ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 Review: The idea to launch a Chromebook has already been used. The HP Chromebook 13 and Google Chromebook Pixel and its next versions; all these are the results. But what also came with these Chromebooks was their prices. These luxurious and costly beasts could not be afforded by us.
Asus hence banged in the market, and out it came with the Chromebook which nearly has the same specs as its competitors and is also priced reasonably. On top of the 499$ price, this gadget is already equipped with the features to run the future Android apps coming to the Chrome OS. For the developers, this is an added advantage. If you compare it with laptops which cost the same, this will turn out to be in the top league for sure.
The Asus Chromebook C302 overall looks like a solid laptop. It has looks of any other device which looks like a MacBook pro. The only notable difference is that the laptop has rounded edges, giving it a unique look. The gadget has a 0.9 (2.29cm) thin frame, and the design notably is good when compared to laptops in its price range.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 Review
The original Chromebook flip was excellent. The only bad thing about that gadget? Everything was too tightly packed. Be it the keyboard or the screen, it was too small to handle. With the new Chromebook Flip C302, this is not a problem. C302 is quite larger than the original Chromebook. With size, comes weight but that’s not much of a problem. The 360-degree hinge is common in both; the feature which laptop hopes to have.
As mentioned C302 is larger, and thanks to the larger screen the gadget has a handy keyboard as well. The keyboard is full size unlike the one in its predecessor, which makes it much more comfortable to use. The keyboard also has the backlit feature, so working hard in the nights will not be a problem with this one. Overall, the Chromebook C302 provides you with easier and better typing experience when compared to the original Chromebook. The touchpad provides a pretty satisfying experience as well. It provides good and accurate tracking and has two finger scrolling. Apart from these features, the trackpad has nothing that needs to be mentioned.
The screen size is 12.5 inches and it comes with a 1920×1080 resolution. Compare this with the Flip’s 10.1 inches, 1280×800 resolution display and you will see the difference. The screen could have been a little better, however, and the battery life is not very good as well. If you are a heavy user of the gadget, 7-8 hours is the battery life you get. Maybe if it lasted an hour or two, it would have been the perfect thing. The pictures, as well as videos, stay sharp and bright. Of course, it also comes with brightness control so you can dim the lights whenever you feel your eyes getting strained.
As far as the audio goes, the quality is pretty decent. Asus has made sure that there are speakers on both the sides of the Chromebook C302. The sound quality is not very good, and external speakers are a must. If not external speakers, earphones are a must as movies cannot be comfortably seen with C302’s original speakers. The other downside of this laptop is that it comes with a very limited number of ports as well when compared to other laptops of its price range. With this gadget, you get just 2 USB C, 1 micro SD card, and the basics.
The C302 is also not very handy when it comes to tablet mode. The hardware is heavy, and as a result, the tablet itself weighs 2.65 pounds. It is not something you which you can carry around in your hand. When it comes to laptop mode, there are magnets which hold it firmly when you switch to tablet mode. To get that mode, you just have to rotate the screen on the hinges given.
When it comes to software, both vary from the tablet mode to laptop mode. If you are more of a tablet user, you can use the android apps quite smoothly. You can take things offline for that matter, and the gadget performs decently. You can download movies and watch them offline, save playlists and listen to them later and see TV on your Chromebook as well. The software doesn’t lag, but then 4-5 years down the line; we don’t what will happen.
Having a device which is used in both tablet mode and laptop mode is becoming common for Chrome OS devices as well because Google has made sure that Android’s integration has gone up. As far as this gadget goes, the C302 is not accessed with the Play Store directly, and you may have to switch over to Chrome OS beta channel in order to download Android apps. Other than this small problem, the Chromebook C302 can be totally used in the Android environment. You keep swiping and using your favorite android apps like you use them in any other tablet. And if you are a racing addict, here is some good news for you. The Chromebook C302 outfit the gyroscopes, which means playing motion controlled games on this device is a real delight.
Not everything is perfect when it comes to the software of course. Slack and similar are the ones which we use on a typical smartphone. If you use these apps on the Chromebook; even in tablet mode, you will see texts which you will not be able to read. The writings do not scale properly, and it is next to impossible to read it. The sad news for the reading addicts is that the Kindle app also does not work very well, as it is not able to display in the full screen in portrait orientation.
The mobile apps are designed with a touchscreen interface in mind. It does not work very well when the gadget is in laptop mode because of the combination of keyboard and mouse. But, as we mentioned above switching to tablet mode is an easy process. The other pros of this device’s software include that Lightroom can be used on this, so when it comes to editing photos; it’s a go for this.
The laptop mode, however, had its limitation. If you edit videos regularly or edit movies for that matter; this gadget is definitely not for. You cannot edit 4K videos when it comes to software. You cannot edit any videos if you see it from the hardware’s point of view. The Chromebook C302 comes with a 64GB hard drive. This will anyways prove ineffective if you want to store some large files, like a video editing software.
Competitors and other options
When it comes to competitors, the only direct competitor the Chromebook C302 has the Samsung’s Chromebook Pro. Priced at 550$, this gadget is also one of the best. If you pay a little more money, you get a little better screen and the Samsung’s pen stylus which you can use for taking notes and drawing photos. The cons of this gadget, however, is that the keyboard’s quality is slightly on the lower side and it comes with no back light. The battery life however is quite good , so that must be kept in mind.
If you are thinking to buy the Chromebook Pro, we would suggest you go for this instead. Keeping display aside, the other hardware and software are more or less the same. So why pay that extra 70$? On the other hand, Chromebook C302 has double the storage of Chromebook pro! With all that extra money you are paying, I would suggest you go with the Chromebook C302 without a doubt.
If you are looking for laptops in this range itself, another option you can consider is the Samsung’s Chromebook Plus. This laptop is quite identical to the pro and comes with only one difference. When it comes to the processor, the Plus uses an ARM processor whereas the Pro uses an Intel chip. The options include Lenovo’s Chromebook 13. If you are a college going student or if you just want a gadget to watch movies and browse Facebook; this one is for you. But this does not come with a backlit keyboard, a touchscreen feature or a 360 degree for that matter.
If you do not have your minds fixed on just Chromebooks, there are many other options you can choose from. You can always go for windows laptops, the 500$ is not enough to buy a good one. If you have the money, go for them or you can always consider the Acer Aspire S5. Priced at 550$ and equipped with a 13-inch screen and Windows 10, this gadget is also quite handy to use.
Overall, this is a laptop that I would recommend you just want to Netflix and chill. Heavy work can also be done on this machine, but it’s better if you don’t.