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PC and OLED TV in one. These are Asus’ words, not ours. A claim that the Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED lives up to. Hell, it’s quite a claim for any device, not to mention a 13-inch convertible tablet PC.
Either way, the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED certainly has a lot to offer, the most obvious of which is a 13.3-inch OLED panel with a powerful peak brightness of 550 nits. In general, competition in the PC-based slate market is still with LCD screen technology. It’s also very sleek and sleek, with fairly narrow bezels, a thin case, and good build quality. And all for under $ 600 / £ 600.
Numerous input options are also available to you beyond the touchscreen. Both the Asus Pen 2.0 and a detachable keyboard are part of the extensive standard package. Other highlights include Dolby Atmos sound with four speakers, Wi-Fi 6, dual cameras, two fast USB-C ports, a MicroSD card slot, fast charging and more.
Oh, and did we mention that the 1080p OLED panel offers 100% coverage of the demanding DCI-P3 cinema color space that even professional desktop monitors struggle with, plus 0.2 ms response time? Oh yeah. There is a lot to love.
However, there are also some details that have not yet been fully explored. Take the CPU. It’s a quad-core chip from Intel with a performance above 3 GHz, which sounds good until you realize that the Intel Pentium Silver N6000 is based on Intel’s Atom CPUs. One could imagine it with four efficiency cores à la Intel’s new Alder Lake processors. Only the cores of the Pentium Silver N6000 are older than the efficiency cores in Alder Lake and not nearly as powerful.
The performance is correspondingly icy. The installation of large apps takes a long time despite the 256 GB SSD and 8 GB DDR4 memory. Loading the right apps also takes a lot of time. And forget about anything that is graphics intensive. The integrated graphics of the Pentium chip are weak.
The flagship OLED panel is not quite the stunner you were hoping for. With handheld devices (including this one at least temporarily), the 1080p resolution of the Vivobook ensures a mediocre pixel density on a 13-inch screen. To make matters worse, it is unclear whether the Vivobook’s panel has conventional RGB subpixels. OLED panels usually don’t.
In any case, the screen of the Vivobook is not very sharp and does not display fonts as clearly. As a caveat, the video looks great thanks to the inherent advantages of OLED technology, including excellent viewing angles, more or less infinite contrast, and super-fast response.
The otherwise inconspicuous Pentium chip also does a good job of decoding high-bit-rate video streams, including 4K YouTube. It also offers a decent battery life of around nine hours for video playback, though comparable ARM-powered tablets tend to last a little longer.
All in all, this machine has a lot going for it from a content consumption perspective. The fact that it’s much cheaper than premium Windows tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 also adds to its appeal. The poor performance of the Vivobook and the limitations of the OLED display in the form of a showcase generally make for a mixed picture.
Price and availability
Here is the Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED configuration sent to Ditching for review:
CPU: 1.1 GHz Intel Pentium Silver N6000 (quad core, 4 MB cache, burst up to 3.3 GHz)
Graphics card: Intel UHD integrated
RAM: 8 GB DDR4 RAM
Screen: 13.3 inch 1080p OLED
Storage: 256 GB M.2 NVMe SSD
Optical drive: N / A
Connections: 2x USB-C, MicroSD
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.2 (dual band) 2 * 2
Camera: 5MP front, 13MP rear
Weight: 1.72 pounds (0.78 kg)
Dimensions: 12.20 x 7.48 x 0.31 inches (30.99 x 19.00 x 0.79 cm; W x D x H)
At $ 599, the Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED looks like a good value for money. It is a fully equipped PC in tablet convertible format, complete with a detachable keyboard and stylus. It also gets OLED display technology, which makes for a very attractive overall package. The catch is a weak Intel Pentium processor. You can’t have everything for this price.
For less money there is the smaller 10-inch Surface Go from Microsoft with full accessories and a comparable CPU. For the same money, you can have the Go with a more powerful Intel Core M3 chip, but you have to pay extra for the keyboard and stylus. The entry-level model Microsoft Surface 7 Pro is available for the same price, but has few bells and whistles. All of this means that the Vivobook can be an argument in terms of value as a media consumption device. But for anything that resembles real computers, it’s less convincing.
Slim design and excellent workmanship are certainly part of the attractiveness of the Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED. The tablet part is really compact with narrow bezels around the 13.3-inch OLED panel and put together very nicely. It is only 8 mm thick, weighs just over three quarters of a kilogram and contains a 50 watt hour battery.
The chassis also contains a quad speaker system with Dolby Atmos support. In terms of overall volume, it’s pretty punchy. But the sound quality is very thin and tinny.
Nevertheless, the attachable keyboard for the device type with 1.4 mm key travel and a nice, large trackpad is reasonably tactile, while the Asus Pen 2.0 has a sampling rate of 266 Hz.
The magnetic stand is also easy to use and works well. Like all of these solutions, the stand and clip-on keyboard combo works great for desks and tables, but doesn’t work nearly as well on your lap.
Along with the pen and power adapter, it’s also a decent set to stash in your pocket, though USB-C charging means you can use a single power adapter for multiple devices.
In any case, a touchscreen laptop is definitely a less complicated computing device. You really have to want the tablet functionality. In terms of port, you get a pair of high-speed USB-C jacks as well as a microSD card reader. That’s probably enough for this type of device.
The ability to connect at least one peripheral device while it is charging is the least you could ask for. Elsewhere, you get a 5 MP front camera as well as another 13 MP camera on the back.
This is how the Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED performed in our benchmark tests:
3DMark: Night attack: 3,903; Fire attack: 1,100; Time spies: 386
Cinebench R20 multicore: 628 points
Geek Bank 5: 686 (single wire); 1,913 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (home test): 2,632 points
PCMark 10 battery life: 7 hours and 29 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar Movie Test): 9 hours
If the Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED has a weak point, it is the Intel Pentium Silver N6000 CPU. On paper, a quad-core chip from Intel with a capacity of more than 3 GHz sounds sufficient for this type of device. In practice, it is based on Intel’s low-power class of processors, formerly known as the Atom.
At best, one could argue that the Pentium’s cores are efficiency-oriented, like those of the new Alder Lake desktop processor. In reality, they’re not even that good. It makes for a slow experience. Apps take a long time to install and open. For example, Metro Exodus took about 20 minutes to charge, but crashed after about a quarter of the benchmark run. Okay, such a demanding game is not relevant for this type of device, but it is an indication of the considerable limitations of the Vivobook.
Even the Windows 11 user interface can feel sluggish at times, although the Vivobook is good at rendering video, including demanding 4K streams. For this type of content consumption, this is an attractive device. This is especially true thanks to the breathtaking contrast and impressive colors of the OLED display. Asus’ claim that the VivoBook can be used as a TV is an exaggeration, but watching movies and TV is certainly a pleasure.
However, the 1080p panel on the Windows desktop is less convincing. The OLED panel lacks a bit of sharpness and fonts are not displayed very sharply. That’s partly due to the pixel density – 1080p on a 13.3-inch panel isn’t everything by tablet standards. But it could also be due to the non-RGB subpixel structure in the OLED panel, which, if at all, is never good for font reproduction.
The Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED clocks at around nine hours for video playback, which is a decent result for an x86-powered computer device with Windows, in contrast to an Android tablet with an ARM chip, for example.
The problem is that the overall computing experience is affected by the low-power Intel CPU. So you don’t really get a full PC experience.
You would probably be better off with a more powerful system with an Intel Core or AMD Ryzen CPU, or an ARM-based tablet that is even more portable and lasts even longer. In the end, the Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED does not create a really satisfactory balance between durability and performance.