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.
*UPDATE* The model I used didn’t actually have a 2400 x 1350 resolution display, rather it had a 2400 x 1350 setting, which isn’t true 2400 x 1350 but it does make your icons and what-not smaller so it appears as if you’ve bumped up your screens resolution but in reality, it’s still only a 1080p screen.
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?