Apparently, going with the Rockchip was the right move for Asus, as the C101PA scored fairly well (for a budget device) on our benchmarks.
Here’s how the Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
Mozilla Kraken (lower is better): 4,125.1ms
Octane (higher is better): 9,603
JetStream (higher is better): 50.026
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 12 hours, 7 minutes
The C101PA outperformed its Celeron-run rivals on both our Mozilla Kraken and Octane tests.
While the C101PA’s scores aren’t impressive when put up against something like the Google Pixelbook, it’s not really a fair comparison. Asus’s little Chromebook is a quarter the price of Google’s top-of-the-liner.
Our day to day usage backed up the benchmark scores: the C101PA ran cool with multiple tabs open and Spotify pumping music in the background.
This Asus machine does what Chromebooks are expected to do (and nothing more): provide a solid device for light media and Internet browsing.
Inside this pup of a Chromebook is one beast of a battery. This laptop turns out a half day’s worth of cordless action, outlasting the R11’s battery by three hours, and the HP Chromebook 14’s by six and a half. The battery inside is easily the highlight of this Chromebook.
Its all-day battery is essential to the C101PA’s usability, and not because it’s a convertible. This Chromebook hates to be tethered.
The placement of its power port near the front, rather than back of the device’s base effectively knocks six inches off the power cord’s length. Furthermore, its front plug forces you to play some positioning games with the C101PA while charging it, as the power cord will try to snake underneath the device’s base.
All told, the C101PA is certainly affordable, it just isn’t as affordable as some of its competitors. Acer’s Chromebook R11 accomplishes the same tablet feats as the C101PA, but for a bit less. The HP Chromebook 14 has similar internals to Asus’s Chromebook, and while HP’s device isn't convertible, it is cheaper. When other devices do what the C101PA does, but for cheaper, it’s hard to see the value.
That isn’t to say the C101PA isn’t without great features: it’s light, it runs smoothly and it has one hell of a battery. But, it doesn’t have a sharp screen. It doesn’t have a comfortable keyboard. It doesn’t have a precise touchscreen. These are the sorts of faults that can relegate a device to ‘backup’ or ‘my kid’s first computer’ or ‘the thing on my nightstand I use to google celebrities.’ The C101PA is a backup Googler.
And, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re in the market for a secondary device, or a primary one that easily fits into a nightstand drawer, then check out the C101PA.