Sunday, June 26, 2022

Asus’ new Vivobook Slate 13 OLED looks absurd and I’m all for it

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Computex 2022 is just around the corner and Asus has already revealed that it will be the two most hilarious looking laptops of the show.

Feast your eyes on the Vivobook Slate 13 OLED Limited Artist Editions. Asus teamed up with two pop artists, Philip Colbert from London and Steven Harrington from Los Angeles, to create this line. According to the company, the models “represent the artist’s unique worldview, featuring specially commissioned themed accessories and packaging featuring their original artwork.”

Basically, these are convertible laptops covered in custom art. I’m sure this didn’t actually happen, but I like to imagine that Asus just gave each of these guys a Vivobook 13 Slate and a box of crayons and just let them go to town.

Yes, those are eggs.
Image: Asus

The Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED opened on a white background with the keyboard attached.  The screen shows a lobster with a crown in front of a blue wallpaper strewn with eggs.

You may not use this if you are very hungry.
Image: Asus

If you don’t know what exactly these laptops are and who they are for, don’t worry. This is just something Asus likes to do. The company has collaborated with all sorts of eclectic artists in the past to bring out laptops that look downright ridiculous and that I love with all my heart. While you’re here, check out the ones they did with Norwegian DJ Alan Walker, which literally came with a cardboard DJ deck, or their collaboration with Acronym, which…well I’m not even going to try it to describe it. You just have to look.

I have no idea who buys these things; in general the best answer to the question “why is Asus making this very silly thing?” is a shrug emoji. These are glorious devices. Don’t think too hard about it.

Starting with the Philip Colbert Edition: This one is covered in Colbert’s original artwork, which in this case appears to be a lot of eggs and lobsters. Asus refers to the case back as “the special fried egg themed cover stand” several times in its promotional materials. The device also ships with – and I’m not making this up, this is straight from the press release – “a sculpted cartoon lobster figurine that doubles as a funky stylus holder for the bundled Asus Pen 2.0.” Well, I’m sold.

The Steven Harrington edition is, I think, a little over my head. I see a number of objects in this incredibly chaotic design, including palm trees with teeth, a dog in a bow tie, and a disembodied eyeball that is also on fire. No lobsters in sight, but some of these palm trees do look a little hungry. (The dog, named Mello, is a recurring Harrington character.)

The Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED Steven Harrington Edition with its parts on a flat white surface.

As I said…
Image: Asus

The Asus Vivobook Slate 13 OLED Steven Harrington Edition closed on a white background.

Don’t worry, you won’t forget the brand.
Image: Asus

Now, in terms of the other laptop stuff, the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED is more disappointing. It’s a 2-in-1 OLED Windows laptop with a detachable keyboard, which is neat. The bad news is that it only comes with an Intel Pentium Silver N6000 processor, which isn’t a good chip by any definition. RAM can also only go up to 8 GB and the storage is up to 256 GB. This is going slowly: when you buy it you have to assume that it will be a miniature TV to watch things on and that’s about it.

A lobster figurine with an Asus stylus on a white background.

I wasn’t kidding about the lobster.
Image: Asus

Of course, that could be a viable use case for some people who shop in the egg and lobster laptop category, and more power for all of them. I can certainly think of plenty of coffee shops and bars where a device like this would fit right in. And in a laptop market full of drab grays and blacks, there’s no doubt that a touch of unique flavor is always welcome.

Asus has not yet given the prices of these devices, but a regular one Vivobook 13 Slate is currently listed at $599.99. The devices are expected at the end of Q2.

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