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  • Soon Kai Hong

Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED Is Now Actually Better?

Updated: Jan 18, 2022

Late last year, we took a look at the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED from Asus and personally, it was a little underwhelming. But since that review, Asus has confirmed with us that the unit we had back then was an engineering sample running on beta software, something that we were not briefed on.

So today, we finally have the retail version of the Slate OLED and we really put it through its paces.

TL;DR? It’s better, but there are still things you have to know and make sure, before getting one.

Now if you’re interested in all the nitty-gritty stuff about this pretty unique 2-in-1 device, you can check out our previous review of it.

Regardless, to give a quick summary. It’s got a really nice and sleek design, it’s pretty lightweight, it even has quite a number of ports especially for what it is, and it comes with all the accessories included right out of the box, that’s within the sticker price of just US$599.

Again, you’re getting quite a lot for your money and just like before, I’ve to say that it’s really commendable of Asus.

But the main highlight is right in the name, that OLED display. This display is downright fantastic and there’s really nothing much that I can nitpick about.

It’s a 13.3-inch OLED touchscreen display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 60Hz. It also supports 10-bit, covers 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, has a million to one contrast ratio, a peak brightness of 550 nits with support for HDR True Black 500 and it is also Pantone Validated.

No matter what you do with the Slate OLED, visually, it’s going to be a great experience. OLED really makes everything just pop and it’s superb for not just simple browsing and content consumption, but equally awesome as well for content creation.

It’s a solid display and this is one thing that Asus really got right, especially for the price.

But now let’s talk about the main reason why we’re doing this follow up review. The performance. Or rather, the supposed actual performance you’re going to get from a retail unit.

Specifications are the same, no changes here. We’ve got that Intel Pentium Silver N6000, 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and a 256GB NVMe SSD running at PCIe 3.0.

As for the software and firmware, we’ve updated everything to the latest, including anything from Windows Update as well as the MyAsus app.

So first up, Cinebench R23.

Previously, that Pentium Silver N6000 managed about 1300 on the multi-core and about 400 on the single-core. Now, however, it managed a score of about 1700 on the multi-core and about 700 on the single-core. That’s about a 30% increase in performance for multi-core and pretty close to double for single-core.

Performance in creative applications such as Lightroom or Photoshop is also a little smoother and it’ll be able to handle a couple more layers and slightly more intense edits just a tad more easily.

As for games, well… there isn’t much difference there. Although I’ve to say that I was at least able to get into a game of CS:GO and move about. Something which I couldn’t even do the last time around. Of course, performance isn’t great, and that needs no explanation as to why that is.

But overall, it is an improvement and definitely much appreciated. Intense use cases aside, if you’re just going to use the Slate OLED for what it’s supposed to be, that is, a secondary device to browse the web, do up some documents and perhaps a little bit of photo editing or graphics work, it is really much better now compared to our first experience with it.

That includes both using it plugged in with the best performance setting, or off the grid on the balanced setting.

But like I said, while it’s better, you have to make sure it has a spot in your lifestyle before getting one.

Asus touts this as a secondary device and I wholeheartedly agree. And now with the actual retail unit, it does perform well for a secondary device.

However, on that same line of thought, if it’s a secondary device, that would mean you have a primary device, which is usually much more powerful, be it a laptop or a desktop. So if you’re one who uses more intensive applications such as Lightroom or Photoshop, the Slate OLED probably wouldn’t be the first device you’ll take out from your bag I reckon.

On the other hand, if you’re going to use it solely just for browsing and media consumption, in which it’s going to perform great at it, an Android tablet or an iPad would still honestly be far more versatile with better battery life to boot.

And at this point, you might argue that the Slate OLED can do much more than the tablet, for it runs full-fledged Windows 11 and will be able to run proper desktop applications. Which yes, it can.

But if you’re going to use it for that purpose, what is your primary device for? Not to mention that the Slate OLED isn’t going to be able to provide you with the actual performance that one would need for such applications and you’ll be left frustrated more often than not.

Do you see the conundrum?

I like the Slate OLED, I really do. The display is fantastic, it’s quite lightweight and portable and you get all these accessories included in the box. But there really isn’t much use for such a device in my lifestyle, and I reckon for many of you out there as well.

The only situation in which I would wholeheartedly recommend this is if you’re getting the Slate OLED as your primary device and you don’t need the performance for heavy tasks. If that’s the case, it makes a lot of sense and with this retail unit, it will certainly deliver on that front.

Again, for just about US$600, it is really value-packed and with all the latest updates for the actual retail unit, you will get what you’re paying for, for what it’s worth. Just remember to do your research and make sure that it is a device that you would actually use in your lifestyle.

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