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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Asus Chromebook Flip C214 is on sale on online channels for Rs 23,999 from July 22 onwards.
  • The laptop/ tablet features Chrome OS, an operating system based on Google’s Chrome browser.
  • The Chromebook sports sturdy built and is extremely portable with a weight of just 1.2kg.

While the boundaries of technology are constantly pushed across verticals, its adaptation in one’s life is largely based on the use case it is meant to solve. It then does not need to be the best of what there is, just capable enough of carrying out the task at hand.

This is the core principle that backs the existence of Chromebooks. The special Chrome OS-powered laptops and two-in-ones come with a minimalistic agenda. You have an everyday task that needs a laptop – Chromebook will have a way for you to get it done. Go overboard with your demands, and Chromebook will be the last device to help you.

Asus recently launched a series of such offerings aimed to serve the students and like. The idea behind the new Chromebook range by Asus is to provide affordable laptops for simple purposes like learning or working. For this, the entire range has been priced in the lower spectrum and come as an attractive proposition for those looking to buy an entry-level laptop or two-in-one.

We had a chance to experience one of these Chromebooks. Asus Chromebook Flip C214 is the model we tried our hands-on, and after more than a week of using the device, here is what we think about it.

As mentioned earlier, Asus is gunning for the core Chromebook principals with the new C214. The most visible result of this is a very concise form factor on the two-in-one laptop. It is just as big as a decent-sized book and will give you similar portability feel when you carry it around with you all day.

With this in mind, Asus has also made sure that the C214 is rugged and can withstand everyday wear and tear. It has considerably thick and bold components all around, which bring a certain level of sturdiness to the device. Couple this with added padding like rubber bumpers, and you are good to use it clumsily.

Interestingly, the sturdy built does not downgrade the look and feel of the device. You can set the C214 apart from the regular thick-skinned and ugly laptops that are handed out to students in some schools and universities. This one has an elegant vibe, with a matte rubber-like finish that is also pleasing to touch.

Asus Chromebook Flip C214 is, thus, a very well built two-in-one overall. Especially since it is a two-in-one, the extra sturdiness helps immensely to have that level of confidence you need to use it as an everyday device. Wear and tear can be faced and mastered easily with this one.

Asus Chromebook Flip C214 review: Performance for specific demands

Once you fire up the C214, the original appeal of a Chromebook begins to dawn on you. The Chrome OS will greet you with its minimalistic interface, asking you to choose your next step. Open up any of the apps, edit your documents, surf the internet, it will be your friend throughout.

Those who are aloof of the concept of Chrome OS know that it is an operating system by Google that is almost entirely based on its Chrome browser. The underlying idea is that all the work can be performed on cloud-based services, and a simple internet connection will save you the hassles of having the services/ software on your device.

This means that the Chrome OS is by default lighter in nature than Windows and macOS. This also corresponds to lower hardware requirements, and the same can be seen on the C214. On paper, the two-in-one comes with a Celeron N4020 processor and 4 GB of RAM.

While this might seem way too little for any other OS, they fair well as the specifications of a Chromebook. There is also a 64 GB of internal eMMC storage that is further expandable via microSD.

All this works in tandem to make the C214 perform smoothly for most parts. You will absolutely love working on Google’s suite of apps that are integrated within the OS. There is Google Play Store to download any Android apps as well. So work on the app of your choice or surf the internet willy-nilly, the C214 is a great companion throughout.

While the Chrome OS is way too light to have a sluggish performance, you will experience occasional lags on the C214. These will become even more profound as you increase the performance demands from the laptop. It will work perfectly well for browsing the internet and using work-related apps. But play a graphic intensive game on it, and you will see a subpar performance.

To have a clear differentiation, know that the Chromebook will run many games smoothly. We tried it for several simple action and simulation games like Ronin and Pocket Build. While these worked perfectly well, heavy games like Battlegrounds Mobile India and Mortal Kombat X were a bit laggy. You will also miss a smooth touch experience on these games, which brings us to the next part.

Asus Chromebook Flip C214 review: Touch display

The big factor that plays in favour of C214 is the touch display on the two-in-one device. The keyboard can be rotated all the way to the back to make C214 a tablet. The dual experience at the price that it boasts is much more than what many others can provide.

Having said that, the display in itself could have been better. The device currently dons an 11.6-inch LED display with 1366×768 pixels (HD+) screen resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. True to these numbers, the Asus Chromebook Flip is a potent device for most text-based purposes. But if your work involves dealing with videos or if you wish for a vibrant media experience in general, the C214 might not live up to the expectations.

Other than that, the display is very capable in most aspects. It has ample colours and contrast for casual viewing and is bright enough for use under sunlight. Best of all, it is housed by a thick protective bezel on all sides, so you don’t really have to be too finicky about it even when on the move.

The lower resolution display results in substantial battery life on the Asus Chromebook Flip. The Chromebook hardly lost 10 per cent of its battery life on around 2 hours of our use and can easily get you through two days of regular shift timings. It charges fast, too, gaining a full battery in around just over an hour of the plugin.

Asus Chromebook Flip C214 review: To buy or not

To be clear in this regard, we found the Asus Chromebook Flip to be a very potent device in our use. People who require a laptop for basic work that involves typing or excel sheets or such web-based services will find it to be a bang for their bucks. Sure, the ChromeOS is new, and the keyboard is a bit limited than those on regular laptops, but a day or two’s use should get any working individual to adjust to these changes.

With such work, you might not use the touch display as often, though. It then appeals to those into online reading and learning. With most of the schools and colleges operating these days remotely, it is certain to help students across the country. Of course, casual viewing at the end of the day is a big plus too.

Where it lacks is performing complex computing that might involve graphics-heavy work. This means designing software like Photoshop or AutoCAD or video editing tools like Adobe Premiere Pro is not ideal for the Asus Chromebook Flip. Even games are a marginal strength of it, so graphics-heavy games are also laggy.

Asus Chromebook Flip C214 retails for Rs 23,999 and is worth its money for a specific user class. Of course, as this user base grows each day, it is likely to find success in the Indian market in the days to come

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