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There’s a reason why Chromebooks will remain the best choice for college – they’re lightweight, speedy, and secure. Most Chromebooks don’t rely on apps you download and install, thus the smaller storage capacities and prices. The Chrome OS environment is available for free to OEMs as well, making Chromebooks incredibly price competitive in a market dominated by expensive Windows laptops.
Enter our ASUS Chromebook Flip C434TA-DSM4T review. This 2-in-1 laptop ensures that our favorite Chromebook keeps getting better. It’s based on an optimized Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB of memory, 64GB of storage, and a battery that will offer up to nine hours of use on a single charge.
Does Asus’ newest Chromebook succeed in getting the job done? It’s not exactly cheap, and so does it earn a spot next to similarly priced machines that pack a punch but carry a load? Let’s see!
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The pricier ZenBook Ultrabooks have always been our top pick laptops, with a sleek design and solid hardware for much less than the competition. Now, Asus have taken competition a notch higher, by crafting a Chromebook that looks exactly like the pricier ZenBooks, but costs hundreds of dollars less. By looking at its matte-silver aluminum finish with a chrome trim, you can’t think of another laptop at this price that looks as exquisite as the Flip C434.
When you open the laptop, the first thing to notice are the barely-there bezels around the display. Not a new thing, though, we’ve seen this design in most pricey systems, but with a screen-to-body ratio of 87%, the Asus Flip C434TA-DSM4T is the most compact laptop we’ve reviewed.
On the inside, the Chromebook features a silver keyboard and chrome trim that outlines the deck, which spills to the touchpad, volume and power buttons and the hinges. The design isn’t unique, but the uniform silver/chrome aesthetic easily distinguishes the system from the familiar MacBook look, something the Flip’s predecessor failed to achieve.
The Flip C434 is a 2-in-1 laptop, meaning it can ‘flip’ 360 degrees into tablet or tent mode, a pair of hinges makes everything possible. It also gets Asus’ ErgoLift hinge, which lifts the back of the keyboard for a more comfortable typing experience. At 3.1 pounds and only 0.6 inches thin, this 14-inch laptop will easily fit into any backpack and can easily be carried around college.
With a superthin chassis, you rarely have enough room for many ports, the Chromebook C434 gets all the basics, nonetheless. That includes a USB 3.1 Type-A port, a USB-C port and a headphone jack all on the left side. The right side of the chassis has a second USB-C port and a microSD card.
For charging, you can use either of the USB-C ports, meaning you plug the Chromebook from any sidea and get charging.
As mentioned earlier, the Asus Flip C434TA-DSM4T isn’t any cheap, but it makes for the price with a bunch of exciting features. A 14-inch, 1080p touch screen wraps up everything, with a fairly bright and vivid visual experience that’s breathtaking. The touch display is responsive, covers 93% of the sRGB color gamut and has a peak brightness rating of 286 nits, making it more vibrant than its predecessor.
You get a comfortable typing experience on the Flip C434’s island-style, backlit keyboard. While the 1.3 millimeters of key travel is a bit short of our preferred range (1.5 to 2mm), the keys are large and nicely spaced with 71 grams of actuation force. That’s a step up from the measly 49 grams on the Asus Flip 302CA, and as a result, they get a tactile click. Personally, lower actuation force work for me, but that’s a matter of preference.
Below the keyboard is a 4.1 x 2.4-inch touchpad with a chrome trim, and responds to swipes and gestures as you browse the web. It works well with Chrome OS gestures, like pinch-to-zoom and two-finger swipes to move switch between pages.
Our review unit, the Asus Flip C434TA-DSM4T is equipped with an Intel Core M3-8100Y, 4GB of RAM and 64GB eMMC storage and runs on Google’s Chrome OS. That’s enough muscle right there to handle most productivity tasks, like browse the web while running other simple tasks on the side. Don’t be surprised when this Chromebook fires 18 Chrome tabs and stream a 1080p HD video in the background. However, you may notice some slight lag when switching between tabs, but it still does a great job overall.
In the past few years, Google’s Chrome OS has aged like fine wine, starting off as an OS targeted at K-12 and transforming into a viable alternative to Windows 10 and Apple macOS for everyday users. So far, all that change is attributed to the launch of Android app support, that gives consumers the ability to download their favorite mobile apps directly onto their laptops.
The execution has been excellent, and it even gets better as Chromebooks pack more powerful processors. Now, Chrome OS devices have a wider appeal, especially among the younger generations and college students who grew up using Google services on their smartphones. And, that where the C434 scores, by offering a sleek design, fast processor executed on a lightweight, easy-to-use operating system based on the Google Chrome browser.
You never worry of short battery life when using a Chromebook, but it gets exciting when a value system holds it down for a full day. That means you can attend college classes, a short movie in-between, a term paper later in the day and some juice to get you home.
Or, if you’re the working type, attend a conference or work on spreadsheets through a cross-country flight. The Asus Flip C434TA-DSM4T extends its predecessor’s already excellent 8:54 battery life by more than an hour, into a respectable 9 hours 59 minutes. That’s almost an hour over both the Chromebook Pro (8:06) and Chromebook x2 (8:53), and it manages to beat the category average (9:04).
The Asus Chromebook Flip C434TA-DSM4T is an exciting laptop, providing class-leading performance, and it’s by far the most exciting piece of hardware around. It runs fast enough for the usual OS tasks, it runs a long time on a single charge of the battery, and its sleek metallic design makes it easy to carry around in college and at work. That’s more than we always say about Chromebooks in this price range.
Is there a better alternative?
There are quite a few options at the Chromebook C434’s price. Nonetheless, it’s on the pricey side of Chromebooks, but is a standout 2-in-1 that gives Mac and Windows users a reason to switch to Chrome OS.
As such, they only feature you’d be looking for is a detachable, for which the HP Chromebook x2 stands out a great alternative with a bright display, long battery life and a lux detachable keyboard. Otherwise, if you need to save some money, the Samsung Chromebook 3 might be the right laptop for you.
Should you buy it?
Yes. For the money and given its excellent build quality and good battery life, the Asus Flip C434TA-DSM4T is a safe choice that’s unlikely to disappoint. It’s our newest Editors’ Choice for premium Chromebooks.
Asus Chromebook Flip C434TA-DSM4T
The Asus Chromebook Flip C434TA-DSM4T is an exciting laptop, providing class-leading performance, and it’s by far the most exciting piece of hardware around.
- Excellent build exudes quality
- Solid Chrome OS performance
- Great performance that’s ready for Android apps
- Display could be brighter
- Pricey, for budget Chromebook buyers