Computex 2022 is right around the corner, and Asus has already revealed what I’m positive will be the two most hilarious-looking laptops of the show.
Feast your eyes upon the Vivobook Slate 13 OLED Limited Artist Editions. Asus has collaborated with two pop artists, Philip Colbert of London and Steven Harrington of Los Angeles, to create this line. Per the company, the models “represent the unique world-view of the artist, with specially commissioned themed accessories and packaging featuring their original artwork.”
Basically, these are convertible laptops covered in bespoke art. I’m sure this isn’t actually what happened, but I like to imagine that Asus just gave each of these dudes a Vivobook 13 Slate and a box of crayons and just 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 just a thing Asus likes to do. The company has collaborated with all kinds of eclectic artists in the past to put out laptops that look patently ridiculous and that I also love with all my heart. While you’re here, make sure to check out the one they did with Norwegian DJ Alan Walker, which literally shipped with a cardboard DJ deck, or their collaboration with Acronym, which… well, I’m not even going to try to describe it. You should just look.
I have no idea who buys any of these things; in general, the best answer to the question “why is Asus making this very silly thing?” is a shrug emoji. These are glorious devices. Don’t think about it too hard.
Starting with the Philip Colbert Edition: it’s covered in Colbert’s original artwork, which in this case, appears to be a lot of eggs and lobsters. Asus refers to the back case as “the special fried-egg-themed cover stand” multiple times in its promotional materials. The device also comes with — and I am not making this up, this is lifted directly from the press release — “a sculpted cartoon lobster figurine that doubles up as a funky stylus holder for the bundled Asus Pen 2.0.” Welp, I’m sold.
The Steven Harrington Edition is, I think, a bit over my head. I’m spotting a number of objects in this incredibly chaotic design, including palm trees with teeth, a dog wearing a bowtie, and a disembodied eyeball that is also on fire. No lobster to be seen, but some of these palm trees do look a bit hungry. (The dog, named Mello, is a recurring character of Harrington’s.)
Now, in terms of the other laptop stuff, the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED is more underwhelming. It’s a 2-in-1 OLED Windows 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 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 should assume it’s going to be a miniature TV to watch things on and that’s about it.
Of course, that may be a viable use case for some folks who are shopping in the egg-and-lobster-laptop category, and more power to all of them. I can certainly think of plenty of coffee shops and bars where a device like this would fit right in. And, in a laptop market full of boring grays and blacks, there’s no question that a splash of unique flavor is always welcome.
Asus hasn’t provided the prices of these devices yet, but a regular Vivobook 13 Slate is currently listed at $599.99. The devices are expected in late Q2.