Microsoft's Surface with Windows 8 Pro is set to launch at the end of the month, but Asus has announced a rival Windows 8 tablet that should give it plenty of competition – the VivoTab Smart ME400.
Launched at CES 2013 in Las Vegas this week, the VivoTab Smart will come with a dual-core Intel Atom Z2760 1.8GHz processor and 2GB of RAM, and will go on sale in the UK around the same time starting at £499.
That'll be for the 32GB edition, though you'll also be able to pick up a 64GB version for a bit extra. Either way you're talking a 10.1in screen running at 1,366 x 768, dual cameras – a 2MP front-facer and an 8MP unit round the back capable of 1080p video recording – and full-fat Windows 8. Battery life is a claimed 9.5 hours of typical use.
Like Microsoft, Asus seems to be pitching its tablet as a wannabe convertible laptop via a keyboard/cover add-on, but Asus' take on the concept, the TransSleeve, does lose a few points for the keyboard not being able to physically attach to the tablet. Unless you're using it as a cover or stand, obviously.
Overall, it looks set to be an interesting alternative to Microsoft's own incoming Windows 8 tablet, and considering Asus' credentials in the netbook and Android tablet spheres, one that could easily outsell it too. You'll be able to decide for yourself within the month.