Asus Chromebook Flip C436 overview: Chromebooks have grown up
Asus Chromebook Flip C436
“The Asus Flip C436 represents a more moderen, quicker, costlier technology of Chromebooks.”
- Stable construct high quality
- Glorious efficiency
- Speedy SSD storage
- Battery life is mediocre
- Too costly
Chromebooks have been as soon as low-cost laptops, and nothing extra.
Now, the following technology of Chromebooks has begun to reach, they usually have their sights set on mid-tier Home windows laptops. The $800 Asus Chromebook Flip C436 is the primary of this new class, and it’s not messing round.
Earlier than you write off spending $800 on a Chromebook, take into account what it will get you. A Core i3-1011U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and a 1080p display. That’s as wholesome a spec listing as you’ll discover on a Chromebook. Does that make Flip C436 the most effective Chromebook you should buy?
Design and construct high quality
Many early Chromebooks have been price range choices with construct high quality to match. That has been altering through the years, with an rising variety of premium Chromebooks that match the most effective accessible on different platforms. The Chromebook Flip C436 is one such laptop computer, having fun with an all-aluminum chassis that feels eminently strong in hand. No bending, flexing, or twisting right here. It’s as strong a construct as you’ll discover on any Home windows 10 laptop computer, some that price lots of of extra.
In contrast to the Chromebook Clip C434 that preceded it, the C436’s hinge opens easily with one hand. It’s not wobbly although. The show doesn’t shake in clamshell, presentation, tent, or pill modes.
It’s additionally comparatively fashionable in its aesthetics. The bezel is fairly small apart from the massive chin on the backside of the show, with an 85% screen-to-body ratio. That doesn’t match Asus’s ZenBook line that goes as much as 97%, nevertheless it’s a lot better than the Google Pixelbook Go and plenty of different Chromebooks, which have been sluggish to observe the development.
The silver coloration is conservative however enticing, with little or no bling apart from the chrome hinges and Asus brand on the lid. If you’d like extra panache, Asus additionally sells an “Aerogel White” possibility with a rainbow impact on the lid.
Should you have been to cowl the Chrome label, you’d by no means know this was a Chromebook. That has been true of different current Chromebooks as effectively, demonstrating that Chrome OS laptops have grown up — they’re simply pretty much as good trying and well-built as all however essentially the most premium Home windows 10 laptops and MacBooks.
The Chromebook Flip C436 is mild at about 2.5 kilos and, once more because of the small bezel, matches into a fairly petite chassis for a 14-inch laptop computer that’s additionally skinny at zero.54 inches. The Google Pixelbook Go is smaller, barely lighter, and a tiny bit thinner at zero.5 inches, however the distinction isn’t profound.
Keyboard and port choice
Connectivity is one space the place the Chromebooks are inclined to have been restricted previously. For the primary time, Chromebooks are starting to characteristic the newest requirements akin to Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.zero. That goes a good distance towards making the Flip C436 a reliable Home windows substitute.
By way of ports, although, issues are nonetheless a bit restricted. USB-C three.1 has turn out to be common in laptops, and the Flip C436 has two. Nevertheless, quicker and extra highly effective applied sciences like Thunderbolt three nonetheless aren’t supported by Chrome OS. At $800 is round the place Thunderbolt three begins to indicate up in Home windows laptops.
There are not any USB-A or HDMI ports to be discovered, which means that you just’ll be relying solely on dongles and connectivity will probably be restricted to only the 2 ports until you make the most of a USB hub. The Flip C436 does, although, have a MicroSD card reader and a three.5mm audio jack.
The keyboard makes use of a normal Chromebook format, however the typing expertise itself stands out. The Flip C436 options outsized keycaps and 1.2mm of journey, with a handy guide a rough really feel and a delicate bottoming motion that makes for comfy contact typing.
Subsequent, the wide-format touchpad is responsive and helps the complete vary of Chrome OS multitouch gestures. It’s glass the place the earlier model was plastic, giving it a smoother really feel. There’s additionally a contact show, which is nice for scrolling lengthy web pages with a thumb and tapping pop-up buttons.
Lastly, I didn’t get an opportunity to take a look at the lively pen that’s accessible for the Chromebook Flip C436 — that’s an add-on possibility that didn’t arrive with my overview unit. Nevertheless, the supply of an lively pen is de rigueur for 2-in-1s, and it’s nice that Asus a minimum of gives it as an possibility.
Show high quality is one other vital efficiency issue, and the Chromebook Flip C436 satisfies. I couldn’t use my colorimeter to check the show given an absence of Chrome OS help, however I discovered it to be vibrant sufficient for my indoor use. It can battle underneath direct daylight, however so will most screens that max out round 300 nits.
