The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 is Asus’s first entry into the premium designs of Chromebook space that comes to compete with entry-level windows laptops. The Chromebook basks in glory with its beautiful screen, backlit keyboard, an impressive battery life and metal body that elevates it from the plastic laptops we are accustomed to at this level.
The cutting edge of the Asus Chromebook among the competition is its 360-degree hinge that allows you to flip it inside out. The laptop comes with Intel core m3 processor with 4GB RAM and 64 GB storage to allow you enjoy fast and efficient performance. The 12.5-inch Chromebook weighs in at 2.65 pounds thus making it much attractive as a nice buy for both as a Chromebook and laptop for everyday basic use. However, that remains for you to decide after reading this review.
The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA sports an all-aluminum enclosure with the lid, keyboard deck, and bottom panel featuring brushed-aluminum surfaces. The Flip looks solid and sturdy with its squared edges. Its fanless design and low power processor makes the device look premium as it does not have any vents. The 360-degree inch allows the display to flip around to offer four different forms including the standard notebook, tablet, tent, and presentation modes. The laptop does not wobble thanks to the hinge that manages to keep the screen in position.
The C302CA measures 11.97 x 8.28 x 0.54 inches and weighs in at 2.6pounds which makes it light enough to use as a tablet. The Chromebook Flip is slightly heavier than the Samsung Chromebook Pro which weighs in at 2.4 pounds but then this is not a deal breaker in any way.
The system is powered by a 6th generation Intel Core M3-6Y30 mobile processor with two cores and four threads, and 4MB of cache. The processor speeds clocks at 0.9 GHz but can run up to a maximum of 2.2 GHz. The performance of this processor won’t turn heads, but it will get you through mainstream tasks such as word processing, editing of documents, video streaming and browsing the internet seamlessly.
There is 4GB LPDDR3 installed memory for handling basic tasks but if you push it too far, then it won’t be able to hold, expect downtime. For instance, the Chromebook will slow down if you stream extensively or open several browser tabs. If you need a better performing Chromebook and ready to spend more, then you can consider a high-end Chromebook Flip with 8GB RAM.
In terms of storage, the Chromebook Flip comes with 64 GB eMMC flash storage that is not very fast. The storage space is never enough, but then the 64GB is a better bargain compared to 32 GB or 16 GB. This is limited space but you can use the MicroSD slot to expand the storage up to 512 GB. Additionally, Google includes two years of 100GB cloud storage that will assist to keep your files safe.
Asus includes integrated Intel HD Graphics 515 that is enough for everyday computing such as streaming videos but it will stutter should you try throwing any games at it.
The Chromebook Flip takes the latest technology seriously with the inclusion of two USB 3.1 ports on each side of the laptop. The ports are great for faster connectivity and transfer of data with speeds of up to 5Gbps. As such, you do not get any USB-A ports, so be ready to commit yourself to this standard. Alternatively a dongle will come in handy to connect your external monitor or smartphone and other devices. So you will have to buy a VGA, HDMI or DisplayPort adapter. There is a MicroSD slot which supports SD/SDHC/SDXC for transferring photos and other files to or from your Chromebook.
Wireless connectivity is available via the 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2, and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security, in case you need it for business applications.
For your multmedia purposes, there is an audio jack for connecting your Headphone when you want to listen to your music or watch a movie peacefully without disturbing anyone around you. There is a 720p webcam above the display that does not take any impressive pictures but can be helpful for video conferencing and for Skype Chats with friends and family. The system has built-in stereo speakers that are loud enough to fill a small room but not inspiring in any way. However, they are no worse than other laptop speakers.
The Asus C302 comes with a 12.5-inch Full HD 1920X1080 touchscreen that makes it to be on top of the league among the low-end Chromebooks with grainy 1366×768 displays. The screen has a wide 178-degree viewing angle with an aspect ratio of 19:1 and amazing brightness of 300 nits. The Chromebook displays bright, accurate images and the touch sensitivity is quick, fast enough for most web games. The C302 resolves strong colors as text and photos look very crisp, which is exactly what anyone looking for a streaming device will admire. The contrast levels are average with the dark pixels usually falling off to deep blacks.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The laptop features a full-size backlit keyboard which offers a comfortable typing experience than what other low-end Chromebooks offer. It comes with a 1.4mm key travel distance and the plastic keys have a slightly soft finish. The Trackpad is also solid, it is responsive, large and comfortable.
Asus packs a small, two-cell 39Whr battery that can run up to over 11 hours on video playback. The fact that it has a lower screen resolution compared to its rival the Samsung Chromebook Pro aided it to post such an impressive performance in this category. With such a battery, you can be pretty comfortable to use it while on the road or in an 8hr flight for your business purposes.
The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 is a great convertible laptop with a premium look and offers a powerful performance for every day mainstream tasks. It’s a leader in the 2-in-1 Chromebooks category with its sleek yet sturdy design and offers a long-running battery life and a roomy keyboard.
The Samsung Chromebook Pro remains the biggest rival of the Chromebook C302 with its ARM processor, a bigger screen resolution of 2400×1600 and a built-in stylus. However, if you want a more affordable Chromebook, then considering the Acer Chromebook R13 will be in order as it features a Full HD screen and boasts of a convertible form factor too.
All said, the Chromebook Flip scores a first by wedding the traditional laptop and tablet feel in one device thus making it the king of the Chrome OS that is worth your consideration.