We have been kicking around the notion of a'premium Chromebook' because the Google laptop manufacturer itself appeared. But until we have our hands on the Asus Chromebook Flip C302, we have never seen the concept therefore perfectly implemented. We can talk at length about where other Chromebooks faltered, however all you want to understand is the Asus Chromebook Flip is what we need in among the best Chromebooks.
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And, while it clearly will not overpower something such as the Google Pixelbook, it costs half as much. So, even a year after it first hit the roads, as well as at the face of its own followup at CES 2019, the focus to appreciate without compromising on performance is the reason why the Asus Chromebook Flip is among the greatest Chromebooks available on the marketplace.
What is better, the Asus Chromebook Flip is a 2-in-1 laptop, so it can'reverse' inside out -- thus the title. Only at 12.5 inches and 2.6 lbs, the Asus Chromebook Flip is not only'great for a Chromebook,' it is simply one of those best laptops you're able to purchase... based on what you're searching for.
Price and availability
If you did a double check after viewing the cost, do not worry, we did exactly the same. The Asus Chromebook flip will put you back $499 or £599 (roughly AU$650), and it is much for a Chromebook.
That much money will score you a good Windows 10 laptop, after all. However, worth is subjective, and you might cut a few corners on storage and CPU power and get a toned down Asus Chromebook Flip for $449 or £499 to get a somewhat toned down encounter.
However, the Asus Chromebook Flip was outside for a little while, which means you need to have the ability to locate some bargains on the market, particularly now that the holidays are approaching.
In case you've got your eyes around the HP Chromebook 13, that will set you back $619 (£590, about AU$800) for similar hardware however half of the storage, along with a more compact QHD display. At precisely the exact same period, the pro-level Acer Chromebook 14 for work runs $499 (roughly £370, AU$650) having an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus is the largest competition here, however, since it only costs about $449 (roughly £360, AU$590) and features an ARM CPU plus a top notch 2,400 x 1,600 display plus an integrated stylus. Samsung's offering also will come with a Pro SKU, that has exactly the exact same Intel Core m3 CPU since the Asus Chromebook Flip, for $549 (roughly £440, AU$720).
Then, there is the Acer Chromebook R13, which also comes with a convertible construct, using a full HD display for $399 (£399, roughly AU$660). On the other hand, the 2.1GHz quad-core processor comes in MediaTek, instead of Intel.
Like the first Asus Chromebook C100 prior to it, the C302 is constructed from an all-aluminium chassis, even however this time it's an anodized finish as opposed to a brushed feel. In general, it's a clean, no nonsense decorative plus it folds up to a virtually symmetrical slab of metal.
Thankfully, the first Chromebook C100's lengthy, bar-shaped hinge was dropped for its ZenBook Flip UX360's multi-gear, metal mechanics. The bigger, two-piece mechanism makes this machine feel like less of a toy when enabling it to blend in as a normal notebook.
Founded in at 2.6 lbs (1.19kg), the C302 is just one of the lightest Chromebooks, beating out the 2.86-pound (1.3kg) HP Chromebook 13. It is also among the very first convertible Chrome OS machines you will really need to use in tablet mode, including the 3.3-pound (1.5kg) Acer Chromebook R13.
All in all, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 appears and feels just like some other unibody laptop inspired by the MacBook Pro in the past couple of decades. However, the right edges, rounded corners and a 0.9 inches (2.29cm) thin framework all add up to some slick design rivaling HP and Google's most premium version in a far lower cost.
Apart from being lighter and thinner, the C302 has seemingly been especially designed for tablet usage. Asus has produced a smart magnetic grip that attracts the screen lid tight against the bottom of the notebook. It is an ingenious addition which aids the 2-in-1 Chromebook feel just like one strong device as opposed to a foldable digital, and we are surprised that this alternative has not come sooner.
When you are not utilizing the C302 for a tablet, it falls back onto a good keyboard which makes it as comfortable and comfortable as any conventional laptop. The keys offer you a satisfying 1.4mm of sharp key travel that we have missed in a huge ever-slimmer notebooks.
In terms of the trackpad, we could only say it exists. It gives true monitoring, but with no multitouch attributes but two-finger scrolling, there is nothing noteworthy about it.
