Chromebooks for the most part have followed a model to be inexpensive 11- to 13-inch machines without much deviation. This year we're starting to see that mold break apart with the Acer Chromebook 15 and now Asus has unveiled a new convertible Chromebook called the Flip.
Available later this spring for $249 (about £167, AU$327), the Asus Flip is just as affordable as any Chromebook, but if features a screen that you can…well, flip back a full 360-degrees to turn it into a Chrome OS tablet. The screen itself is a 10.1 inch IPS panel with a 1280 x 800 resolution, which is just a tiny bump up from the traditional 1,366 x 768 resolution screen most 11-inch machines come with.
While the Lenovo N20p has the honor of beating the Flip to the convertible Chromebook, this machine also features an all-aluminum chassis that 15mm thin and weighs less than two pounds.
For the computing guts, Asus has gone with 4GB of RAM, a 16GB SSD and a fanless Rockchip 3288 CPU. That might not be a household name next to Intel's Core M but it's an ARM chip based on a 32-bit quad-core Cortex 17 design. On paper this 2GHz quad-core processor should be more than adequate for web browsing, meanwhile benchmarks from CNX-software have shown it running laps around an Intel Baytrail Atom processor.
On top of the Flip, Asus 11.6-inch Asus Chromebook C201, which will also feature the same Rockchip 3288 processor. The new machine is due to go on sale at Amazon this May with a starting price of $169 (about £ 113, AU$221) for the 2GB version alongside another 4GB model.
We also have a new players in the Chromebook space with Hisense and Haier, two electronics manufacturers from China.
Firstly, there's the Haier Chromebook 11, an 11.6-inch Chromebook that comes sporting a Rockchip 3288 chipset with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Haier claims its first Chromebook will have a battery life of 10 hours and it's already available on Amazon for $149 (about £100, AU$195).
The Haier also has plans to release a Chromebook 11E made specifically for the education market that's more durable with a spill proof keyboard as well as a removable battery.
Hisense, meanwhile, announced its own Chrome OS laptop will be available for preorder on Walmart for $149 (about £100, AU$195). For the price you'll get an 11.6-inch cloud-based machine with 8.5 hours of battery life with practically identical specs as the Haier Chromebook 11.
- Chrome OS is great but its it missing any features?
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Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.