At some point quickly, Chromebooks are going to realize vast entry to over one million Android apps. Whereas Android apps aren’t fairly the identical as full-featured purposes operating on Home windows and MacOS, getting access to the Google Play Retailer will considerably enhance what customers can do with Google’s Chrome OS.
That’s notably true for Chromebook 2-in-1 units, as a result of operating Android apps on contact-enabled units in pill mode is a way more pure expertise than utilizing a touchpad or mouse on an ordinary pocket book. Google has guaranteed that each Chromebook launched in 2017 will obtain Android app help, and so we’re more likely to see a higher variety of producers design machines that may greatest benefit from the dramatic improve in apps.
Asus has launched a brand new Chromebook, the Flip C302CA, that makes for a strong entry within the Chrome OS 2-in-1 area. It’s solidly constructed with a pleasant display and respectable elements, together with both an Intel Core M3 6Y30 or Pentium 4405Y processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB or 64GB of eMMC storage. However does it justify its $500 price ticket?
Nice construct high quality mated with a handy 2-in-1 design
The Flip C302CA has an all-aluminum construct that exudes high quality, and due to the low-energy processor and fanless design, it’s strong, with none vents to interrupt up the clear look. It’s additionally a 360-diploma 2-in-1, which means that the show flips round from an ordinary pocket book to a pill, with tent and shows modes in between.
Invoice Roberson/Digital Developments
Invoice Roberson/Digital Tendencies
Invoice Roberson/Digital Developments
Invoice Roberson/Digital Tendencies
The hinge does a very good job of protecting the display in place, with little to no wobble. And though the Flip C302CA is mild sufficient at 2.sixty four kilos that it’s snug to make use of as a pill, its strong construct permits you to use it as a pill with out feeling like you’ll want to coddle it. As is all the time true of two-in-1s (up to now), this isn’t a straight alternative to the iPad Air or an Android pill. Nevertheless it’s shut sufficient that individuals who use tablets solely sometimes will see no problem.
An unlucky dearth of connectivity choices
As appears to be the development these days, the Flip C302CA is provided solely with USB Sort-C connections. No dongles are included within the field, so if you have to hook up with a legacy USB gadget, you’ll want to purchase an adapter. The USB Sort-C adapters don’t help Thunderbolt three both, topping out at 5Gb/s knowledge bandwidth, however each do present energy to the machine.
The Flip C302CA has an all-aluminum construct that exudes high quality.
A microSD slot can also be included for some enlargement capabilities, and to make it straightforward to switch information, offering as much as SDXC help. The one different wired connection is a headphone jack.
Wi-fi connectivity is offered by 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth four.zero. Vary and stability have been wonderful all through the testing interval, with the Flip C302CA connecting to the check surroundings’s router and sustaining strong throughput. Bluetooth headphones related and streamed music with out difficulty and with the anticipated high quality.
A variety of perform in a small measurement
The keyboard is full-measurement, so the machine’s diminutive type wasn’t a detriment to the typing expertise. The keys are of snug measurement with good spacing, and comply with the standard Chromebook key format that features the search key the place many individuals may anticipate a Caps Lock key.
Key journey is just a little shallow, nevertheless, at 1.4mm, and slightly spongier than is perfect for a contact typist. Nonetheless, the general typing really feel was acceptable. Getting as much as typical typing speeds shouldn’t take lengthy. The keyboard can also be backlit, with uniform lighting to make it snug to make use of in darker settings.
The touchpad is on the small aspect, however that’s to be anticipated given the Flip C302CA’s small measurement. It’s responsive, nevertheless, with multitouch gestures supporting the standard pinch-to-zoom and scrolling features. The built-in left/proper click on buttons are straightforward to activate, and have a pleasant click on with out being too loud.
Faucet the display, which helps as much as 10 multi-contact inputs, and also you’ll discover it responds precisely to enter. Swiveling the Flip C302CA into pill mode offers a responsive expertise that ought to work properly with Android apps. Situated above the show is an HD webcam that gives an honest sufficient picture for videoconferencing.
A pointy and colourful show that would use one other notch of brightness
The Flip C302CA has a 12.5-inch show operating Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) decision at a reasonably sharp 176 pixels per inch. Unusually, the machine got here with a manufacturing unit preset decision of 1,536 × 864, which some customers may discover extra snug as a result of it successfully elevated the dimensions of all textual content. Switching to the very best decision obtainable was a easy toggle in Chrome OS settings, and doing so supplies a sharper picture, albiet with considerably smaller textual content and consumer interface parts.
