It has been a while, but finally we have ASUS ‘new tablet here in the office. Since it has been around for a while, there is little surprise here. This is a 10.5-inch tablet / removable Chromebook that offers a similar range of hardware that we have had in this room since early 2020 in the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. ASUS promises a little more quality in the design, adds to a stored USI pen, and has a little trick up its sleeve with the kick stand, but the idea is the same.
Inside, we have a MediaTek MT8183 processor inside along with 4GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of eMMC storage. This should sound familiar, since these are the same things we have in the Lenovo Chromebook Duet and have had for well over a year at this point. That said, there are some differences and they are worth talking about.
First up is the most noticeable: the wild kickstand. When this Chromebook first leaked, I thought the photos were bad Photoshop jobs. Seeing a tablet stand in the portrait direction just looks fake, but it is 100% possible with this 2-way hinge on the ASUS CM3. For a handful of applications, this can be a very useful feature.
Second, the internally stored, rechargeable USI pen is a very nice addition for a device with this form factor. Since I use this tablet a bit, I would assume that this pen is going to be very useful. In fact, we only needed to sign an NDA PDF this morning to send back to a hardware manufacturer, and it was so convenient to have the pen there and ready for me when I needed it.
Third, the screen is a little different than the Duet. Instead of 10.1 inches, this is 10.5 inches and instead of the 400 nits we had on the Duet, this is only 320 nit brightness. Both are 1920 × 1200 (16:10), so it’s definitely a bit familiar with the overall form factor here, but I really prefer the brightness offered with the Duet over this CM3. That said, the first look of this panel still feels nice. Colors look good, viewing angles are wide, and I guess most users will not feel that 320 nits is too low for most real conditions.
As part of the larger screen, we get a little more space for a larger removable keyboard as well. The keys feel larger and more spaced than the Duet, and although I still do not want to work with this keyboard all day, it feels like it has decent travel and attaches to the screen base for extra stability. The trackpad is also wide with a nice click, so the detachable part of this tablet is pretty well done as far as I can tell so far.
In the end, the build quality became a little more solid and the look is more mature than what we see on the Duet. The charcoal colors and the outer parts of the fabric look more business-oriented, but the edges and lines feel a little sharp to the touch. Although it looks a little more adult on the desk, I like the duet better in the hand.
I will spend more time with this tablet in the coming weeks, and we will put together a review after I have had some time with it, but I do not expect too many surprises at this time. With a starting price of $ 369 (for the 64 GB model), there are some things to consider when looking at this Chromebook. If a more mature aesthetic, including / storable pen, slightly larger screen / keyboard and multi-flex kickstand sounds like good upgrades to you over what we have in Lenovo Duet, then this might be a good buy. After I have spent more time on it, I will let you know.
Shop the ASUS Chromebook Removable CM3 at the Chrome Shop