With the new Windows RT for tablets, the words “cool” and “Microsoft” can now be uttered in the same sentence. The Asus Vivo RT tablet running Windows RT is fun, like most tablets, but it also turns into a real work device when you need it.  

Many business travelers carry an iPad and a laptop. The Asus tablet can do it all thanks to real integration with Windows architecture. You can update spreadsheets, edit a PowerPoint presentation or create a new Word document — with no workarounds required. It runs Outlook out of the box and has a SkyDrive cloud storage system for office docs. Plus you get the whole Web including pages built with Flash.

The interface is a joy to view and use. Control it using the familiar pinching, flicking, and tapping motions used to navigate other tablets, plus the tiled icons are dynamic. They update in real time when you’re connected, so you can see the day’s weather, social media updates, stock market updates, email and more without opening up the apps: Just put the things that matter the most front, center and large.

The tablet lists for $600 and weighs 1.15 pounds. It comes with 32 GB of memory, plus a Micro SD slot to add more. You get a USB port, front and back cameras, Bluetooth, GPS and surprisingly good speakers. The battery lasts about nine hours.

With the integrated keyboard, free with purchase through the end of 2012, you can lighten your load by carrying this instead of your laptop, not as an additional device.   

For information, go to http://www.asus.com/vivo/en/vivoTab.htm or http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/list/parentCategoryID.44066900/categoryID.60424800.

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