Asus continues to push ahead with its Chromebook range improving the quality and performance of what you can do with Chrome OS, but has the company taken things too far, or not far enough?

We've had a brief play with the new Chromebook laptop at CES 2020 to find out more to see if it could be a contender for best Chromebook.

Design and display

  • 14-inch Full HD display
  • 1.1kg weight
  • Available in Aerogel White and Transparent Silver
  • Magnesium alloy chassis

What's abundantly clear from the moment you set eyes on the Flip C436 is that we've come a long way from the plastic approach of the first wave of Chromebooks all those years ago. This is a device that feels as premium as the company's top-of-the-line Windows laptops and that can only be seen as only a good thing.

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Available in two colours - an iridescent Aerogel White, which changes colour when viewed from different angles, and a more standard Transparent Silver - the durable yet lightweight magnesium alloy chassis looks like it should withstand general usage on the road, and while it's not designed to be "tough" it's certainly not flimsy.

Open up the 360-degree flip display, from which the laptop gets its name, and you reveal a 14-inch frameless NanoEdge Full HD touch display that is both bright and clear. The flip screen is by no means ground-breaking in its offering however does allow you to turn the device into a tablet for using on the go or as a presentation tool, and because it's only 13.7mm thick tablet use shouldn't be too clunky.

The soft keyboard with its 1.4mm of travel certainly offers a nice typing experience.

Performance

  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U processor
  • 256GB SSD
  • 8GB memory
  • Chrome OS 

This being a Chromebook, the laptop doesn't sport the heftiest of processors, but it's enough to make everything move swiftly along. We didn't have too much time to test the laptop, but plan to do so when we get to review the Flip 436 in the office.  

Asus is keen though to try and impress. There's a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U, with Intel UHD Graphics, 8GB of LPDDR3 memory, and a 256GB M.2 SSD for storage.

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A dual-band Wi-Fi 6 radio and Bluetooth 5.0 cover wireless connectivity, while a pair of USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C ports handle add-on peripherals. A microSD card slot can handle memory cards as large as 2TB, although you could opt for Google's One cloud storage option for more storage space as long as you can get online.

Battery life is a promised 12 hours.  There are four Harman Kardon speakers dotted around and a fingerprint sensor for those looking for extra security. 

First Impressions

Our time was brief with the new Chromebook from Asus, but we came away impressed with the overall design, performance, and approach of the device.

This is premium territory space from the company and one that we approve of. We look forward to having a further play when the laptop comes out in March. From what we've seen, if you're about to buy a new "premium" Chromebook, this certainly warrants a closer look.