Asus preps affordable 13-inch laptop with detachable OLED screen

Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED.
Enlarge / Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED.


Asus has announced an upcoming laptop with a detachable 13.3-inch OLED touchscreen. OLED-equipped laptops are not unheard of, but the Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED stands out due to its form factor and price.

The two-in-one comes with a stand that allows you to prop the device up at an angle as steep as 170°, either horizontally or vertically.

Ready for portrait or landscape mode.
Enlarge / Ready for portrait or landscape mode.


Interestingly, Asus is pushing the PC as an entertainment device, going so far as call it “your OLED TV.” The display measures 13.3 inches, so this bit of marketing is quite the stretch. The 1920×1080 screen has a 16:9 aspect ratio, though, which suits modern shows and movies.

The screen covers 133 percent of the sRGB color space and 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which is impressive for a laptop in general and is on par with other OLED laptops. In our tests, the latest OLED-equipped Dell XPS 15 covered 98.7 percent of DCI-P3.

The 13.3-inch screen has a 1920×1080 resolution.
Enlarge / The 13.3-inch screen has a 1920×1080 resolution.


Asus was sure to include a collection of fancy certifications. Most importantly, the device uses VESA’s DisplayHDR True Black 500, which means black levels can’t be brighter than 0.0005 nits, the “lowest level that can be effectively measured with industry-standard colorimeters,” according to VESA.

There’s also Dolby Vision HDR support, Pantone certification for color accuracy, and TÜV Rheinland for low blue light levels (Asus claims the levels are as much as 70 percent lower than in an LCD panel).

The laptop has the second most advanced VESA certification for black levels.
Enlarge / The laptop has the second most advanced VESA certification for black levels.


The Vivobook 13 Slate OLED can hit 550 nits of brightness, which is plenty for a screen this small and pretty good for an OLED laptop. For comparison, Dell’s current XPS laptops with OLED screens max out at 400 nits.

But Asus notes there will be times when you won’t even need all those nits. “For example, in the living room environment (usually illuminated at about 100 lux), you only need 177 nits brightness in an OLED display to produce the same clear image as 400 nits brightness in an LCD display. At the lower brightness levels needed on OLED displays, there’s less harmful blue light emitted,” the company notes on the PC’s product page.

Of course, a dimmer screen means a longer battery life. According to Asus, the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED will last up to 9.5 hours before needing a charge.

The screen has a 0.2 ms response time, but Asus didn’t specify a refresh rate, suggesting it’s a standard 60 Hz. That means Asus isn’t using Samsung’s 90 Hz OLED tech, which can be found in the Asus Zenbook 14X or a couple of Lenovo laptops.

From clamshell to tablet.
Enlarge / From clamshell to tablet.


The device comes with a stylus, Asus’ Pen 2.0, which is based on the Microsoft Pen Protocol 2.0. Asus claims the pen’s four interchangeable tips mimic 2H, H, HB and B pencil types.

Asus Pen 2.0 with interchangeable tips.
Enlarge / Asus Pen 2.0 with interchangeable tips.


Detachables aren’t known for providing the best typing experience, so it will be interesting to see how the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED’s keyboard fares. It has 1.4 mm of key travel, and the keycaps are dished, which may help make typing feel more comfortable.

Affordable, but how powerful?

The Vivobook 13 Slate OLED is powered by an Intel Pentium Silver N6000 with four cores, four threads, and a base clock speed of 1.1 GHz, reaching up to 3.3 GHz.

The two-in-one will start at $600.
Enlarge / The two-in-one will start at $600.


Storage and RAM are on the lower end, going up to 256GB of PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD storage and 16GB of LPDDR4X, respectively.

As the machine is a two-in-one, the components live in the display part of the PC, as do the ports. The tablet is thin at only 0.3 inches, and there are no USB Type-A ports. There’s no Thunderbolt either, but you get two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, plus a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a microSD card reader.

When it arrives in December, the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED will start at $600 with 4GB of LPDDR4X memory and 128GB of eMMC storage, PCWorld detailed. That makes it well-priced for a Windows detachable. The Microsoft Surface Pro 8, for example, starts at $1,100 and doesn’t use OLED (although the screen is faster at 120 Hz). Meanwhile, Dell’s non-detachable XPS 13 with OLED starts at an MSRP of $1,583.59 as of this writing.

Detachable OLEDs are becoming more common, though. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 offers a detachable OLED screen, but you’ll have to settle for Chrome OS. You can currently find it for $500, but based on Lenovo’s initial announcement, it should eventually start at $430.

Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

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