In a move that is both surprising and a bit confusing, ASUS has unveiled yet another new Chromebook with a name that is far too similar to an already launched device here in 2021. If you remember, ASUS appeared at CES 2021 with a few new Chromebooks and one of them (our favorite so far) was the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5. Technically, this Chromebook also goes by the name Flip CX5500 and / or Flip C536, depending on where you search. Anyway, this big 15.6-inch Chromebook is a great device that we liked very much, but it was not the ASUS Flip successor we expected at all.
Going all the way back to the Flip C302, ASUS has made it a habit to release a new 1
ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5400 key specifications
- Intel® Core ™ i7-1160G7 2.1 GHz processor (12M cache, up to 4.4 GHz, 4 cores)
- 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and 16 GB RAM, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.0
- 14-inch Full HD Touch Screen 1920 × 1080 NanoEdge Screen with Garage USI Pen
- 360-degree hinge: turn the touch screen to tent, stand and tablet mode
- 2x Thunderbolt ™ 4 supports monitor and power supply, 1x USB 3.2 Type-A (Gen 1)
- Micro SD card reader plus an illuminated keyboard
- Built-in array speakers powered by Harman Kardon at just 3.10 lbs.
At the moment, there are no less specific variations to this new Chromebook, so it’s set to be 100% high-end for now. Almost everything is written to 11 here with a Core i7 (Tiger Lake) processor, 16 GB of RAM and half a terabyte of NVMe storage. With all the connections you want in Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5 and Thunderbolt 4 ports, this Chromebook is flat out, ready to smash everything you throw at it. Along with the i7 processor, you also get Intel’s excellent, integrated Xe graphics that will be useful when Steam games on Chromebooks become a legitimate thing later this year.
A couple of notable additions are interesting to see, here. First of all, the processor is a small variation on standard Tiger Lake processors we have seen at this point. Kevin Tofel took a deep dive into the differences between About Chromebooks, but the short version is this: the i7-1160G7 is a lower powered Tiger Lake chip that uses less power than the chips found in devices like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 and does not need a fan. Do you remember Intel’s Y series processors like the ones we have in Pixelbook and Pixelbook Go? That’s the way it is.
Second, we have the surprising inclusion of a storable USI pen. This is an addition I wanted in many ASUS convertibles as they went head-to-head with Samsung’s pen-friendly Chromebooks over the years. Sure, with it being USI compliant, you can use the pen you have around you, but I will always insist that the best pen is the one you are wearing. With ASUS providing a pen in the box that always has a place to live, this will probably be the pen you often turn to.
All that power has a price
Currently, the only model offered is this one with the very best specifications. I can imagine that ASUS will also release a Core i3 or i5 variant, but we have no information about that yet. This beast on a Chromebook comes in at $ 1049.99, and I think it’s a reasonable price for what you get. Think of the Pixelbook from a few years back for a very similar $ 999. The device came with a Y-Series Core i5, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage. Sure, the Pixelbook is in a league of its own from an aesthetic and design perspective, but the specs do not even come close to this new ASUS CX5.
Also consider what a Core i7, 16 GB / 512 GB Chromebook costs in the corporate arena. If I switch to Dell or HP and specify a similar Latitude 7410 or c1030, I end up with a $ 1895 offer from Dell and a $ 1535 offer from HP for only 256 GB of storage (there was no 512 GB option ). Keep in mind that both of these devices are equipped with slower 10th generation Intel processors, less UHD integrated graphics and do not come with a storage pen.
Is a $ 1000 + Chromebook for everyone? No, but that’s the beauty of the current crop of Chromebooks. There are good choices across all price ranges, and it’s honestly a big surprise to see a maximum device like this come in at just over $ 1000. If ASUS showed up with a device similar to the Acer Spin 713 or HP x360 14c , I will shake my head in disgust at this price. That’s not what’s going on here. Instead, ASUS has gone all-out on this Chromebook and priced it in a very, very respectable way. If you’re looking for a monster Chromebook at an affordable price, the new Flip CX5400 may be right down your alley. We are anxiously awaiting a review unit and will obviously post content around this unit when it arrives – hopefully soon.
Pre-order the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5400