I am not a juggler. If I have two devices that I need to switch between as I work, I get frustrated and confused. Why would I force myself to use two different pieces of hardware when one can do the trick? That is the solution that the ASUS C302CA Chromebook Flip offers. The ASUS Flip has the standard properties of a Chromebook: a light, versatile computer that is secure and easy to use. But it is also an android tablet with a large, high resolution touchscreen. So, I took the ASUS Chromebook Flip for a test drive to see if I would flip for the Flip.
ASUS Flip first impressions
ASUS C302CA Chromebook Flip
There’s no clutter in the ASUS Flip package. You get the essential bits: Chromebook, power supply, basic documentation. Oh, and they included a micro-fibre cloth for cleaning your screen. It’s a nice touch, and helpful since you’ll be cleaning the screen regularly to remove your fingerprint smudges. The ASUS Flip is incredibly light. It weighs in at a measly 2.65 lbs! It is easily held in one hand while your other hand roots around for your coffee cup that you swear you put down right here a minute ago. The all-metal body of the ASUS Flip feels sturdy and durable, while remaining light and remarkably thin.
ASUS Flip setup
This is how setting up a computer should be. Because the Chromebook is a closed system running Google’s custom operating system Chrome OS, setting up and updating the Chromebook is fast and simple. You log on to the Chromebook using your Google ID, and it automatically applies your existing browser preferences to your new Chromebook. Even if you need to create a new Google ID, the set-up process is still ridiculously easy.
ASUS Flip Ports
I applaud ASUS for using USB-C as its primary ports. There is one on either side of the Chromebook, which allows you to connect the power supply or other USB-C device to whichever side is most convenient.
ASUS Flip touchscreen
I wasn’t sure if I would be able to take full advantage of the touchscreen. I have been trained by decades of computer use to depend on a mouse to interact with the images on the screen. But my worries were unfounded. Being freed from complete dependence on the trackpad was a revelatory experience. Now I could simply touch the item on screen that I wanted to interact with and navigate through it without going back to the trackpad. The touchscreen is easy to use and I am going to miss it when I have to go back to my old laptop.
ASUS Flip Apps
You’ll have to excuse me, I’m a little excited. Google has updated the Chrome OS so that Android apps are now compatible with Chromebooks. That’s right, the same apps I am already using on my Android phone can now be installed on the ASUS Flip. Before this point, apps had to be specifically modified to work on a Chromebook. But with this OS update, you can now access virtually all the applications available in the Google Play app store. I would like to pretend that I am excited to have access to productivity apps like the Microsoft suite. In actuality, I could not wait to jump back into Star Trek Timelines and play the game where no one had played before—on a Chromebook!
The ASUS Flip transformation
The marquee feature of the ASUS is the ability to transform it from a laptop to a tablet with a single motion. I have to confess that I was hesitant to flip the screen back for the first time. Every bone in my nerdy body was screaming that the hinges weren’t meant to do that. But once I overcame my silly fear of breaking the Chromebook cleanly in two, the flip was easy to do.
The next hurdle I had to overcome was the switch from using a laptop to using a tablet within a few seconds. You don’t realize how different your device usage methods are until you have to change gears suddenly. But luckily, the ASUS seamlessly transitioned and was ready to do my bidding once I wrapped my mind around the change.
ASUS Flip battery life
We all know that a lightweight laptop is only as useful as the length of its battery life. Portability doesn’t mean much if your device runs out of juice after 10 minutes. And I am happy to report that the ASUS has more than enough battery power to keep you productive during your hectic day. They promise up to 10 hours of use on a full battery charge, and my own results were close to that. Of course, battery life will always depend on how much you’re asking of the Chromebook and for how long. On the topic of battery power, it took about an hour and a half to fully charge the battery from 1% power remaining.
ASUS Flip Display
The 12.5” display is small but mighty. You’ll be able to watch video in full 1080p on the LED back-lit FHD screen. And the screen manages a respectable 60hz refresh rate, which is comparable to standard-sized laptops. The ASUS Flip has a light level sensor that will adjust the brightness of the display to suit the ambient lighting conditions around you. All in all, the display is clear and well-defined. In fact, the only issue I had was the smudges I had accidentally left on the screen when using the touch capabilities blurred the imaged shown on the screen. But after I realized it was my own fault, I gave the screen a quick clean and the blurriness was gone. The lesson, my friends, is wash your greasy fingers before using a touchscreen.
The ASUS Flip delivers everything it promises. It’s lightweight and versatile, like any good Chromebook. The display provides a high-quality viewing experience, and the touchscreen is responsive and effective. Whether you use it as a Chromebook, a tablet, or a mix of the two, you will get good value for your money with the ASUS Flip.
image from ASUS.com