Computex 2022 is just around the corner, and Asus has already revealed what I’m sure will be the two most fun laptops at the show.
Feast your eyes on the Vivobook Slate 13 OLED Limited Artist Editions. Asus has collaborated 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 view of the world, with specially commissioned themed accessories and packaging that feature their original artwork.”
Basically, these are convertible laptops covered in custom art. I’m sure this isn’t really what happened, but I like to imagine that Asus gave each of these guys a Vivobook 13 Slate and a box of crayons and let them go to town.
If you’re confused about what exactly these laptops are and who they’re for, don’t worry. This is something Asus likes to do. The company has collaborated with all kinds of eclectic artists in the past to bring out patently goofy looking laptops that I also love with all my heart. While you’re here be sure to check out the one they made with Norwegian DJ Alan Walkerwhich literally shipped with a cardboard DJ deck, or his collaboration with Acronym, which… well, I’m not even going to try to describe it. you just have to look.
I have no idea who buys any of this stuff; overall, the best answer to the question “why is Asus doing this dumb thing?” it’s a shrug emoji. These are glorious devices. Don’t think about it too much.
Starting with the Philip Colbert edition: It’s covered in Colbert’s original artwork, which in this case appears to be a bunch of eggs and lobsters. Asus refers to the rear case as “the special fried egg-themed cover bracket” several times in its promotional materials. The device also comes with, and I’m not making this up, this is pulled directly from the press release, “a sculpted cartoon lobster figure that doubles as a fun stylus holder for the included Asus Pen 2.0.” Well, I’m sold.
I think Steven Harrington’s editing is a bit over my head. I see several objects in this incredibly chaotic design, including palm trees with teeth, a dog in a bowtie, and a disembodied eyeball that is also on fire. No locusts to be seen, but some of these palm trees look a bit hungry. (The dog, named Mello, is a recurring character on Harrington’s.)
Now, in terms of the other things about the laptop, the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED is more of a disappointment. It’s a 2-in-1 OLED Windows laptop with a detachable keyboard, which is fine. The bad news is that it only comes with an Intel Pentium Silver N6000 processor, which is not a good chip by any definition. RAM can also only go up to 8GB and storage maxes out at 256GB. This is going to be slow – if you’re buying it, you have to assume it’s going to be a miniature TV for viewing stuff and that’s it.
Of course, that may be a viable use case for some people who are shopping into the lobster and egg category of laptops, and more power to all of them. I can certainly think of many cafes and bars where a device like this would fit right in. And, in a laptop market full of dull grays and blacks, there’s no doubt that a splash of unique flavor is always welcome.
Asus has not yet provided pricing for these devices, but a Vivobook 13 slate currently listed at $599.99. The devices are expected by the end of the second quarter.