Chromebooks are in the spotlight at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. After HP and Acer, it was Asus' turn to unveil a new model. The top-of-the-range oriented Chromebook Flip C434 offers a 360-degree hinge that allows you to use the laptop as a tablet too. Here are our first impressions.
A top-of-the-range Chromebook
Due to its premium standards (material, performance, finish...), the Chromebook Flip C434 has a higher price than is normal for a Chromebook. It will cost at least 699 euros in Europe, compared to $569 in the United States. Asus is planning to release it to stores sometime in the coming months.
A laptop and a tablet
Asus doesn't change a formula that works. This Chromebook Flip C434 is already replacing the excellent Flip C302. Like the latter, the Flip C434 features a 360-degree hinge that allows it to be used as a tablet. While its format is not changing much (15.7 mm thick and 1.45 kg), the new Chromebook benefits from progress in terms of the system now offers a 14-inch borderless diagonal, compared to 12.5 previously, with a screen/body ratio of 87%). The width of the frames on the sides has been reduced to 5 mm.
Entirely made of metal, the Chromebook Flip C434 integrates aluminum on its cover, on the top and on the bottom of its chassis. The final design is homogeneous in appearance, whether the C434 is used in computer or tablet mode. In the end, the Chromebook Flip C434 is one of the most premium Chromebooks on the market.
It is therefore not surprising to find a backlit keyboard with a long enough keystroke (1.4 mm typing distance) and a supplied connector, as the ChromebookFlip C434 offers two USB Type-CTM (USB-CTM) ports as well as a USB Type-A port for external devices - a welcome choice that avoids buying adapters or dongles as accessories. There are also two speakers integrated in the base of the computer and a mini-jack socket.
A large engine under the hood
This premium aspect is also reflected in the performance. Asus has decided to put under the hood the 8th generation Intel processors. Three configurations are available: i7-8500Y, i5-8200Y or M3-8100Y.
The convertible notebook computer, therefore, includes a powerful processor and a RAM of up to 8 GB and up to 128 GB of storage (support for microSD cards up to 2 TB). This theoretically provides smooth performance even when many Chrome navigation windows are open in addition to Android applications. We can, therefore, imagine that this Flip C434 can be used as the main computer.
My handling proved to be flawless but it did not allow me to push the machine to its limits. Only a complete test will do it, and finally, it contains a 48 W battery and Asus promises a 10-hour battery life.
Yes, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 already appears to be one (if not the best) Chromebook on the market. The new laptop from the Taiwanese manufacturer has taken up the best features of its predecessor (the C302) while offering new settings that optimize its design and performance. The strength of Chrome OS and Google's recent efforts on its system suggest a bright future for this computer. Finally, only its price can cool the enthusiasm of users.