ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 review: King of a Chromebooks
July 28, 2017 - chromebook
The Chromebook Flip C302 is significantly incomparable and heavier than a prototype — yet that’s a good thing. The strange Flip was too tighten to use positively for prolonged durations of time, and a shade was tiny, low and pixelated. ASUS went behind to a sketch house here, and about a customarily thing a new Flip has in common with a strange is a 360-degree hinge.
The touchscreen now measures 12.5 inches with a 2,400 x 1,350 resolution, compared to a original’s 10.1-inch, 1,280 x 800 display. At a Flip’s top resolution, all is insanely tiny, and many people will substantially run it during possibly 1,900 x 1,080 or 1,536 x 864. we stranded with a latter and found that we had adequate genuine estate to work positively while both content and images stayed frail and sharp. we cite a taller, brighter and some-more colourful shade on Samsung’s Pro, yet a Flip’s arrangement is still one of a softened I’ve seen on a Chromebook.
Thanks to a incomparable screen, this year’s Flip also has a significantly some-more gentle keyboard. It’s full-size, and a keys have a startling volume of travel. It’s backlit as well, and altogether it offers a softened typing knowledge than a Chromebook Pro and a strange Flip. we had no qualms regulating this mechanism for hours on finish any day. The trackpad is likewise solid: It’s responsive, vast and comfortable. we wish it was a tiny taller, yet that’s a teenager nit.
The one downside of a incomparable hardware is that a Flip is many reduction serviceable as a tablet. With a 12.5-inch shade and an all-aluminum physique that weighs 2.65 pounds, it’s not during all gentle to reason adult in front of you. Microsoft’s Surface Pro (1.7 pounds) and Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1.5 pounds) both have removable keyboards, that creates them significantly lighter in inscription mode. Despite a coherence of a 360-degree hinge, a Flip is a normal laptop initial and foremost.
To make audio work in both inscription and laptop modes, ASUS put a speakers on a side of a Chromebook Flip. Whether given of this chain or a hardware inside, sound is even worse than we would have approaching from these tiny speakers. There are a series of tablets and laptops with surprisingly good audio, yet this isn’t one of them. It’s not a understanding breaker yet something to be wakeful of if we envisioned examination a lot of cinema yet headphones. (Ed. note: Just use headphones.) Port preference is also singular — with dual USB-C jacks and a micro SD container we get a basics, zero more.
Performance and battery life
This year, ASUS traded a rather diseased Rockchip processor for Intel’s Core m3-6Y30, that valid to be some-more than adequate for my standard Chrome OS workflow. we didn’t knowledge any slowdowns or stutters while regulating several browser windows with about a dozen open tabs in each. we was also regulating a web apps for Google Keep, TweetDeck, Slack, Hangouts, Google Play Music and Todoist, as good as a occasional Android app (more on that later). The Intel processor along with a 4GB of RAM supposing well-spoken opening — occasionally, tabs competence have indispensable to modernise when we had a lot open, yet by and vast we had a well-spoken experience.
ASUS forsaken 64GB of storage in this computer, that is twice what you’ll find in Samsung’s competitor. In a past, I’ve had no problems regulating Chrome OS with customarily 32GB of storage — yet given a Flip lets we implement Android apps (many of that save information on internal storage), going with 64GB was a intelligent move.
Unfortunately, a higher-resolution arrangement and more-powerful processor meant battery life has taken a hit, relations to a strange Flip. This year’s indication lasted 7 hours and 47 mins in a battery test, that loops an HD video with shade liughtness set to 66 percent. That’s about 3 hours fewer than a strange and a good bit next a 10 hours ASUS claims. My day-to-day use saw matching results: I’d customarily have to strech for a horse after 6 or 7 hours. That’s not bad, yet it’s flattering pedestrian. However, I’m positively peaceful to trade a few hours of battery life for a bigger, softened shade and some-more horsepower. Fortunately, a USB-C horse tops a battery off flattering quick — we customarily won’t wish to leave it during home if you’re formulation to be out and about for a full day of work.
When we reviewed Dell’s Chromebook 13 roughly dual years ago, we was astounded during how many of my work we could do in Chrome OS yet any compromise. Things have customarily softened since. At this indicate many people will be means to get by simply with customarily a Chromebook. So many of a lives run by a browser these days that not carrying local apps customarily isn’t a understanding breaker anymore.
Of course, there are copiousness of people who need some-more energy and coherence than a Chromebook provides; a Flip isn’t for them. You can’t revise 4K video (or unequivocally any video during all), and there still isn’t a good local print editor for Chrome OS. If we need to store a lot of files locally, a 64GB tough expostulate will infer inadequate.
