Intel Core M-series CPUs might just be the ideal processors to power Chromebooks, as they offer more performance than your average Celeron chip while being more efficient. And, that’s just not just us saying that: the benchmark results back us up here.
With its Intel Core m3 CPU, the Asus Chromebook Flip performs nearly twice as fast as the Dell Chromebook 13 with a Celeron processor. That said, this hybrid doesn’t quite have the gusto to keep up with the Intel Core i5-powered Acer Chromebook 14 for Work or the Core m5 chip inside the now-discontinued HP Chromebook 13 (the newer HP Chromebook 13 G1 has better specs and a higher price tag), even if it’s only a quarter less power.
Regardless of the actual specs, the Asus Chromebook Flip’s performance is impressive, even with two Chrome windows open, each with 12 tabs. Along with our heavy browsing habits, we also had Google Music playing in the background and the Slack Android app open.
Chromebooks are known for having long battery life, and the Asus Chromebook Flip is no different. In fact, it’s the longest-lasting premium Chromebook we’ve tested at the time of this review – it ran for a whopping 10 hours and 46 minutes on our standard local movie playback test.
By comparison, the Acer Chromebook 14 ended its run an hour and 10 minutes earlier, and the HP Chromebook 13 only managed just a minute over eight hours.
With our typical workload, however, the Asus Chromebook Flip did run just a bit short of hitting the eight hour, all-day battery life mark. Still, you can increase battery life dramatically by running less tasks, turning off the keyboard backlight and lowering the display brightness.
Screen and speakers
While the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 only offers a 1,920 x 1,080 display, FHD is really all you need on a 12.5-inch screen. It’s not as sharp as the QHD HP Chromebook 13, but the lower pixel count affords two more hours of battery life – a trade off many folks would gladly take.
Still, text and photos remain crisp and the colors are rich, which are exactly what we want to see in a companion device to flip through e-comics, watch online videos and scroll through envy-worthy travel photos. Average contrast levels – dark pixels often falling off to deep blacks – is the only weak point of the display. However, it’s still better than most Chromebooks, and we prefer this to seeing muddy grays.
Audio-wise, the Asus Chromebook Flip’s speakers, while loud, lack much nuance to really appreciate music. There’s also a slight hint of tininess, which limits how high you can set the volume before it’s unbearable. Do your ears a favor, and plug in a pair of headphones if you’re looking to rock out.
If you’ve been on the fence about switching to a premium Chromebook, the Asus Chromebook Flip has 100 reasons (read: dollars, pounds … you get it) to make you jump for it. That isn’t a huge price difference considering that the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 rises to its premium stature with a beautiful screen and a better keyboard than you would find on some Ultrabooks.
Plus, this is the first Chromebook that actually feels as comfortable to use as a tablet as it is a traditional laptop. And, while the Samsung Chromebook Pro almost makes this version pointless with its sharper screen and built-in stylus, it doesn’t last as long on a charge and isn’t more powerful.
For now, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 is king of the Chrome OS hill and remains a worthy contender, even in 2019.
Images Credit: TechRadar
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