Operating system and software
Possessing a usable tablet style is growing increasingly more prevalent in Chrome OS devices as Google has steadily improved the platform's mobile integration. The C302 didn't start using this Play Store right from this box, therefore we needed to switch over on Chrome OS beta station so as to download apps.
It has been addressed Asus, and the laptop fully supports Google Play Store Android apps.
Now, the hybrid Chromebook is fully equipped to push right to the Android ecosystem. We swiped and tapped to our favourite apps, as we would on any Google tablet. To our surprise, that the hybrid Chromebook can be equipped with gyroscopes, letting us play motion-controlled games such as Asphalt 8.
Unfortunately, not all about running Android apps is ideal. Slack and a lot of other important apps we generally utilize on a smartphone do not scale properly on Chromebooks, leaving us with little text on particular apps, and also the Kindle app is not capable to display full screen in portrait orientation.
Mobile apps are also designed with a touchscreen interface in your mind, and at times this does not play nicely with the touchpad and keyboard installment of this C302. Obviously, it is easy enough to switch the hybrid to tablet mode.
We chalk these problems to the beta version of Chrome OS, which fixed several problems and introduced new ones throughout the course of the inspection.
However, despite these problems, we do not overlook the days of sorting through the beleaguered Chrome Internet Store full of knockoff apps and games. Even though it's just in beta, using this Play Store allows us access to a lot of more practical programs on the Asus Chromebook Flip.
We adore using Android apps from tablet style as far as sitting with all the C302 as a conventional Chromebook for extended surfing and composing sessions. The hybridization of both Google's two programs additionally finally lets us utilize mobile apps along with the basic elements of Chrome OS.
Intel Core M-series CPUs could just be an ideal part to electricity Chromebooks, since they provide more performance compared to your typical Celeron processor while being more effective. And, that is simply not just us stating that: the grade results back up us here.
Using its Intel Core m3 CPU, the Asus Chromebook Flip performs almost twice as quickly as the Dell Chromebook 13 using a Celeron processor. Nevertheless, this hybrid does not really have the gusto to keep up with this Intel Core i5-powered Acer Chromebook 14 for work or even the Core m5 chip inside the HP Chromebook 13, even though it's just a quarter less electricity.
Irrespective of the real specs, the Asus Chromebook Flip performs nicely, even with just two Chrome windows open, with 12 open tabs each. Together with our hefty surfing habits, we had Google Music playing in the background together with all the Slack Android app available.
Chromebooks are famous for long battery lifetime, and also the Asus Chromebook Flip is a fantastic example. In reality, it's that the longest-lasting premium Chromebook we have employed -- it ran for a whopping 10 hours and 46 minutes on our regular community movie playback evaluation.
In contrast, the Acer Chromebook 14 stopped its run one hour and 10 minutes before, and also the HP Chromebook 13 just was able to last for only a second over eight hours.
With our normal workload, nevertheless, the Asus Chromebook Flip ran a little short of hitting eight-hour, all-day battery life markers. But, it is possible to boost battery life radically with any mixture of running tasks, turning off the keyboard backlight or lowering the display brightness.
Display and Screen
Even though the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 only have a 1,920 x 1,080 display, FHD is truly everything you want onto a 12.5-inch screen. It is not quite as sharp as the QHD HP Chromebook 13, however, the pixel count yields two additional hours of battery life -- a trade we would happily take.
However, photos and text stay clear and the C302 resolves powerful colours, which is precisely what we would like to find in a company device to flip through e-comics and internet video. Normal comparison amounts -- dark pixels frequently falling off to heavy blacks -- would be the only weak point of this display but it's better than many Chromebooks, and we favor this to seeing cluttered grays.
If you have already been on the fence about purchasing a premium Chromebook, this one contains 100 reasons (read: dollars, pounds... you get it) to allow you to jump for this. Even though it isn't a massive price gap, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 increases to its premium prestige with a stunning screen and a much better keyboard than you'd find on some Ultrabooks.
This is the very first Chromebook which truly feels as comfortable to use as a tablet since it's a conventional laptop. Though the Samsung Chromebook Pro nearly makes this version pointless with its sharper screen and built in stylus, it does not last so long on a charge and is not stronger. For the time being, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 is king of this Chrome OS mountain and is still worth your time in 2019.