Chromebooks are, almost by design, mostly cheap devices. It's hard to find one with more powerful specs, harder still to find one with decent hardware and a good price to go along with it. If you're ready to step up to a Chromebook with more RAM and a spacious convertible touchscreen, mozy on over to Best Buy. It's offering a 15-inch convertible Asus model with 8GB of RAM for just $469.
Asus has built a steady presence in the mobile industry with help from its recent ROG Phone series. But it's been chasing a general audience (mostly in Asia) for much longer with its Zenfone lineup, attempting to please everyone and usually failing. Now, after a couple of devices with cameras that can flip from back to front, the Taiwanese brand is going small against a tide of big phones with the upcoming Zenfone 8.
Taiwan-based manufacturer Asus is well-known for its PCs and, these days, its ROG Phones for gamers. But it's always had a stake in mobile tilted towards a wider audience, too. That stake gets a major update today with two new entries: the small and powerful Zenfone 8 and the highly-engineered Zenfone 8 Flip.
Asus is still very much an also-ran in the smartphone world, but that gives it the space to try some unconventional designs that many find appealing. Take, for example, the Zenfone 6 and later, which elegantly solves the aesthetic issue of the notch by making its rear camera module flip around to the front when needed. Personally, I think it makes the Zenfone series some of the best-looking Android hardware there is. Asus isn't quite done with this design yet, according to a newly-leaked render of the unannounced ZenFone 8 Flip.
After accidentally teasing a few upcoming phones before removing them again earlier this year, Google has published a proper update to its ARCore support page, revealing that the augmented reality library is now supported by 24 more devices. This time around, all of them have already been announced.
The Zenfone 7 is a unique device, bucking the trend of hole punch cameras with a flip-up rear camera module. A lack of timely updates remains a sore spot for Asus hardware (something that is decidedly not unique), but the company's flagship is now getting Android 11 after a long beta process. The update should be ready for all ZenFone 7 and ZenFone 7 Pro models now, no matter what territory they're being used in.
There's no doubt that the Asus ROG Phone 5 is a beast — as a gaming phone, it packs all of the latest and greatest hardware, and that makes it a really chunky boy. Asus has a laser focus on gaming-centric features that will delight its core demographic, but the ROG 5 isn’t a complete nightmare to use outside of gaming either. The ROG Phone 5 offers stable everyday use with the added benefit of killer specs that can be tweaked and adjusted like a gaming PC. This is indeed a phone for gamers, but that means it lacks some popular features, and the software has some rough edges.
Chrome OS devices also run Android, or at least a big enough chunk of Android's base to get apps running alongside Chrome's browser tabs. But you might not have given much thought to exactly what version of Android your Chromebook uses. After all, it's not immediately relevant for most of a Chrome OS device's functions: that's handled by the larger Chrome OS, which is frequently updated by Google along with the browser.
While it's not the newest Chromebook on the block, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is still one of the best laptops running Google's browser-based OS you can buy today. The cost reflects that too — it rarely drops below its usual $600 price tag, even two years after its initial launch. Today, you can grab a C434 with 8GB of RAM for just $480 from Amazon, the lowest this particular model has ever dropped and an excellent opportunity to finally switch to Chrome OS.
Asus Chromebooks have been a popular choice for buyers thanks to a mix of low price and solid fit and finish. The company's latest model is the Chromebook Flip CM3, also known as the CM3200. It's an ARM-powered convertible laptop, not the detachable, Lenovo Duet-style tablet we were expecting, though that model may come later.