drawing
    ----------------------
    For drawing, Asus is hands down much much better experience. Feels very natural, smooth strokes. Dell is not smooth, harder for light stroke, can draw but not a pleasant experience, end result drawing will look much better on Asus

    Stylus: writing notes
    ----------------------------
    Not so black and white here. I found the Dell for writing to be OK. Its very accurate, can do very fine lines etc. The ink goes where the tip is. Its like writing with a pen which needs extra pressure to write, like those hard tip ball-point pens. The asus is wonderfully smooth but a few things spoil the whole experience which makes the choice not so clear
    - even after the Wacom driver with 81 point calibration (July 2014), the edges are annoying. Even in oneNote with lined-paper+Margin, the writing is a little bit jittery 0.25 inch after the red margin line. Have to take a little extra care with the first word of every line. The ink is not 'exactly' where the tiip is, have to get used to. The edge issues can affect normal usage, having to tap few times on icons close to edge. The dell has edge issues, but rarely affect real-time use unless you much write right at the border of the screen.

    End results of writing will look 'somewhat' similar between the 2 at a normal distance, but when zoomed *right* in, you can see the Dell is not as smooth as Asus. But viewed at a distance, you can't really see this too obvious.

    Have not tried other wacom pens, but the edge issues should be present.
    In summary, the poor edges affect real-life writing use even after the latest Wacom updates. Drawing will be less affected as you tend to be doing 'strokes' rather than trying to write fine letters. The choice is between
    dell: need more pressure when writing, little jittery but you get a more accurate experience in regards to tip to ink
    asus: smooth, buttery writing/drawing but the edges spoils the experience for writing
     
  2. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    I also own both tablets. For me it is very clear cut. The Asus is hands down a much better note taking experience than the Dell. For me, the Dell is borderline unusable for note taking. The inking can be made to be legible on the Dell, but it requires significantly more effort to achieve that level of quality. For me, that is a deal breaker. I'd rather just go back to paper (which I abandoned over 10 years ago) than use the Dell digitizer.

    The edge issues are certainly real with Wacom and the Asus in particular, but they are drastically improved by using a full sized pen. I'd highly recommend that anyone who purchases this tablet also purchase a full sized pen. The edge drift is still present, but the sensitivity issues are pretty much gone. The included silo pen is a good backup that you can always rely on being present when you need it, but for the bulk of my pen input I use a 3rd party Wacom pen.

    That said, contrary to your opinion, I do not find this to be a huge practical issue when it comes to note taking. I'd recommend that instead of being extra careful with the first word of every line simply start the first word of every line ~ .25 inches away from the bezel unless you badly need the space in a given situation. This certainly reduces the usable writing space, but I'd argue 100% of the Dells writing space is "unusable". Of course you can write on 100% the screen, but, for me, it is just too much work and not worth the effort to obtain satisfactory results. For OS navigation, the edge issues can be a bigger deal, but personally I don't use the pen very often for OS navigation.
     
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  3. bugelrex

    bugelrex Scribbler - Standard Member

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    On your Asus unit, Using onenote (metro or desktop) in 'portrait' mode (calibrated in Portrait) with the Asus logo on the botton. With lines on the page, and using the Asus stylus, is writing after the 'red' margin line as smooth as the middle of the screen. The first word will always jitter and have to take more care here

    Just wondering if this is on your unit also? Probably should have bought from MS store to keep swapping units...
     
  4. bugelrex

    bugelrex Scribbler - Standard Member

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    By any chance, do you know if the Galaxy note 1 s-pen (fits in slot) helps fixes the issue too?
     
  5. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    For me it is more or less constant "smoothness" about a quarter of an inch away from the bezel with the notable exceptions of the speakers which seem to wreak havoc (near the front cam and Asus logo).

    Your test is not something I usually do. Like I said, I use a third party pen. Additionally, I usually write in landscape. However, I just tried it and all seems good interior to the red line. Actually all seems good even outside the red line (closer to the bezel) a bit. It seems good on my unit up until about 2/3rds of the red line width. Again though, this was just a quick test, so maybe I'm just missing what you are seeing. I find it more comfortable to ink in landscape unless I'm standing or something.
     
  6. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    I know back when Dstrauss had an VN8 he found an S-pen that fit. I don't remember exactly which one though. I use the Fujitsu 2 button pen... which reminds me of another big advantage of Wacom... The radial menu makes note taking so much more efficient.
     
  7. bugelrex

    bugelrex Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thanks, its difficult to decide whether to keep it or gamble on a self-destructing unit
     
  8. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    Yep, IMHO, the self-destruct aspect is the main issue note takers have to weigh when it comes the VN8. When the digitizer is still working there is no contest (at least IMO), but, that advantage may not be worth the gamble to many.
     
  9. HJK

    HJK Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Other than the OP, I don't see many comments about the gnss chip (or whatever the offline GPS is called). That to me seems to be a big advantage for the AVN8. I suppose you can buy a dongle for the DV8P and many users will already have some other source of GPS.
     
  10. HJK

    HJK Scribbler - Standard Member

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    For my part, the AVN8 I just ordered for my wife arrived tonight and is charging, and the functionality of the GPS was a big reason I went with the AVN8. I know this isn't the place, but I would love to get advice on how to make it work with Here Maps. Does anyone know if/how you can enable voice navigation?
     
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