The Asus Chromebook Flip is basically a premium piece of portable computing hardware that happens to be selling for an amazing price. This affordable laptop knocks other cheaper notebook models right off the shelf with a metal-covered body and the ability to transform into a tablet with a single flip.
Other excellent features like a very long battery life, some decent processing power and a compact design only work in the Flip’s favor.
The highly affordable price tops off everything as very useful model for a lot of light casual or work-related uses.
Chromebooks have come a long way from the days when they were considered cheap plastic toy laptops, good for little more than some light use and their easiness on the wallet. Nowadays these devices are solid laptops that carry their own weight comfortably and competently.
The Chromebook Flip is a shining example of this. As the most interesting and powerful little Chromebook to date, the Flip offers a mix of extremely sleek finish thanks to its metal shell and very thin profile, while also delivering some very decent processing power.
Its ARM processor from Rockchip is a definite winner and its series of hybrid computing features mean some great versatility.
Most notably, the physical design of the Flip is superb by the standards of Chromebooks and both looks and feels like the body of a considerably more expensive laptop. In fact, many models that cost much more than the Flip don’t include metal-clad body features – so in this regard, the Flip is a winner.
As for its versatility, well what you’re getting here is both a conventional laptop and a tablet with a slightly small but nonetheless decent 10.1 inch touch screen. Furthermore, as its name suggests, the Flip can transform into its tablet form simply by flipping the screen a full 360 degrees via the articulating hinge along its bottom.
Other Chromebooks have this same feature but the Flip is one of the few, or perhaps the only one, that can also change its screen orientation depending on how you rotate it.
The bottom line about the Chromebook Flip is that it costs just $249 dollars and is designed as a 2-in-1 tablet/laptop, so when we go ahead and say that its biggest detriment is its size, the above have to be kept in mind.
The 10.1 inch screen is rather tiny, with a slightly uncomfortable keyboard that might be a no-go for some buyers. But this is also what you should expect in this device.
The thing is there are larger Chromebooks with better keyboard layouts. But they also aren’t tablets as part of the bargain.
Furthermore we should also mention that the central processor is a bit on the weak side – though it’s more than enough for the light work the Flip is likely to be used for. However because the Flip has been known to crash from time to time, this less than robust CPU might factor into that problem.
Screen size: 10.1 inches
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 1280 x 800
Included OS: Windows 8.1
Battery life: 10 hours
Processor: 1.8GHz Rockchip 3288-C Quad-Core processor
Weight: 1.96 lbs
Storage (Hard drive): 16GB eMMC
GPU (Video card): ARM Mali T624
Connectivity: 902.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, Ethernet, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x microHDMI 1.4, microSD reader, Headphone/microphone jack
The 10.1 inch 1280×800-pixel native resolution of the Flip’s display gets somewhat overwhelmed by the wide bezels along the edges. But it still delivers some excellent color, contrast, and a decent resolution for such a small screen.
Touch response is an obvious and necessary function of the Flip and it works well for the most part – though it could be a bit slow at times.
Some websites simply don’t have ideal touch navigation but this isn’t the Flip’s fault.
The rotation adjustment flexibility of the Flip and the fact that most text and video look perfectly readable or viewable on the screen make up for some touch and screen size deficiencies. Side angle viewing is also very good in this notebook/tablet, with only minor fade at off-center angles.
Performance and Connections
The Flip performs very nicely for the small, economical laptop that it is. The connectivity ports are remarkably good with microHDMI, dual USB 2.0 ports, and a microSD card reader being more than you’d expect.
While the tiny 16GB SSD storage may be pretty small, it allows for a very fast load time and overall functionality. The built-in WiFi is of the faster 802.11AC variety and this is very useful for the Flip, which is pretty much a strictly online device.
As for the Rockchip 3288-C 100 CPU, it’s a bit slow among competitor chips but this shouldn’t be a problem considering the Flip is aimed at light web-based use rather than heavy-duty software applications. But leaving too many browser windows open can make things sluggish.
While the Flip delivers processing power that is hardly top-notch, it does truly excel at battery life. For a laptop it beats plenty of competitors with the 10 hours it can endure without being charged, assuming you’re not overburdening the battery with lots of videos and music.
Overall I’d have to recommend the Asus Chromebook Flip for a certain kind of user. For people who just want to surf the web, do some online shopping, browse news sites and read digital books, the flip is more than ideal.
This makes a great travel laptop and as such it can even allow work-minded users to finish up e-mails or catch up on documents on-the-go.
And with a price of just $249 it’s a decent deal.
- Very decent graphics card
- Great tablet functionality
- Robust metal-clad design
- Great display
- Long battery life
- Weak CPU
- Overly small keyboard
- Screen too small for some users