The fall semester's starting up, and with many schools opting for remote learning, Chromebooks are hotter than ever. Unfortunately, that means that most are out of stock. If you're fine with a refurbished unit, Woot is offering some higher-end Chromebooks right now for decent prices.
ASUS's latest Chromebook Flip, the C434, came on the market very recently. In fact, our review of it was published just yesterday. Although the C434 is more expensive than its predecessor, the C302, Office Depot is currently offering the 4GB/64GB model of the C434 for $499.99, $70 off the MSRP. That brings it down to the C302's MSRP.
I've never been a fan of buying expensive laptops, even once I could actually afford them. Just like with smartphones, there's a certain point where the added features can't justify the $1,000+ prices, unless you are doing heavy productivity or gaming. My first laptop was the ASUS Eee PC 1001PXD netbook, which I was pretty happy with at the time (now the 1024x600 screen sounds atrocious), but the casing eventually started to crack apart. I later switched to the original Dell Chromebook 13, but the limitations of the browser-only environment were too much to bear, so I bought a Surface Pro 2.
We've all heard the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none," and there's a distinctly negative connotation to it. The more something tries to do, the worse it is at any one task. Unfortunately, it still holds true today. But some products, like this one, are starting to toe the line.
ASUS' latest Chromebook Flip C101PA combines performance with excellent build quality in a convertible package. So not only do you get a great Chromebook, to a certain degree, you also get a good Android tablet. And it will only cost you $299 — and a somewhat disappointing screen.
The C101 was to be ASUS' successor to the much-loved C100. Both are part of ASUS' so-called "Flip" series, which are convertible touchscreen Chromebooks. We've been looking forward to the release since it was teased back in May at Computex. And now it's finally available for pre-order at $299 via both Amazon and ASUS' store.
Chromebooks are growing more and more popular in the classroom, due to their simplicity, cost, and easy management. ASUS already revealed a new Chromebook Flip at Computex 2017, replacing the original 2015 10" model. But now they have announced another laptop simply called 'Chromebook Flip' (great branding there, guys) aimed at schools.
In a shocking turn of events, Asus has officially released the Chromebook Flip C302CA. An all-aluminum entry into the ever-growing world of Chromebooks, the newest Flip will come in a few different configurations depending on needs and budget. This little beauty has been leaked a few times and even went up for sale just a bit early, but now it is officially official.
In our latest video, Facundo Holzmeister goes hands-on with Android apps and the Play Store on Chrome OS using the Chromebook Flip. I've used the Flip's Android apps a fair bit now, and I have to say, while the experience is buggy, it does hold a lot of promise. Our video hands-on should give you a better idea of what the whole thing looks and feels like, as well as some of Facundo's thoughts on how things are progressing. For now, things do break, some don't work, and others just feel oddly out of place - but the things that do work often work well, and it's hard not to be excited about the future of Android apps on Chrome OS.
Have a Chromebook Flip? Get it on the developer channel ASAP - the Play Store update is rolling out now. I've had very little chance to mess with it, but the apps I have used (Hangouts, Maps, Search, the Play Store) all seem to run pretty well. Funnily, the Play Store still allowed to install Google Now Launcher... but you can't change the launcher, since the launcher is the windowed app mode.
I haven't tried any games yet, and a number of apps you might want - like Google+ or Talon for Twitter - are marked incompatible at this time. The developers will likely need to account for the hardware capabilities of the Flip and other Chromebooks (specifically, the things it lacks) and be sure to tailor their apps to devices without certain features down the road.