This one thing has gone on long enough, Pentium processors in midrange computers are making the devices slow and I will no longer remain silent. I am requesting that companies immediately stop using Pentium processors in midrange computers. I understand your point of view. Threadripper is not for everyone. Not everyone requires a Core i7 processor. Some people only want a device to watch YouTube at night. Some people are only interested in a Twitter machine. If they choose a cheaper chip, they can save a lot of money and potentially afford a nicer build, a nicer screen, and fancier features. The Asus Steven Harrington Edition tablet measures 13.3 inches diagonally (already an atypical combination). It’s one of two limited-edition Slate OLED models released this year in collaboration with well-known artists.
That’s fine if you’re part of that group. But no one, and I mean no one, should spend more than a couple hundred dollars on a one-at-a-time device. Since a $360 Chromebook Duet can easily browse the web. Aside from the larger screen, the advantage of a Windows laptop over these devices is that the Windows operating system can better accommodate multitasking and work. It can run more powerful programs, manage app windows and files better, and has more computing power to run multiple tasks at once. So, if you pay more than $800 for a device that can only have one window open at a time, you are overpaying or doing something wrong.
As a result, Asus Steven Harrington $899 Vivobook 13 Slate OLED Edition (yes, that’s the full name) is one of the coolest but also one of the most perplexing computers I’ve reviewed this year. It was created by Asus in collaboration with LA-based artist Asus Steven Harrington (not to be confused with the Steve Harrington character on Stranger Things), and it has an incredibly cool design and a brilliant OLED screen. It also comes with a Pentium processor. That Pentium processor is functional. However, it works best if you only have one thing open at a time.
It appears to be like a dream
The Vivobook 13 Steven Harrington Edition tablet measures 13.3 inches diagonally (already an atypical combination). It’s one of two limited-edition Slate OLED models released this year in collaboration with well-known artists. (London’s Philip Colbert also has one.) According to Asus’ promotional material, the models are meant to “represent the artist’s unique worldview.”
I’d say the Steven Harrington Edition was a success. In a word, it looks fantastic. The cover stand (magnetic, detachable, and capable of supporting the device in both portrait and landscape modes, though screen wobble may occur if you use the stylus at certain angles) is covered in cartoon dogs, trees, planets, and other recurring Harrington characters. The bottom of the keyboard (which is also detachable, Surface Pro-style, as well as surprisingly comfortable) has a few more cute graphics.
This laptop has a distinct personality. I wish more devices did. I’d love to open this in a coffee shop and look a little bit cooler than the other coffee shop patrons. A splash of unique flavor to help people incorporate their tablet into their style is always welcome in a tech market full of boring greys and blacks.
Regrettably, The Pentium processor is bad
On Asus’ website, this Vivobook 13 Slate model costs $899. (for the Pentium Silver N6000, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage). That makes it significantly less expensive than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro as well as the Surface Pro 9 (especially since the keyboard and stylus are included in the price of the Vivobook). Neither of those high-end devices has such an appealing design or a kickstand that can be used in multiple orientations. Few 13-inch laptops, let alone devices under $1,000, have an OLED display.
How did Asus get such a low price?
I can only assume that the chip accounts for a significant portion of the cost savings. The Intel Pentium Silver N6000 is not a good processor by any means. It does not have a long battery life. I averaged just over five hours of continuous use with a dozen Chrome tabs, Slack, and Spotify running intermittently at medium brightness, and it’s not particularly fast.
If I only did one thing at a time, the Vivobook worked fine. It was possible to switch between my dozen or so Chrome tabs. I noticed some typing lag, especially when I hit the backspace key hard, and there were some websites where I might feel the Pentium chugging. (Likes on Twitter, for example, took a few moments to appear after I clicked the button.) With those limitations, browsing in Chrome was possible.
Yet there are dragons when you try to get the Pentium to run other programmes. I became impatient while navigating the Settings app. Drawing in Paint was fine, but drawing on Whiteboard was excruciatingly slow. Slack became sluggish on top of the Chrome tabs. It was slow to update and respond to my clicks, with channel changes sometimes taking several seconds. When I first started downloading Windows and Microsoft Store updates on the Vivobook, everything else came to a halt, and the device became nearly unusable, with programmes freezing left and right. Boot time was slow in general, and I found myself staring at the Steven Harrington logo for a long time each time the thing turned on.
To summarise, this could be a mini-TV for YouTube and Netflix. This could be a Twitter bot. But you won’t have a good time if you want to use it for anything else and if you don’t, I don’t think you should spend $900, even with all the cool cartoons.
The non-Harrington Vivobook Slate is a few hundred dollars less expensive (and I’ve seen it on sale for as little as $300 before). According to the reviews, that one is a much better deal. At that point, you’re looking at one of the most affordable ways to get an OLED screen on the market. Those who value affordable OLED should look into this model and buy it.