Remember the now-discontinued 11-inch MacBook Air? The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA is like a cheaper version of it that you can actually buy.
The 12.5-inch Asus laptop is a capable Chromebook with an all-aluminum 2-in-1 design and touchscreen. It looks and feels like a sleeker, more expensive product and, to be fair, for a Chromebook it kind of is.
Starting at $500 (converts to about £400, AU$655) the Asus laptop is no bargain-basement Chromebook; it's a high-end model with a posh design and decent components. While it might be pricey for a Chromebook, it's the perfect alternative to a low-end Windows 10 ($170 at Best Buy) laptops for those who only need a machine for simple online-based tasks. The $549 Samsung Chromebook Pro ($788 at Amazon) is a better laptop, but if you want something smaller, the Asus Chromebook Flip is your best bet.
Editors' note: This review has been edited to clarify that the brightness of the backlit keyboard on the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA can be adjusted.
The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA (not to be confused with this older Asus Chromebook Flip) is a really good-looking laptop. Its metal body construction looks effortlessly cool and it also feels solid, despite being perfectly petite in size and weight.
- 2.43 pounds (1.1kg)
- 0.53x11.96x8.26 inches (13.5x304x210mm)
I love the Asus' compact build. It's the perfect size for taking to go and the stylish metallic design -- a very attractive alternative to a plastic laptop -- won't cramp your style. I use a 13-inch MacBook Air for work and I'd hate to carry anything heavier to and from work everyday. I'd prefer a design like this to the Air's; it's truly the ideal size for anyone who has to commute with a laptop often. Plus, you get the extra feature of a 360-degree convertible hinge, something you won't find on most laptops in this price range.
The Asus Chromebook Flip has two hinges that allow its lid to rotate back 360 degrees. This lets you use the laptop in a variety of configurations; you can flip the keyboard all the way back for a tablet-like experience, or prop it up like a tent to watch video.
The full-size backlit keyboard is roomy and comfortable to type on. The wide touchpad is also responsive and supports multitouch commands, but it's not as good as the touchpad gestures on my MacBook. To control the keyboard backlighting, you simply press the Alt key and the brightness control keys at the top of the keyboard that normally control the screen. Less expensive Chromebooks, like the Acer Chromebook R 13 and the Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook, don't even have backlighting, so it's a nice addition.
The Chromebook Flip C302CA's screen quality is above average, especially when compared with similarly priced Windows 10 laptops. It has a bright and clear full HD display that looks great when watching video or reading articles.