Computex 2022 is right around the corner and Asus has already revealed what I’m sure are the two most hilarious laptops in the series.
Feast your eyes on the Vivobook Slate 13 OLED Limited Artist Editions. Asus 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 worldview, with specially commissioned themed accessories and packaging showcasing their original artwork.”
Basically, they’re bespoke art-covered convertible laptops. I’m sure that’s not really what happened, but I like to imagine that Asus just gave each of these guys a Vivobook 13 Slate and a box of pencils and just let them go to town.
If you’re not sure what these laptops are and who they’re for, don’t worry. It’s just something Asus likes to do. The company has collaborated with all sorts of eclectic artists in the past to release laptops that look obviously ridiculous and 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 Walker, which literally came with a cardboard DJ deck, or their collaboration with Acronym, which… well, I won’t even try to describe it. You should just watch.
I have no idea who buys any of these things; in general, the best answer to the question “why is Asus doing this very dumb thing?” is a shrug emoji. They are glorious devices. Don’t think too hard about it.
Starting with the Philip Colbert edition: it’s covered in Colbert’s original illustrations, which in this case, appear to be lots of eggs and lobsters. Asus repeatedly refers to the rear case as “the special fried egg-themed cover stand” in its promotional materials. The device also comes with – and I’m not making this up, this is taken straight from the press release – “a sculpted cartoon lobster figure that doubles as a funky stylus stand for the bundled Asus Pen 2.0 .” Wep, I’m sold.
The Steven Harrington edition is, I think, a bit over my head. I spot a number of objects in this incredibly chaotic design, including palm trees with teeth, a dog wearing a bow tie, and a disembodied eyeball that’s also on fire. No lobsters to be seen, but some of those palms look a bit hungry. (The dog, named Mello, is a recurring character in Harrington.)
Now, when it comes to other laptops, the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED is more disappointing. It’s a Windows OLED 2-in-1 laptop with a detachable keyboard, which is neat. The bad news is that it only comes with an Intel Pentium Silver N6000 processor, which is not a good chip by definition. The RAM is also only up to 8GB and the storage is up to 256GB. It’s going to be slow: if you buy it you have to assume it’s going to be a miniature TV for watching stuff and that’s about it.
Sure, that may be a viable use case for some people shopping in the egg-and-lobster laptop category, and more power for everyone. I can certainly think of many cafes and bars where a device like this would fit in perfectly. And, in a laptop market full of boring grays and blacks, there’s no doubt that a dash of unique flavor is always welcome.
Asus has yet to provide pricing for these devices, but a regular Vivobook 13 Slate is currently listed at $599.99. The devices are expected at the end of the second quarter.