When it comes to show high quality, Asus picked a very good, however not nice, panel for the machine. Colours have been engaging with out being over-saturated, distinction appeared strong, and the white level didn’t seem very hot or cool. Brightness was a bit low at round 250 lux, nevertheless, and the shiny display did mirror some overhead lighting. An ambient mild sensor is packed onboard to maintain the show adjusted based mostly on the circumstances.
Show high quality continues to be combined on Chromebooks, given some are very costly. General, the C302CA is definitely above common – although you’d anticipate that for the worth. Importantly, it additionally usually exceeds what you’ll discover on a $500 Home windows laptop computer. Fairly a number of now supply 1080p, however the panels out there at this worth level often aren’t as vibrant.
Ensure to maintain your headphones useful
A small aspect-firing speaker adorns every fringe of the Flip C302CA, towards the entrance of the machine. The audio system aren’t notably loud, although, and so that you’ll need to use headphones in case you’re planning to observe a film in a room with any type of ambient noise. You’ll additionally need to use an exterior speaker if that you must share your music with anybody else who’s not sitting proper subsequent to you.
Greater than quick sufficient for Chrome OS
Our evaluation unit was outfitted with a Core m3 6Y30 processor, which is a twin-core CPU operating at 900MHz with a most Turbo frequency of two.20GHz. Whereas that processor would offer decidedly combined Home windows 10 or MacOS efficiency, it’s greater than highly effective sufficient to make for a clean and hesitation-free Chrome OS expertise.
That places the Clip C302CA better off, provided that Chromebooks are sometimes outfitted with decrease-finish Intel Pentium and Celeron processors. Intel’s Core processors supply a couple of greater-finish options, together with Hyper-Threading to spice up efficiency in operating parallel purposes, Turbo Increase for greater peak efficiency, and Clever Energy Administration for higher balancing of battery life with efficiency. By together with Intel Core processors as choices, Asus has given the Flip C302CA a leg up.
Briefly, it doesn’t matter what was thrown at it, the Flip C302CA dealt with it with aplomb. That’s not going to vary a lot with the upcoming onslaught of Android apps, both, none of that are more likely to stress the processor. As talked about earlier, the machine is fanless because of the low-energy processor, and at no time did the chassis get uncomfortably heat.
Invoice Roberson/Digital Tendencies
Invoice Roberson/Digital Tendencies
We’ll observe right here that the upcoming Samsung Chromebook Pro makes use of roughly the identical specs – Intel Core m3-6Y30, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC – and we had an opportunity to offer it a arms-on remedy. That machine is optimized in some methods for Chrome OS touchscreen help, and it’ll ship out of the field with Android app help enabled (it’s not but out there on the market). From a pure efficiency perspective, The Chromebook Professional ran Android apps very properly certainly, even with a better decision (2,four hundred x 1,600) show.
The eMMC drive is not any SSD, however you gained’t be discover a distinction
The Flip C302CA comes with a selection of 32GB or 64GB eMMC flash storage. That know-how’s not going to set any velocity data in comparison with the fashionable SSDs in Home windows 10 and MacOS notebooks, however once more, Chrome OS is way extra forgiving. Most Chromebooks include eMMC flash storage as their solely choice, and so Asus is just maintaining with the competitors right here.
As anticipated, the machine boots shortly, and apps open with out hesitation. Information open and save shortly with no notable delay. You may discover a velocity distinction should you have been working with giant information, however Chrome OS wasn’t designed for that, so it by no means turns into a problem. Anybody critically involved in modifying photographs and video ought to persist with a Mac or Home windows rig.
The graphics are in all probability quick sufficient for Android gaming
It’s starting to sound like a damaged report, however as soon as once more Chrome OS’s very modest necessities imply that the Flip C302CA’s Intel HD 515 graphics have been greater than enough for no matter you may need to do with machine. Operating the standard Chrome OS video games, definitely, wasn’t a problem.
Swiveling the Flip C302CA into pill mode is nice for Android apps.
As we famous with processor efficiency, the Samsung Chromebook Professional serves as a very good benchmark for Android app efficiency. And once more, even with a better decision display, the identical GPU as utilized by the Flip C302CA ran Android video games on the highest decision. The Samsung does make for a greater gaming machine regardless of the same specs, given its inclusion of an accelerometer for extra pure Android recreation controls.
For all the things else you’re more likely to do with the Chromebook C302C, together with watching HD video streams, the Intel HD 515 graphics ought to carry out greater than properly sufficient.
