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How I Purchased A Brand New Asus Vivo Tab RT For Half Price

Asus Vivo Tab RT

UPDATE: I eventually replaced the Asus Vivo Tab RT with an Acer Iconia W510-1674, the dream Windows 8 tablet laptop.

On 12/22/12, I bought a brand new Asus Vivo Tab RT with an MSRP of $798 (the tablet itself is $599 & the mobile dock keyboard is $199), for exactly half price at $399 (plus tax). Wanna find out how I did it? Read on:

1) Make sure Asus still offers the keyboard for free. Initially, the date was until 12/31/12. Now it says you have until 1/31/13, meaning they might extend it even further if they don't meet their quota.

2) Make sure your local Microsoft store still offers the tablet itself for $399. The one in Fashion Valley of San Diego where I live in had this sale ever since it came out, according to a salesman. For whatever reason, only local stores offer this amazing discount. As far as I know, their online store never had this discount.

Asus Vivo Tab RT Sale

There are two more things I should mention that will help you make an informed decision:

1) The requirements for getting the keyboard involves cutting out the serial number on the back of the box, making it impossible to return the product (although the return period is two weeks to begin with, with the exception of the holiday period when I bought mine where I was told I can return it until 1/15/13). But as you can see from below, there is a way to do it without fucking up the box. You just need three things (all of which I had at my pathetic day job):

a) Thick white paper: Preferably it should be brighter than usual.

b) Black cardboard paper: Cut from a box for some item you bought a long time ago that you no longer need.

c) High quality laser printer or copy machine: A regular inkjet printer ain't gonna be good enough.

So what you do is, scan & copy the back of the box and cut out the white part that includes the serial number. Then cut out an equal amount from the black cardboard paper, and put the white part above the black one. Then take a picture carefully so that it looks almost perfect like mine. ;)

Oh and by the way, I filled out the online form on 12/26/12, and the keyboard arrived on 1/4/13 via FedEx (I had it shipped to my pathetic day job). You have to sign it, so there is no way of it getting lost. Some people have said it took them two weeks, so YMMV.

Asus Vivo Tab RT Receipt

2) Make sure you know exactly what you will use the tablet for. I might make a separate blog post about this with very specific details, but here's a quick summary of what you really need to know:

a) Apple iPad: If you gotta have the most expensive one

b) Android tablet: Good & cheaper alternative to Apple

c) Amazon tablet: Another good & cheaper alternative to Apple

d) Windows tablet: If you need full laptop capabilities

In case you didn't notice yet, Microsoft finally released a revolutionary product called Windows 8. I say revolutionary because ever since the first iPad came out, I've been dreaming about a tablet that I can actually use for work. I have no idea why people buy iPads. You can't install programs like you can on a laptop, although you might be able to find an app that does what you need if you're lucky. Anyway, I can't do any real work, so why should I buy it? Well Microsoft finally came up with an answer: Windows 8. You can now buy a laptop with Windows 8 that transforms itself into a tablet. But actually, it's the other way around where you can attach a keyboard into a tablet. It's just that unlike the iPad, you can do everything that you can normally do with a laptop.

The only caveat here is that there is something called Windows RT, which is a version of Windows that's sort of like the OS behind a typical tablet where you can only install apps, not programs. This is actually what I ended up buying, for the following reasons:

1) Tablets with Windows RT typically come loaded with Microsoft Office 2013 (currently a preview version, which will be upgraded for free once the full version comes out). The ones with Windows 8 typically come with the trial version.

2) I bought mine for $399. The actual dream machine that I was initially drooling over was an Acer Iconia W510-1674 ($499, but was $399 on Cyber Monday), pictured below with the upcoming optional mobile dock keyboard ($149) that you can currently only buy as part of the more expensive W510-1422 model ($749). At the end of the day, the $150 ~ $250 price difference was a bit too much just for the difference between Windows RT & Windows 8, especially also considering the exclusion of Microsoft Office 2013. The same goes for the Microsoft Surface ($499) vs. the upcoming Surface Pro ($799). The price difference is just too much, so hopefully the gap will narrow as time passes by.

Acer Iconia W510-1674

3) My main reason (the most important one for me personally anyway) was because I needed a browser that allowed me to show the favorites bar. I needed a tablet that I can take anywhere with me, to promote my startup, Collectiboard, to potential clients to sign up as sellers. In the demo that I need to present, there's a part where I drag something called the "Collect It" button from within the website into the favorites bar. I can't do this on anything other than a Windows tablet, because for now only the Internet Explorer browser has this capability on tablets. Basically I had a very specific use case, and that's why I bought what I bought (in my case, Windows RT was a necessity but Windows 8 was just luxury). So before you buy any tablet, make sure it fits your specific needs first before anything else.

Collectiboard's Collect It Button

So that's it. For those interested in getting an Asus Vivo Tab RT, get it at the unbelievable price of $399 while you can. I bet I can use it for a year or two until a dream machine with a whole lot more horsepower than what the Acer Iconia W510-1674 currently offers comes out. By that time, everyone will think I bought mine for $799 and will gladly pay up to half price used. Not a bad investment at all if you think about it, don't you think? ;)

Asus Vivo Tab RT Official

Asus Vivo Tab RT & Keyboard

Asus Vivo Tab RT & Keyboard Boxes

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