If we find Chrome OS to be too limiting, entrance to a many apps in a Google Play Store competence assistance we locate a program your Chromebook needs. I’ve been personification around with Android on Chrome OS for about a year now, and what I’ve motionless is that for a many part, you’re softened off adhering with web apps. There’s no genuine reason to implement a Facebook app over customarily opening a site in your browser, for example. But if there’s a specific square of program that isn’t on a web, a Play Store can mostly tighten that gap.
I’m a Lightroom user, so we commissioned Adobe’s mobile Lightroom app and now we can revise photos on a Chromebook. It’s not ideal (I still haven’t found a good approach to watermark photos when regulating Chrome OS), yet it’s a lot softened than other options. Microsoft’s Office apps for Android are surprisingly clever and work good on a desktop — you’ll customarily need to bombard out for an Office 365 subscription to use them.
Android apps are also useful if we wish to take things offline. Installing a Android Netflix or Google Play cinema and TV apps means we can download shows and watch them on a flight. Similarly, we can save playlists and albums by a Google Play Music and Spotify apps for Android. And you’ll be means to revise those Office docs while offline as well. Chromebooks, like many complicated computers, are still many some-more useful with an internet connection, yet during slightest we don’t have to reserve your Chromebook divided and forget about it when you’re on a cross-country flight.
Probably a biggest locate here is that many developers pattern their apps for phones and frequency take incomparable screens into account. It’s a same thing that has cursed Android tablets. Occasionally it’s good to have a tiny straight app cut on a side of your screen, yet it would be good if some-more apps had a softened full-screen experience. Another downside is that Chrome OS doesn’t let we boldly resize Android apps a approach we would with local programs on fundamentally all other platforms. You’re stranded with possibly phone viewpoint or full-screen. That’s not to contend that Android apps aren’t useful; customarily be wakeful that a knowledge doesn’t feel finish utterly yet.
Samsung’s Chromebook Pro
If you’ve paid any courtesy so far, you’ll know that a Chromebook Flip’s many approach aspirant is a $550 Samsung Chromebook Pro. For a additional money, we get a somewhat softened shade and Samsung’s S Pen stylus for note-taking and sketch apps, yet a keyboard is somewhat worse and not backlit. That said, we haven’t reviewed a final prolongation chronicle of a Chromebook Pro; I’ve only attempted a preproduction model. There have also been reports about a critical deal-breaking bug in a Chromebook Pro, yet an update that rolled out a few days ago could repair that problem.
Even if a Chromebook Pro was bug-free, it’s tough to contend if it’s value a $70 reward over a Flip. Aside from a display, they have matching hardware, and a Flip has twice a storage space. we creatively suspicion a higher arrangement on a Pro would make it my favorite of a two, yet now I’m not so sure.
Another choice is Samsung’s Chromebook Plus, a laptop that’s matching to a Pro solely that it uses an ARM processor instead of an Intel chip. At $450, customarily $20 cheaper than a Flip, we wouldn’t suggest it — non-Intel Chromebooks have always been a churned bag from a opening perspective. There’s also Lenovo’s Chromebook 13. It’s a no-frills laptop that handles a basis good yet lacks a backlit keyboard, touchscreen or 360-degree hinge, and it won’t save we any income over a Flip.
Beyond Chromebooks, there are large Windows laptops to consider, yet $500 customarily won’t get we much. One good choice is Acer’s $550 Aspire S5-371-3164 (whew). It’s a 13-inch Windows 10 appurtenance with a 1080p screen, Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of solid-state storage. Most Windows laptops during this cost are flattering compromised, yet this Aspire should yield a decent experience.
After a frustrations that ASUS’ initial Chromebook Flip caused, we wasn’t awaiting many out of a new model. But I’m happy to contend I’ve been surprised. This is substantially a best Chromebook for many people. For reduction than $500, a Flip gets roughly all right: It’s fast, with a good keyboard, shade and battery life. On a program side, Android apps are starting to make a Chrome OS knowledge some-more complete.
I wish a shade was a tiny softened and that a battery lasted an hour or dual longer — yet when we’re articulate about a $470 laptop, I’m peaceful to concede a tiny bit. It won’t reinstate a entirely installed MacBook Pro or Surface Book, yet a Chromebook Flip is a clever performer that’s compact, well-built and won’t mangle a bank. It’s accurately what a Chromebook should be in 2017.