A light-weight machine that’s snug to hold as a pill – and it has an honest battery
The Flip C302CA is a comparatively small machine at eleven.ninety six x eight.26 x zero.fifty three inches, and it’s fairly light-weight at 2.sixty four kilos. Carrying it from place to put isn’t a lot of a burden, and utilizing it as a pill within the criminal of your arm is feasible for fairly lengthy occasions – it’s not an iPad, however it’s not as heavy as some bigger 2-in-1 units with thirteen-inch and larger shows.
The machine comes outfitted with a 39 watt-hour lithium ion battery that’s properly-sized for the machine’s general diminutive type and energy-sipping Core m3 CPU. Making use of our traditional exams confirmed the Flip C302CA to be a comparatively lengthy-lasting machine.
Utilizing our most demanding Peacekeeper check, the battery lasted six hours and 18 minutes. This compares to the seven hours and 31 minutes skilled with the Acer Chromebook 14, which makes use of a decrease-energy Intel Celeron CPU, 14-inch show, 4GB of RAM, and in any other case comparable specs. The Acer Chromebook R 11, additionally with a Celeron processor and a smaller show, ran for six hours and 33 minutes. Lastly, the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 that we reviewed with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, bigger thirteen-inch Full HD show, and bigger forty two watt-hour battery petered out after 4 hours.
On our looping Chrome net macro check, which places rather less stress on the show and processor and certain leverages the efficiencies of Chrome OS, the Flip C302CA lasted for an inexpensive seven hours exactly earlier than powering off. The Acer Chromebook 14 stored going for 9 hours and 29 minutes, whereas the Acer Chromebook R eleven lasted six hours and 35 minutes. Once more, the Lenovo ThinkPad thirteen’s extra strong processor restricted its battery life by comparability, to 5 hours and 38 minutes on this check.
Lastly, when you’re wanting to observe HD films and TV exhibits in your Chromebook, then you definitely’ll get roughly eight hours and 5 minutes of viewing time.
Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA In contrast To
Asus supplies a regular one-yr guarantee with the corporate’s Unintentional Injury Safety (ADP) protection included, which is a pleasant bonus in case you ever drop your Flip C302CA or spill a cup of espresso on it.
The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA proves that it’s attainable to make a top quality 2-in-1 with a luxurious really feel for an inexpensive sum of money. Chrome OS helps, in that a comparatively low-finish CPU can present excellent efficiency for many duties, and Chromebooks are gaining an actual increase in worth with the upcoming addition of hundreds of thousands of Android apps. For $500, the Flip C302CA offers an amazing expertise for anybody who can stay inside the basic constraints of Chrome OS.
Is there a greater various?
Comparable options embrace Lenovo’s ThinkPad 13 at round $four hundred and the HP Chromebook 13 at $600 with a thirteen.three-inch QHD (3200 x 1800) show to go together with comparable specs — Core m3 processor, 4GB RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage. Certainly, the Flip C302CA falls proper in between the 2, with much more storage and equal or higher elements – and neither of these machines are 2-in-1s. Until you want a bigger show, the Flip C302CA is a superb compromise and offers a pill mode as well.
The DT Accent Pack
One other newer choice is the Acer Chromebook R 13, which provides a thirteen.three-inch Full HD show, MediaTek M8173C quad-core processor, 4GB RAM, and 32GB of eMMC storage for $four hundred. The Chromebook R 13 can also be a 2-in-1 type issue with a touchscreen, and so will even truthful properly when Android apps are launched. It’s additionally about half a pound heavier than the Flip C302CA and a bit bigger, and so Asus’s mannequin supplies extra portability for about $one hundred extra.
Should you have been going to attend for any new machine, you may see how Samsung costs its Chromebook Professional. The ARM-based mostly Chromebook Plus will probably be priced equally at $450, and so the Professional model will doubtless are available on the larger finish of the Chromebook market. Whether or not that machine’s touchscreen and Android app optimizations are value the additional cash stays to be seen.
How lengthy will it final?
The Flip C302CA is provided with USB Sort-C connections, which suggests it’s consistent with considered one of at the moment’s most dominant tendencies. The Flip C302CA can also be outfitted with enough elements and a 2-in-1 design that ought to make it notably properly-fitted to the Android apps that it’ll quickly be capable of run. Taken collectively, these attributes alone make the C302C a terrific Chromebook choice for the long run.
Do you have to purchase it?
Sure. The Asus Chromebook C302CA is the cream of the present Chrome OS crop. We’d solely recommend you wait when you’re eyeing the Samsung Chromebook Professional, which can boast even higher Android help and a better display decision – although it’ll additionally set you again one other $50, and gained’t be out there till late February.