The classroom is increasingly becoming high-tech, exit the notebooks and enter the Chromebooks. Asus knows too well on how to fit into the classroom with the release of the Asus Chromebook C202SA-YS02 that is crafted with kids in mind. The Chromebook features a rugged design and a spill resistant keyboard capable of withstanding all the classroom intrigues. It is no secret that the Chromebook is a darling to school administrators and students because of its modular design and affordability. The Chromebook houses an Intel Celeron N3060 chip running at 1.6GHz, 4 GB of RAM and 16 GB of flash storage. This features allows the device to handle basic tasks well but can become a bit sluggish when running multiple browser tabs. The convertible design, long battery life, design quality and budget price make the Chromebook a considerable pick for students.
The Chromebook is designed to withstand all the pushing and shoving experienced among learners in a classroom. It features a 3mm of dark blue rubberized molding that covers the four corners of the device. The remaining part is covered in a grey, texturized plastic chassis with the bottom having two rubber grips for preventing the Chromebook from slipping. The C202 measures 11.57 x 0.89 x 7.87 inches and weighs 2.64 pounds. It is slightly thicker but lighter than its competitors such as the Dell Chromebook 11 non-touch, which is 0.83 inches thick and weighs 2.7 pounds. It is also thicker than the Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Non-touch that measures 0.83 inches thick and weighs 3.1 pounds. On the brighter side, the C202 comfortably slides into your backpack without taking much space thanks to its small size. Asus claims that the Chromebook can survive drops of up to 3.9 feet, and the keyboard is spill resistant of up to 66cc so you don’t have to worry dropping your bag.
The keyboard deck and touch pad are made from silver plastic that looks and feels sleek. It has larger fonts on the key to help seeing the blue lettered that might be a bit hard to see in dim lit environments. The typing experience on this keyboard feels good, with a small keyboard that most kids will find comfortable but could feel small for adults. For entertainment purposes, the Chromebook features two built-in stereo speakers located at front bottom corners. The speakers are loud enough and offer a decent sound quality but increasing the volume will not earn you any bass lines.
Under the hood, the Asus Chromebook C202 houses a dual-core Intel Celeron processor clocked at 1.6GHz that can run up to 2.48GHz. It combines with 4GB of RAM that enables the system handle light browsing comfortably but it is likely to slow down with the opening of multiple tabs. The system can as well get to stream music and videos on YouTube smoothly but will start buffering with opening more than six tabs and the system is likely to lag when opening various Google applications. The system also comes with Intel HD graphics 400 which are not great for gaming, so it is safe if you avoid gaming on this Chromebook. There is 16GB of eMMC memory which won’t be enough to store all your files and music but you can bump that up with the SDXC card reader. Alternatively, you will have to use the cloud storage for storing most of your documents.
The battery life on the Chromebook C202 is an impressive one that is capable of lasting a whole school day. The battery gives up to 12 hours and 5 minutes of juice thereby outperforming other Chromebooks in the competition including the Dell Chromebook 11 Non-Touch (10:37), the Acer Chromebook R 11 (10:35), CTL Chromebook J2 (8:55) and the Lenovo Thinkpad 11e (7:35). You won’t have to carry your charging adapter in a typical school day as it is capable of lasting the whole day and get you back to the house before the battery draining.
The Chromebook features a fairly standard port selection. It comes with two USB 3.0 ports for faster connections and transfer of data, a three-in-one SD card reader that supports SD, SDHC and SDXC. There is also an HDMI port for extending your display to larger screens such as monitors and HDTVs to watch your movies, an audio jack for the earphones and a Kensington lock slot. Internet connectivity is available by use of dual-band 802.11ac wireless connectivity but there is no RJ-45 port. Should need arise to use cabled internet connection, then buying a USB to RJ45 dongle will get you sorted. Additionally, due to its small size we don’t expect a CD/DVD writer in the system but you can as well purchase an external optical drive separately.
The Chromebook comes with an 11.6-inch display with a resolution of 1366×768 pixels that has an anti-glare coating thus making it possible to work outdoors or in a brightly lit environment. The excitement of the students might end with this Chromebook with the lack of a Touch screen similar to what we saw in the Acer Chromebook 11 and the Asus Chromebook Flip. Additionally, the rubber at the bottom prevents the Chromebook from opening up to the said 180 degrees and the viewing angles are not great. At the top bezel of the display, you will find a 720 HD webcam that comes in handy when taking selfies, though not of high image quality and chatting with friends and family via Skype or Facebook Messenger.
The Asus Chromebook C202SA-YS02 comes with a modular design, long battery life and an affordable price that makes it a great choice for a budget computer. The Chromebook stands out of the crowd thanks to its build quality and better keyboard that improves the user experience. Important to note is the fact that Chromebooks at this price point aren’t performance champs, so the C202 is only equipped to handle ordinary tasks. The system becomes sluggish with the opening of multiple tabs thus becoming frustrating if you want to handle web-based application or work on your documents. If you are not in the business of having a durable and strong Chromebook, then the Acer Chromebook R 11 is a better choice thanks to its large IPS touch screen, convertible design and speedy performance.
Check out the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 at Amazon