The Asus Chromebook Flip C302 meets the title “Premium Chromebook” with a great screen, sensitive keyboard and a classic design that makes it equally delicious to use in tablet mode as a traditional laptop.
- Elegant tablet mode
- Great live screen
- Sensitive keyboard
- No immediate support for Android apps
- Mediocre speakers
The concept of so-called Premium or premium – Chromebooks has been around for a couple of years now – in fact, as long as Google has produced laptops, but it is only now that we’ve got the grip on Acer’s Chromebook Flip that we think the description finally fit. We can write page up and down on all the Chromebooks that have disappointed, but there’s no reason for that now. This Chromebook meets all our expectations for a first-class laptop.
It doesn’t quite reach the same level as Google Pixelbook , but it doesn’t need it either, because it comes with almost the same specifications – at half price.
It is this relationship between price, content and performance that causes the Asus Chromebook Flip to run from all competitors.
And what’s more: The Asus Chromebook Flip comes with a 360 degree screen hinge that makes it extremely easy to “flip” it from one tablet to a laptop – and back. Hence the name.
With a size of 12.5 inches and a weight of 1.18 kilograms, it is not just a good Chromebook, it can also interfere with the best laptops on the market – depending on your needs.
Price and availability
We can’t blame you for sinking one more time when you see the price of the Asus Chromebook Flip. With a starting price of about 3,500 kroner, it is more expensive than some competitors, and you can actually get a reasonable Windows laptop for that money. But after all, you pay for quality, and you can also cut some shortcuts and get a slightly cheaper version of the Asus Chromebook Flip if you cut a bit into RAM and CPU.
HP’s Chromebook 13 comes with the same performance and costs more. On the other hand, you only get half as much storage space, but a sharper QHD screen. Also comparable is the Acer Chromebook 14 , which is also a bit more expensive and it comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 32GB flash disk.
However, the C302’s biggest rival on the market is the Samsung Chromebook Plus, which is a bit cheaper, and comes with an ARM processor, a sharper 2,400 x 1,600 bright and built-in stylus. And what’s more, Samsung’s latest Chrome machine is also available with a Pro SKU running Intel Core M3 processor, and the price is around $ 3,650.
Of course, there are cheaper Chromebook options. For around $ 3,300 you can get an Acer Chromebook R13, which also comes in a reversible version with Full HD screen. Here, however, one must remember that its processor, a 2.1GHz quad-core, does not come from Intel, but from MediaTek.
CPU: 0.99Ghz Intel Core m3-6Y30 (dual core, 4MB cache, up to 2.2GHz)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515
RAM: 4GB LPDDR3
Display: 12.5-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit, reflection-free
storage space: 64GB eMMC + TPM
Ports: 2 x USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen 1), microSD card reader, headphone
connector Connection: Intel 2×2 802.11ac; Bluetooth 4.2
Camera: 720p webcam
Weight: 1.18 kg
Size: 33 x 23.1 x 2.29 cm; B x D x H)
Like its predecessor, the Asus Chromebook C100 , the C302 comes with an aluminum chassis, although it is now in an anodized version as opposed to the “brushed” version. It has a sharp aesthetic design, and when folding it together, you get an almost symmetrical metal box.
Fortunately, Asus dropped the C100 edition’s hinge and replaced it with the ZenBook Flip UX360’s multi-gear metal version. The smaller, two-piece mechanism makes the machine feel like a real notebook and not a toy.
Overall, the Asus Chromebook C302 resembles any other unibody notebook that has been inspired by the MacBook Pro over the past 10 years . However, it has to be said that with its rounded corners and sharp edges – and not least the 2.29 centimeter thin frame – it clearly stands out as a great competitor for the best models from HP and Google. And that at a lower price.
With a weight of just 1.19 kilograms, the C302 is one of the lightest Chromebooks on the market, and it easily beats the HP Chromebook 13, weighing 1.3kg. It is also one of the only reversible Chrome OS laptops that you really want to use in tablet mode. Unlike the 1.5 kilo heavy Acer Chromebook R13.
In addition to the minimum weight, the C302 appears to be specially designed to work as a tablet. Asus has made a unique magnetic mechanism that almost adheres the screen to the underside of the notebook. It’s an excellent solution that makes the reversible Chromebook feel like a solid machine and not just a piece of reversible electronics, and it’s really weird that you haven’t found it before.
When not using the C302 as a tablet, the solid and familiar keyboard makes the machine a traditional laptop. The keys have a satisfactory 1.4mm pressure response, and we have missed that in this world of thin laptops.
When it comes to the track path, we have to just say that it is there. It does not have any multi-touch features except for two finger-scrolling, so there is not much to write home about here.
But besides this little problem, this hybrid Chromebook is geared to lean directly into Android’s ecosystem. We were able to both swipe and click in our favorite apps, quite like on any other Google tablet. To our surprise, it turned out that this Chromebook was also equipped with a gyroscope that allowed us to run motion-controlled games like Asphalt 8.
Unfortunately, not all Android apps can be run perfectly. Slack and a few other essential apps we tested with the machine were not scaled properly, leaving us with very small letters, and the Kindles app was unable to display fullscreen in landscape mode.
Apps designed for smartphones are often designed for use with touch screen, and this does not always work satisfactorily on this C302. But then you can solve the problem by switching to the tablet mode.
However, we will shoot some of these issues on the Chrome OS beta that fixed some issues, but on the other hand, created others during our testing period.
In spite of this, we do not want to return the old days when one had to browse through an old-fashioned Chrome Web Store to access games. While it’s a beta version, accessing the Play Store is so much more valuable.
We were quite happy to work in both tablet mode and with the 302 as a traditional Chromebook. It was irrespective of whether it was browsing or writing. The merging of Google two platforms means that mobile apps can now be used simultaneously with common Chrome OS applications.