Asus Flip 2 (Asus C302CA) First Impression [Hands-On]

There’s been quite a bit of buzz lately about a new Chromebook from Asus that appeared briefly on NewEgg, and then again on Best Buy’s website. (read about those leaks here)

This new Chromebook has been dubbed the Asus Flip 2, successor to the Asus Flip Chromebook, which was a 10″ ARM powered Chromebook with 360 degree hinges.

Folks who ordered from NewEgg were disappointed when shortly after their order was placed, it was cancelled by NewEgg.

Best Buy users however have reported that their devices were actually delivered, and they appear to match the specs that were listed on Best Buy’s website before the listing disappeared.

This new device is a bit bigger, has a very different design and is more powerful than the original Flip. In my opinion, it’s a very worthy successor indeed.

Now, I don’t actually have one at the moment. However, a few months ago I was able to get my hands on one of these devices. I wasn’t able to take it home with me or anything so this isn’t going to be a super in-depth review, rather it will be more of a brief first impression based on 20 or so minutes I had to play with it.

The first thing you should know, is that the device I got to play with had an M3 6Y30 Intel processor in it which scored an Octane test score of 22381, whereas the model shipped by Best Buy has a Pentium processor in it and is scoring more in the 15000 range. Still quite the upgrade from the original ARM powered Asus Flip. I’m not sure if Asus plans to offer a more premium M3 option or if they decided against the M3 option in favor of a more cost friendly Pentium. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Another difference is the model I used had a 2400 x 1350 resolution display, and the model being shipped by Best Buy has a 1920 x 1080 resolution display. Otherwise as far as I can tell, they’re the same device.

As far as first impressions go, I was definitely impressed.

First of all I LOVE the design. I myself an a 2015 Chromebook Pixel owner, and one of my favorite things about that device is the design. The Asus Flip 2 has a similar “boxy” design. The bottom half is the same thickness all the way through, and the top half is the same thickness all the way through. It’s like taking a large iPhone, and another large iPhone that’s a bit thinner and stacking them on top of each other. Then attaching them together with hinges. I prefer this design over the typical Macbook design where it’s thicker where the hinges are, and tapers down to super thin.

As a Pixel user, I’m a little disappinted by the ports. It has two USB-C ports (for connectivity and charging), which is neat, but no regular USB-A ports. It does have an HDMI port, which my Pixel does not. I have to use a USB-C to HDMI adapter for connecting my Pixel to an external monitor. Asus Flip 2 owners will not need to do this.

The Flip 2 also has a micro-SD slot for expanded storage. 4GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD, and a backlit keyboard (which I LOVE).

As far as performance goes, I couldn’t notice a difference between the Flip 2 I played with (remember, mine had the M3 processor, the model Best Buy shipped had the slower Pentium) and my Asus Chromebox, with a Haswell i3 and 4GB of RAM, or my Chromebook Pixel with the Broadwell i5 and 8GB of RAM. I didn’t get a whole lot of time to play with it and really try and test it’s limits, but here’s a quick comparison in Octane scores:

  • Chromebook Pixel – 24840
  • Asus Flip 2 (M3) – 22381
  • Asus Flip 2 (Pentium) -14893
  • Asus Chromebox – 16003

Again, I couldn’t notice a difference between any of these devices. With Chrome OS being such a lightweight operating system, once you get to a certain point hardware-wise, it just doesn’t matter anymore. Some people might be disappointed when they find out the Flip 2 has the Pentium inside, but honestly I doubt anybody would notice the difference.

All in all, I’m very impressed with the Flip 2. I liked the OG Flip, for it’s portability. I got to play with one for several weeks, and was able to travel with it and I loved it. It was absolutely great to have on an airplane, given it’s size and the 360 degree hinge. The Flip 2 is a little bit bigger, at 12.5″ but still pretty portable with the same 360 degree hinge. It’s maybe a little cumbersome in tablet mode for some people’s taste, but given how thin and light it was, I honestly did not mind the larger size.

In my opinion, it’s well worth the $500, especially since the Chromebook Pixel isn’t available anymore. This would make a great mid-to-high-end substitute. It checks all the boxes:

  • Full HD display
  • At least 4GB of RAM
  • Not ARM or other low-power processor
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Looks sweet
  • 360 degree hinge for tablet mode

ASUS is expected to “unveil” this device at the upcoming CES tech conference, so I imagine the device will be officially for sale all over the place soon.

