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Asus VivoBook 13 Slate OLED review: A different detachable computer

I used the VivoBook 13 Slate OLED for a few weeks, and here is my review of the 2-in-1 detachable computer.

Asus VivoBook 13 Slate OLED review: Design and aesthetics

At a basic level, the VivoBook 13 Slate is designed to look like the Surface Pro. Essentially, it is a tablet that runs a legit Windows 11 operating system. The tablet is light and easy to hold, and despite the polycarbonate shell, it doesn’t look cheap. On the left edge, you have a 3.5-mm combo audio jack, two USB-C ports, a microSD card reader, and speaker mesh. As for the right side, you have more speaker mesh, the Dolby Atmos logo, and volume rockers. On the top,you will notice a dedicated area for the ASUS Pen 2.0 (more on that later) and a power button. Lastly, on the bottom, you only have the magnetic accessory port, which is used for attaching a keyboard cover.

https://images.indianexpress.com/2020/08/1x1.pngAlso Read: |Apple’s big ‘Peek Performance’ event takes tomorrow: Everything we expect

The front-facing 5MP webcam can be used for video calls, while the 13MP rear camera takes passable shots. The tablet also supports Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6.

Accessories are a huge part of the VivoBook 13 Slate OLED. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The USP of the VivoBook 13 Slate is how the user experience can be enhanced using the accessories. It’s not necessary to buy accessories, but if you are someone who wants to use a tablet as a PC, I’d recommend opting for a model that includes accessories. If not, at least consider a Bluetooth keyboard and a mouse for improved productivity.

Asus VivoBook 13 Slate OLED review: A different detachable computer

The base model, which sells for Rs 45,990, does not come bundled with accessories. My review unit, which has a retail price of Rs 62,990, came with the stand, the keyboard and the Pen 2.0. Unlike the Surface Pro, which has a built-in kickstand, this device comes with a separate stand and a keyboard that attach to the tablets via strong magnets. Notably, the back cover’s hinged kickstand works in both landscape and portrait orientation, although I used the tablet mostly in the former mode.

Meanwhile, the Asus Pen 2.0 is comfortable to use but it never matches the level of experience that you get with the Surface Pen or Apple Pencil. It can be charged via a USB-C connector that’s hidden behind the upper section of the stylus. Asus does provide a charging cable – but I always had a fear of losing it. You will find a function button on the top-end and two side buttons (right-click and erase); it also comes with four tips with different friction. Although the stylus comes with a magnetic holder that attaches to the tablet with a loop in where the Pen 2.0 is stowed, I find the implementation poor.

I wish Asus had trimmed the side bezels surrounding the gorgeous 13.3-inch touch OLED screen. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)Also Read: |Ninety One Cycles’ Meraki S7 electric bike review: Take the load off your ride

Asus VivoBook 13 Slate OLED review: Display and audio

The screen is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a 13.3-inch multitouch OLED panel that delivers Full HD resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, and 550 nits of peak brightness. The OLED panel is bright, vibrant, and pixel-dense. Colours jump off the screen, and the blacks are as inky and deep, especially when I was watching Single All The Way on Netflix andGehraiyaan on Prime Video. It’s an excellent screen, bright enough to use outdoors and indoors.

The tablet has a fingerprint scanner (at least, on the model I tested), but there is no Windows Hello for facial recognition due to the lack of an IR camera. A front-facing 5MP camera in the top bezel is a big improvement over low-quality 720p webcams we are used to on a laptop. That’s one area Asus has really paid attention to on the VivoBook 13 Slate. Even, the microphones are on the same level.

Asus put four speakers into the VivoBook 13 Slate with Dolby Atmos. The result is a loud, full experience that sounds great whether you are watching a YouTube video, listening to Apple Music, or attending a Zoom call. They are good enough, but there is no bass.

The VivoBook 13 Slate OLED runs Windows 11, Microsoft’s latest desktop operating system. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)Also Read: |Elden Ring review: ‘Gitting Gud’ has never been easier

Asus VivoBook 13 Slate OLED review: Keyboard and touchpad

As I said in the beginning, the keyboard is not included in the base version but my review unit came with one, which is priced on the higher side. The most important thing for me is to improve the usefulness of a device like the VivoBook 13 Slate in scenarios where I need my tablet to be more like a laptop. The keyboard has a nice feeling to touch and feels durable enough. What about the typing experience? Well, I’m happy to report that typing on this keyboard is a joy. The keyboard isn’t cramped and the click sound of the keys is less resounding. To my surprise, the top-row function keys include microphone mute, volume, and brightness controls. However, it lacked a backlit option, which I think should have been given. Clicking on the touchpad feels great. It’s just the right size and gestures actually feel very natural.

I like the keyboard, but not the Asus Pen 2.0. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Asus VivoBook 13 Slate OLED review: Performance and battery

The VivoBook 13 Slate uses a low-end Intel Pentium Silver N6000 Processor, a quad-core CPU with integrated Intel UHD Graphics and 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD on my review unit. The pitch here is that the tablet can be used both as a work and play machine. I used the device primarily as my work machine for a week, and I found it good enough for basic computing tasks but the experience is not as seamless as while using a laptop. The thing is this is not quite as speedy as a regular laptop. That’s exactly what’s expected of a device like the VivoBook 13 Slate, which is intended to be a general-use task like writing and editing documents on Google Docs, browsing the web, or attending a Zoom meeting rather than running Photoshop and editing videos. The product isn’t a compromise when you know what’s the pitch and who should buy this device. I’d recommend you to go for a top-end model, in part because that extra memory and storage improves the stability of apps and performance.

Battery life is decent. I could get 7 to 9 hours of use on a single charge – this is acceptable for a device running desktop-class Windows 11 software.

The VivoBook 13 Slate OLED is ok for basic computing tasks – but I wish it was running a non-Intel-based processor. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)Also Read: |Netflix: 6 tips and tricks to make your binge even better

Asus VivoBook 13 Slate OLED review: Should you buy it?

With the VivoBook 13 Slate, Asus is going after specific users who want a device that doubles as an OLED TV and a 2-in-1 hybrid laptop. At Rs 62,990 the unit I got may seem on the higher side but the package includes the keyboard case and the Pen 2.0. With this kind of set-up, the VivoBook 13 Slate becomes more than a tablet– it also acts as a proper, fully functioning Windows 11 computer. Is the VivoBook 13 Slate perfect? Not at all. A device like this would have used an ARM chip – instead of an Intel processor. Those who want primarily a work machine should still opt for a laptop, and those who just want a tablet for media consumption, web browsing, and social media should buy a less expensive Android tablet. But for those who want a secondary computer that has a beautiful screen but don’t want a device powerful enough for top-end work should look for something like the VivoBook 13 Slate.

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