Distinction appeared adequate as effectively, with black textual content and white backgrounds that made my writing duties a breeze. It’s a Full HD show and so simply sharp sufficient on the 14-inch panel, nevertheless it wasn’t pretty much as good as shows on another current Chromebooks. The show on the Google Pixelbook Go, for instance, is way nicer.
The Flip C436’s benefit, in fact, is being a 2-in-1. Flipping it round to media mode and watching Netflix is a pleasure. The audio system received’t blow you away, however they’re loud sufficient for a medium-sized room and don’t distort at full quantity. The bass is nearly fully missing, in fact, as it’s with many laptops.
Chrome OS is a really environment friendly working system, and it doesn’t put practically the pressure on processors as do Home windows 10 and MacOS. Solely a really anemic, low-power CPU like an older Intel Celeron can sluggish it down.
The Chromebook Flip C436 doesn’t have something like that. Its dual-core, 10th-gen Core i3-10110U wouldn’t be the quickest for a Home windows or Mac, nevertheless it’s loads of energy for Chromebooks. Throw in 8GB of RAM and a 128GB PCIe SSD — no slower eMMC storage right here — and you’ve got a Chromebook that, in concept a minimum of, ought to have the ability to sustain.
For $200 extra, you possibly can even add a quad-core processor to the combo.
The Chromebook Flip C436 undoubtedly retains up with something you’ll need to throw at it. I opened scads of tabs in Google Chrome and couldn’t get it to decelerate, regardless of what number of apps I loaded within the background. I’m positive I may have discovered a mix that might have induced some hesitation, however merely put, you received’t simply tax the system.
It’s the quickest Chromebook we’ve seen at 97 within the Speedometer 2.zero benchmark. And simply think about — for $200 extra you possibly can rating a quad-core Core i5-10210U, and you’ll configure as much as 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. Sure, this very quick Chromebook might be even quicker if you wish to throw a bit of more money at it.
That funding might not be value it, although, until you want tons of storage. You’d should open a ton of apps and tabs to exceed 8GB of RAM, and a quad-core Core i5 is probably going overkill for everybody apart from programmers and builders.
Talking of that, you possibly can run fashionable Android video games on the Chromebook Flip C436. The Intel UHD graphics can sustain, and those I attempted — akin to Asphalt 9 — have been clean and fulfilling. Flip into pill mode and use the contact show and, though it’s a bit heavy, you possibly can play video games identical to you’ll on an Android pill.
Battery life is that this Chromebook’s one pretty massive draw back. The Flip C436 suffers from equipping solely 42 watt-hours of battery life — down from the 48 watt-hours within the C434. Past that, it runs very quick and subsequently burns by way of the battery at an unlucky charge.
Chromebooks usually take pleasure in wonderful battery life, however the Asus falls behind. It solely managed an hour and 44 minutes in our demanding Basemark internet benchmark check, the place different Chromebooks obtain double that or extra. The Google Pixelbook Go, for instance, ran for greater than 4 hours.
The processor was pegged at full pace throughout our battery assessments, with the followers working constantly.
In our internet searching check, the Chromebook Flip C436 once more fell behind the pack, at 7 hours and 19 minutes. The Pixelbook Go ran for about 13.5 hours and the Chromebook Flip C434 managed over 11.5 hours.
The rationale for the mediocre battery life appears to be that the Core i3 was pegged at full pace throughout our assessments, with the followers working pretty constantly. I’ll add that it’s a bit of bizarre to listen to followers when working a Chromebook — most are fanless, which simply isn’t potential with this caliber of processor.
The Chromebook Flip C436 isn’t cheap at $800, and it’s not meant to be. There are many low-cost Chromebooks accessible, however few supply this degree of efficiency and construct high quality. The battery life holds Flip C436 again from true greatness although. It’s a conventional energy of Chromebooks, however right here, it’s lower than snuff with the competitors.
Is there a greater different?
It has a couple of benefits over the Pixelbook Go, however the $150 distinction in value between base fashions is hard to justify. You quit the 2-in-1 flexibility however acquire a greater show, extra enticing design, and wonderful battery life.
One other competitor is the Acer Chromebook 13. You received’t get fairly the identical high quality construct, nevertheless it does include the next decision 13.5-inch display at 2,256 x 1,504. You’ll spend $700 for a dual-core processor however storage drops to only a measly 32GB.
If Home windows 10 is extra your bag, then you possibly can take into account the $850 Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 with an Eighth-gen Core i5 and a greater show. And the Asus construct high quality is there as effectively, together with even smaller bezels and a nifty LCD numeric keypad constructed into the touchpad.
How lengthy will it final?
The Chromebook Flip C436 is solidly constructed and seems like it would final without end, and its elements ought to sustain with years of Chrome OS updates. The only 12 months of guarantee protection is disappointing as effectively, however Asus does throw in its standard unintended protection safety for a full 12 months.
Do you have to purchase it?
Sure. The Chromebook Flip C436 is quick, well-built, and earns its premium value.