What do you think? Based on the spec list (found here) and the picture, is this your next Chromebook?

In Category: Google Chrome

James Welbes

James has been a Chromie ever since 2012, when he accepted a temporary position as a Google Specialist, educating customers about Chromebooks in his local Best Buy. Since then he's converted his home to 100% Chrome OS, and has owned over half a dozen Chrome OS devices over the years. He currently uses the 2015 Google Pixel at home, and an Asus Chromebox at work.

Show 16 Comments
  • Jeff 01/01/2017, 12:01 pm

    The leaked pictures don’t show any USB-A ports. Why do you think it has both?

    • James Welbes 01/01/2017, 10:01 pm

      Ah, that’s my mistake. The Spec Sheet says “2 USB-C ports” and “2 USB 3.0 ports” as separate items, which lead me to believe they were USB-A ports.

      I fixed the article, thanks for pointing that out!

  • Qban Celli 01/01/2017, 8:02 pm

    This article makes me want unsubscribe from anything related to this site

    • James Welbes 01/01/2017, 10:05 pm

      Sorry you feel that way bro. Care to explain why?

  • Drew 01/01/2017, 10:48 pm

    It seems to cover my wants. As a Flip user I do get bogged down at times. My next Chromebook must have a better display, backlit keyboard, and USB C charging. I hate having to bring the proprietary charger with my Flip. How does the new one charge?

    • James Welbes 01/01/2017, 10:51 pm

      The new one charges via USB-C. Two ports, one on either side.

  • James 02/01/2017, 2:13 am

    Can you get the play store on it?

    • James Welbes 02/01/2017, 2:15 am

      Nope. There are still only 3 models that get the Google Play store out of the box.

  • Matt 02/01/2017, 5:03 am

    Are you certain that the play store isn’t available. I thought the flip 1 and the Acer R11 had play store or it was available by downloading the developer version?

    • James Welbes 02/01/2017, 5:09 am

      I just know that it’s not available out of the box. Any other developer channel/mode shenanigans are beyond me.

      Acer R11, Asus Flip (1st gen) and Chromebook Pixel (2nd gen) are the only 3 models that offer Google Play Store out of the box. All other models either don’t have it at all or require some sort of “hackery”.

  • Matt 02/01/2017, 5:15 am

    Ahh. Thanks for clarification. Hopefully as things progress the play store will become standard. With the flip configuration, it will make a very powerful low cost tablet/laptop hybrid I think with best of both worlds.

  • Bart 02/01/2017, 10:30 pm

    Wow, this article is pretty hard to Believe… I ordered from newegg and received my asus flip 2 already as did (who also performed a unboxing and hands on)
    Also, bestbuy never gave the option to buy this chromebook, only posted info on it so its obvious you posted false information.
    Finally the m3 processor is the only one available at this time (and is a pentium mobile processor) and the resolution you claimed to have used is bogus and from a best guess prior to the specs leaking online.

    • James Welbes 03/01/2017, 1:11 am

      Hi Bart!

      Actually, I know both Gabe and Robby (owners of chrome unboxed) and Newegg cancelled their order. They then ordered from best buy and received their order.

      The processor in the model they got is a Pentium processor which is different from the model I got my hands on months ago.

      The display on the model I got my hands on definitely had the higher resolution.

      I provided no false information, but thanks for your concern!

    • Gabriel Brangers 03/01/2017, 1:16 am

      As co-owner of ChromeUnboxed, I can confirm we received our ASUS from Best Buy and it is in fact the Pentium model. Newegg called us to tell us our order was cancelled due to an error on their part in listing the Chromebook. This was also the case for many of our readers as you can see in the Newegg article we published shortly after it was cancelled. If you were lucky enough to get the m3 model from Newegg that is awesome. We are anxious to see how it performs.

  • DennyL 03/01/2017, 3:16 am

    Are you sure this is the Flip 2?

    • James Welbes 03/01/2017, 3:19 am

      I assumed it was at first, but new evidence shows Asus is working on a new model that’s exactly the same as the OG Flip with a slightly improved CPU so maybe that’s the Flip 2

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