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Asus Chromebook Flip C214 Review: A Hybrid Machine Built For The Internet Era
I get at least a couple of requests every week for a laptop suggestion. Depending on the budget, I usually suggest a tablet for around Rs. 20,000 or tell them to get a laptop, which usually costs over Rs. 45,000.
- Rugged design
- Touch screen display
- Dual camera setup
- Supports Android apps
- 720p display
- Limited internal storage
Though there are a lot of laptops that cost around Rs. 30,000, they usually don't offer a specs sheet that could handle Windows 10 and offer a great user experience for a couple of years. Hence, it is best to go with something like the iPad, which should offer a smooth user experience for a couple of years.
If we look at the western market, there is a wide range of Chromebooks, which are affordable laptops built around the Google Chrome web browser. There were only a limited number of Chromebooks in India until a few weeks back, where, Asus launched a whole range of Chromebooks in India, all priced under Rs. 25,000.
I have been testing one of those machines -- the Asus Chromebook Flip C214, which retails for Rs. 23,999. I believe this is the most versatile Chromebook available in India, and here is the full review.
Asus Chromebook Flip C214 Specifications
- CPU: Intel Celeron N4020 Processor
- Display: 11.6-inch HD 1366 x 768
- GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 600
- Memory: 4GB LPDDR4x
- Storage: 64GB eMMC
- Battery: 50Whr, up to 10 hours (claimed)
- OS: ChromeOS
Asus Chromebook Flip C214 Design: Highly Versatile
As the name suggests, the Asus Chromebook Flip C214 is a versatile machine for internet browsing. This laptop/notebook comes with an 11.6-inch display, similar to some of the tablets of this class. However, I feel the company could have easily incorporated a slightly larger display, considering the thick bezels around the display.
The device has a matte-finish design, that does not attract smudges or fingerprints, which is a good thing. The Asus Chromebook Flip C214 is a MIL-STD-810G military-grade certified laptop. This means, the laptop should be able to withstand accidental drops and should even withstand 30kg force on the lid.
The I/O options on the Asus Chromebook Flip C214 might even put some of the high-end laptops to shame, as it has two USB Type-C ports, a single USB-A port, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It charges via the USB Type-C port just like most smartphones. In fact, I was able to charge the laptop using a charger that comes with the Realme X7 Max 5G.
The laptop also has a 360-degree hinge design, which means, one can use the Asus Chromebook Flip C214 as a tablet by rotating the display. Despite having all these features, the device just weighs 1.2KG, making it a light machine. However, if we see the thickness, it is a bit bulky, and this should not be an issue for the users of this class.
Asus Chromebook Flip C214 Display: Tablet Like Display
The Asus Chromebook Flip C214 has an 11.6-inch display surrounded by thick bezels. It is a 720p display, and offers a good pixel density, given it is just an 11.6-inch in size. This is a small device with a compact form factor. However, the company could have cramped in a slightly bigger display, if they wanted to.
When it comes to colors and brightness, this isn't the brightest or even the most color-accurate display. In fact, the display on the iPad gets a lot brighter and a lot more color-accurate when compared to the display on the Asus Chromebook Flip C214. Again, if you already have an iPad, this device might not do much. Hence, for someone who buys this device as a computing device, it should offer a good experience.
Asus Chromebook Flip C214 Software Experience
The Asus Chromebook Flip C214 is a device based on ChromeOS, hence, it is a device that requires an internet connection to do most things. ChromeOS has gotten a lot better in the last few years. In fact, you can now run an Android app natively on the Asus Chromebook Flip C214 and can even play games.
This is a touch display, hence one can get an Android tablet like user-experience and can download apps and games directly from the Google Play Store. On top of that, there is also an option to run Linux software on the Asus Chromebook Flip C214. However, that needs a bit more knowledge on the Linux OS.
I was able to download apps like Instagram just like a smartphone and run them natively on the Asus Chromebook Flip C214. Similarly, I was also able to play games like Candy Crush Saga on this machine without any issue.
The Asus Chromebook Flip C214 can do 99 percent of my work-related tasks. However, the only limitation is that I cannot use the custom VPN to access CMS to upload my articles. Other than that, it could easily replace my Windows laptop without any issue.
A Great Device For Students
The Asus Chromebook Flip C214 is a great device for students, who want a machine to attend online classes. You can run native apps like Zoom, Google Duo, Microsoft Teams without any issue. Not just that, you can also natively run Microsoft Office on the Chromebook Flip C214. There is also a built-in stylus to take notes and make sketches, which is an added benefit.
Yes, it just comes with 64GB internal storage, which could easily get occupied by the games and software. However, the device also supports microSD cards with up to 2TB, which should help to extend the storage, albeit, with lower write and read speeds when compared to the built-in storage.
Theoretically, you can install games like Battlegrounds Mobile India or COD: Mobile. However, the device might not offer a great user experience on titles of this class, and one should refrain from playing basic games on this device. Lastly, there is an option to install WhatsApp on the Asus Chromebook Flip C214 too.
There Are Some Drawbacks Too
Just like any laptop, the Asus Chromebook Flip C214 does have a few drawbacks that Asus could probably fix with the next iteration. Given this is a device that depends a lot on the internet, the brand should have offered a 4G SIM card slot, which would have made this an always-connected device.
Asus should have offered at least 128GB of internal storage or should have given an option, as 64GB storage does feel a bit less in this era. Other than these things, the Asus Chromebook Flip C214 does look like a device that has a balanced set of features for the asking price.
Verdict: A Great First Computer
If you are a student or a home-maker or even a work-from-home warrior and looking for an affordable laptop, then the Asus Chromebook Flip C214 is a great device. If you have used an Android smartphone or a tablet, then there is a minimal learning curve to use the Asus Chromebook Flip C214, which means, one should be able to use this machine without any issue.
For learning, working, and consuming multimedia, the Asus Chromebook Flip C214 offers a good experience. The device does offer a solid 8 to 10 hours of battery life, hence it can easily last for an entire working/learning day with just a single charge. Overall, a great computer for browsing the internet and attending online classes.
For the asking price of Rs. 23,999, the Asus Chromebook Flip C214 is a no-brainer and costs a lot less than even the most affordable iPad. Instead of getting a cheap Windows laptop, which might not offer great performance, get the Asus Chromebook Flip C214.