Asus' new Vivobook 13 Slate is an OLED laptop you can actually afford

Asus' new tablet / laptop combo features a "cinema-grade" OLED display at a really affordable price, though it’s not that powerful.

Announced today at Asus’ Wow the World event, the Vivobook 13 Slate brings OLED to a 2-in-1 tablet/laptop for a very affordable price: $600. Take that Surface Pro 8.

You don’t see many OLED laptops at that price point. If you go look on Best Buy, the only other option is the $499 Lenovo IdeaPad Duet, which is a 2-in-1 Chromebook.

The Asus Vivobook 13 Slate, however, is a full-fledged Windows 11 machine with an Intel processor. Its 13.3-inch OLED screen is undoubtedly the star. Though only 1080p, the 16:9 aspect ratio screen does have a max brightness of 550 nits and covers 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which Asus calls “cinema grade.”

The 13.3-inch touchscreen display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.Asus

True to OLED displays, you can expect a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio for deeper blacks. Also onboard: Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. While the laptop is clearly made for streaming content, it’s also got productivity features.

Part laptop, part tablet — The 2-in-1 design means you can turn it into a laptop with a keyboard, like the Surface Pro. Unlike the Surface Pro, though, the kickstand is not built in; it’s attached to the included magnetic cover.

The keyboard’s keys have a 1.4mm travel distance, so it won’t feel like you’re typing on cardboard as with other detachable laptop keyboards. The trackpad is also large relative to the size of the keyboard, with Asus claiming it’s 50 percent bigger than the ones found on competing 2-in-1 devices. But the keyboard isn’t the only way to interact with the Vivobook 13 Slate.

The laptop is bundled with an Asus Pen 2.0, which comes with four interchangeable tips that differ in friction and hardness, and supports 4,096 pressure levels. The pen can easily connect to the Vivobook 13 Slate via Bluetooth and has a battery life of 140 hours, according to Asus. It can also be topped up via USB-C and has two physical buttons.

The Vivobook 13 Slate ships with a keyboard. Asus
The tablet has a magnetic connector for the keyboard. Asus
The magnetic cover stand is included. Asus
The Asus Pen 2.0 comes with the laptop. Asus
The Vivobook 13 Slate also has a fingerprint sensor. Asus
The Vivobook 13 Slate I/O includes a MicroSD card slot. Asus
For reading news stories or comic books, vertical tablet mode is useful. Asus
The Asus Pen 2.0 comes with four tips. Asus

For videoconferencing, the laptop has one 5-megapixel front-facing camera and one 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. The laptop uses Asus’ AI noise-canceling ClearVoice technology that filters out unwanted noise on either side of the call.

Wimpy performance — This OLED laptop isn’t big on performance, though. The Intel Pentium Silver N600 processor is the same one used in HP’s kooky tablet with a flippable webcam. The four-core 1GHz processor isn’t super powerful, but it does have a max boost clock of 3.3GHz for intensive tasks. As far as graphics, don’t expect anything but the bare minimum; it uses Intel’s integrated UHD graphics.

The Vivobook 13 Slate can be configured with up to 8GB of RAM, with the option for either 128GB eMMC storage (no thanks) or a 256GB NVMe SSD. The I/O ports consist of two USB-C 3.2 ports, one 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card slot. On the plus side, there’s Bluetooth 2.3 and Wi-Fi 6 support (though you will need a Wi-Fi 6 router).

The 2-in-1 gets about 9.5 hours of battery life according to Asus. It can be fast charged via a 65W USB-C adapter — Asus claims up to 60 percent charge in 39 minutes.

End of year release — Look, nobody is gonna be playing Fortnite or Apex Legends or doing any kind of CPU or GPU-intensive work on this $600 2-in-1. Its performance pales in comparison to the Surface Pro 8. But for $600, you’re getting what appears to be a very good screen (for 1080p at least). If that’s all you need, then you can pick this thing up in December.