When you hear Chromebook, you might think of netbook-like cheap laptops that you don’t work very comfortably on. Asus wants to do something about that prejudice with the Chromebook Flip C436. Because with this Chromebook you get a modern and luxurious laptop.
Asus Chromebook Flip C436
price € 899 or € 999
Screen 14 inch IPS panel (1920 x 1080)
Processor Intel Core i3-10110U or Core i5-10210U
Memory 8 GB ram
Storage 128 or 256 GB nvme-ssd
Connections 2x USB-C, 3.5mm combo jack, micro-SD card reader
Wireless Wifi 6, bluetooth 5.0
Dimensions 31.95 x 20.53 x 1.37 cm
Weight 1.1 kg
8 Score 80
- Foldable screen
- Excellent keyboard
- Good screen
- Battery life could be better
- Chrome OS limitations
In terms of price you get with the Asus Chromebook Flip C436 in any case not a bargain, because 899 or 999 euros (depending on the version) is also a price for a “normal” Windows laptop that belongs to the more luxurious laptops. Fortunately, you get a nice machine for that high price. The magnesium alloy housing looks luxurious and is sturdy. At 1.1 kilos, the Chromebook is also pleasantly light. The details have also been considered. It is nice that the housing rises slightly when you open the lid, which ensures better cooling.
In terms of connections, the Flip C436 does not offer very much. Two USB-C ports are provided with one port on each side and a 3.5mm headset jack. A USB-C port on each side is a smart choice, as both ports support charging and video output. I tested this with a simple USB-C dock with a USB-A port and HDMI connection. Of course, the USB-C connections look modern in terms of format, in terms of speed you only get USB 3.2 gen1 or USB 3.0. In practice, certainly with the less strong focus on local files from Chrome OS, probably not a very big problem, but in fact you expect at least one faster Gen2 connection with a more expensive laptop, not to mention Thunderbolt. A normal USB-A connection is missing, for something like a USB stick you need a gradient, just like for most monitors. A gradient is not included, you have to arrange that yourself.
Asus has equipped the Chromebook Flip with a modern processor, in our test sample a Core i5-10210U quad core processor, in combination with a large amount of RAM of 8 GB, especially for a Chromebook. The available storage is also striking: the 256 GB nvme-ssd would not be out of place in a laptop that is not heavily on the cloud. Still, a little space on a Chromebook is quite useful nowadays, for example for installing Android apps or taking movies or photos with you. And a large amount of ram is certainly not as lavish as it seems. The Chromebook’s browser remains Chrome, and if you have many tabs open at the same time, enough memory is indispensable for a smooth experience.
In practice, the Flip C436 performs well with this powerful hardware. Even with a lot of tabs and apps open, this Chromebook remains smooth, making this a Chromebook on which you can run all the applications you need for typical office tasks side by side.
With an eight-hour battery life, the Chromebook is unfortunately not among the top performers on the market, something I actually expected. But it is still enough for an average working day.
The display is a 14-inch full-HD screen with an IPS panel that offers excellent image quality. The screen is glossy, because it is a touch screen. Except with your finger, the screen should also be suitable for an active stylus, but unfortunately I have not been able to test that due to the lack of a suitable one. In any case, active styluses of other laptops do not work. Touching with a finger works fine.
You can flip the touchscreen, after which you can use the Chromebook as a (somewhat hefty) tablet. For relaxed browsing on the couch, it is light enough and is a nice change from the normal laptop form factor. It is also handy that you can put the Chromebook as a tent. This way it takes up less space and you can still watch a movie. Support for Android apps will also come in handy in tablet mode.
The hardware is therefore fine and it is pleasant to work on the Chromebook: the keyboard is backlit in five levels and the typing comfort is excellent. The keys feel nice and the touchpad is spacious. It is striking that the on-off switch also serves as a fingerprint scanner, making it easy to log in. Moreover, the recognition works almost flawlessly.
As an experiment I carried out almost all my work on this Chromebook for two weeks and that was not disappointing in itself. As mentioned, you can connect a screen in combination with a gradient and you can easily connect a keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth. This Chromebook has excellent Wi-Fi hardware, something that has already been noticed with previously tested Chromebooks. For my day-to-day work, which usually includes creating and editing text files, Google Docs is fine and photo editing with Pixlr is also fine. A modern cms for a website is of course no problem for Chrome. What a Chromebook is not suitable for is video editing.
Although you can work well on the Flip C436 and typical office tasks even go well, it is not a full-fledged laptop compared to a Windows laptop or Macbook. The limitations are in Chrome OS itself. Because although Chrome OS has seen a clear development since the first version, it remains basically a browser. That means that for many applications such as photo editors you have to be online and that heavier things like video editing are difficult. Fortunately, some things can be done offline, including Google’s own office apps. In addition, you can use offline Android apps, but not all Android apps work equally well on a laptop. If you like experimenting, you can install Linux programs.
The limitations of Chrome OS also have advantages. The security is excellent and most of your files and settings are stored in Google’s cloud. That means that after logging into another Chromebook you can immediately continue working on what you were doing. A great advantage in case of damage, loss or theft. Moreover, you can hardly accidentally “break” Chrome OS, making it a stable platform. In terms of price, this Chromebook is on the same level as that of even more luxurious Windows laptops, so you have to wonder whether the advantages of a Chromebook outweigh the limitations.
The Flip C436 shows that Chromebooks can also be serious laptops that you can work on in luxury. The laptop has a beautiful housing and is equipped with a good screen and keyboard. And those are the aspects that distinguish me from a good laptop. At the same time, it remains a Chromebook with limitations that simply arise from the operating system used. Beautiful, but not the most suitable device for everyone. However, if you can handle a Chromebook and you want a good laptop, this is really a device that you should consider.