The Good The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA has a 360-degree hinge, backlit keyboard, two USB-C ports, a crisp display and a chic all-aluminum design. Supports Google Play apps for Android.
The Bad USB-C ports do not support Thunderbolt 3.
The Bottom Line Thanks to the hybrid hinge, touch screen and support for Google Play applications, the Asus Chromebook Flip is a small Chromebook that offers great value.
Remember the already disconnected 11-inch MacBook Air? The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA is similar to the cheaper version you can actually buy.
The 12.5-inch Asus notebook is a capable Chromebook with a full 2-in-1 aluminum design and a touch screen. It looks like a more sophisticated, expensive product and, to be honest, it is for a Chromebook.
Starting at $ 500 (convertible at around £ 400, $ 655), the Asus laptop is not a Chromebook sold in the basement; is a high-end model with chic design and decent components. While it may be expensive for a Chromebook, it is an ideal alternative to the low-end of Windows 10 ($ 106 at Walmart) laptops for those who just need a machine for simple online tasks.Samsung Chromebook Pro$ 549 ($ 595 on Amazon) is the best laptop, but if you want something smaller, the Asus Chromebook Flip is the best bet.
Editors’ note: This review has been edited to clarify that the brightness of the backlit keyboard on the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA can be adjusted.
A sleek and sexy convertible Chromebook for commuters
The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA (not to be confused with this older Asus Chromebook Flip) is a really good laptop. Its metallic body structure looks effortlessly cool, and it also feels sturdy, despite being ideally small in size and weight.
- 2.43 lbs (1.1 kg)
- 0.53×11.96×8.26 inches (13.5x304x210mm)
I love the compact Asus design. It’s the perfect size for movement, and a stylish metallic design – a very attractive alternative to a plastic laptop – won’t stifle your style. I use a 13-inch MacBook Air for work, and I don’t want to carry something harder every day to and from work. I would prefer a design such as air; it’s really the perfect size for those who often have to travel with a laptop. You’ll also get the extra feature of the 360-degree convertible hinge that you won’t find on most laptops in this price range.
The Asus Chromebook Flip has two hinges that allow the lid to rotate back 360 degrees. This allows the laptop to be used in different configurations; you can flip the keyboard across from your tablet or lift it as a tent for video viewing.
The full-size backlit keyboard is spacious and easy to type. The wide touchpad is also responsive and supports multi-touch commands, but it’s not as good as touchpad gestures on my MacBook. To control the keyboard backlight, simply press the Alt key and the brightness keys at the top of the keyboard that normally control the screen. Less expensive Chromebooks like theChromebook R 13 Acerand Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook ($ 300 on Amazon) , you don’t even have the backlight, so it’s a nice addition.
The Chromebook Flip C302CA’s screen quality is above average, especially when compared to Windows 10 laptops at a similar price. It has a bright and clear full HD display that looks great when watching a video or reading an article.
- 12.5-inch screen
- Resolution 1 920×180 pixels
The viewing angles are also extremely wide, so no matter what angle you are at, you can still see what’s on the screen. This will come in handy with the 360-degree hinge; regardless of the configuration of the laptop, the screen is clearly visible.
Fast for Chromebooks
This iteration of the Asus Chromebook Flip (a much better version than the older model) looks like a more expensive laptop with high-end Chromebook internals. The test block we tested had an Intel M3 6Y60 processor. A Pentium processor with 32GB of storage costs $ 450 (turns around £ 360, AU $ 590).
- Intel Core M3 6Y30 or Pentium 4405Y processor
- 4GB of RAM
- 32 GB or 64 GB eMMC memory
- SD card reader
- Intel HD Graphics 515
I managed to open 10 to 12 tabs that were simultaneously active, including a few that were broadcasting videos and were not slowing down. The only time I was lagging behind was when I was uploading videos and it was open from 6 to 10 tabs and apps at a time.
Chromebooks in comparison
|Acer Chromebook R 13||Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook||Asus Chromebook Flip C302C||HP Chromebook 13||Samsung Chromebook Pro|
|Price as reviewed||$400||$845||$499||$819||$549|
|PC CPU||Media Tek M8173C||Intel Core i5-6300U||Intel Core m3-6Y60||Intel Core m5-6y57||Intel Core m3-6y30|
|Operating system||Chrome OS||Chrome OS||Chrome OS||Chrome OS||Chrome OS|
Coupled with Chrome OS, its relatively low processor level provides stellar performance for most activities, and with Android apps right around the corner, the Chromebook gets a real boost in value. At the time of the review, the Asus Chromebook Flip could only download Android apps in beta, but that’s a welcome addition. If you join the beta of Chrome OS, you can add some great Google Play apps – from Instagram to Photoshop Express.
Based on our experience of using Google Play apps on the Samsung Chromebook Pro, games and multimedia programs work quite well, though you do want to close unnecessary browser tabs before running intensive Android applications.
The left and right sides of the laptop have USB-C ports (only two), allowing the laptop to charge and connect to external drives and displays. This is a bold step in the future as USB-C is expected to become the most popular standard in the next few years, but keep in mind that they do not support Thunderbolt 3. Unfortunately, this also means that if you need to use USB Type A, DisplayPort , HDMI or VGA, you will need to purchase an adapter.
In our Asus Chromebook Flip battery test, it took an average of 9 hours 55 minutes. It’s longer than 8.9 hours of Samsung Chromebook Pro, but not enough to beat the full 13 hours of Acer Chromebook R13. Effective Intel processors plus the downsized Chrome OS deserve it.
Chromebook crop cream
Asus is more valuable than other Chromebooks, but for good reason. Its high-quality design, rich feature set and serviceability make it worth the extra investment on the lowest end Chromebooks from $ 200 to $ 300.
Samsung Chromebook Pro is probably the best Chromebook around, and the Acer Chromebook R13 ($ 370 on Amazon) It has a very similar design to Asus, but it has a longer battery life. Asus is not the only premium Chromebook with premium styling and quality construction, but it is the most comfortable for traveling. If you can live within the general limitations of Chrome OS, you can’t go wrong with the Asus Chromebook Flip.