Looking For A Larger Chromebook? We Review The Asus Flip CX5


Chromebooks have sometimes settled into the 13in area, with occasional smaller units providing elevated portability. Because of this these on the lookout for a bigger laptop computer have been left with little to select from over the previous few years, however Asus has stepped into the breach with its new Flip CX5 that boasts a beneficiant 15.6in show.

Design & Construct

  • 358 x 24 x 19mm dimensions
  • 1.95kg weight
  • Aluminium lid and plastic base

As you may count on, the Flip CX5 (CX5500) is a little bit of a beast. I’ve reviewed many Chromebooks not too long ago, and the sample is in the direction of smooth, light-weight units. Asus throws this out the window and delivers one thing fairly completely different.

The expansive 358 x 24 x 19mm chassis is definitely the largest I’ve encountered for a tool operating Chrome OS, to not point out the hefty 1.95kg at which it ideas the scales. This isn’t your typical, chuck it in your backpack and neglect about it Chromebook, however that’s on no account a foul factor. 

With so many people working extra from house in as of late of Covid, having a honking huge laptop computer isn’t actually a problem as we solely have to hold it from the kitchen to the entrance room. Plus, an even bigger show may assist with drained eyes and sore necks that come up from being hunched over smaller screens.

The design itself is kind of enticing, although, with the aluminium alloy lid coated in a cloth that Asus states provides it ‘a sublime, ceramic-like texture for a delicate, easy aesthetic’.

After all, advertising communicate is often harking back to some LCD-tripping author with a penchant for poetic license, however the matt white end on the highest of the CX5 is straightforward and clear trying, damaged up solely by a silver Asus brand within the centre, the matt gray Chromebook emblem within the high left nook, and the 2 shiny Chrome hinges (which I’ll speak extra about later) that connect it to the underside of the body.  

Between these, on the rear fringe of the CX5, is house to a protracted line of rectangular openings for the interior followers to expel air, making it look one thing like an infinite harmonica, whereas the underside options extra grilles for air flow and the dual downward-firing audio system.

Rubber toes guarantee grip whereas on a desk, aided by the load of the machine itself. Sure, it’s huge, however the CX5 has a contemporary, minimalist enchantment that can little doubt discover favour with these bored of the continual silver laptops that dominate the panorama in the intervening time.

Keyboard & Trackpad

  • Full-size, backlit keyboard
  • Quantity pad
  • Good trackpad

The further area on provide means Asus has been capable of not solely match a full-size backlit keyboard, however it’s additionally sandwiched in a number-pad space. This can be a little cramped, with skinny buttons, and to be sincere, appears one thing of a fudge.

The important keyboard is comfy to sort on, with first rate journey that means you realize once you’ve hit the keys. However because of the number-pad, it’s offset reasonably than instantly beneath the show, which whereas common for this type of format, simply feels fallacious for a Chromebook.

Asus Flip CX5 Chromebook review: Numberpad

There’s a motive Apple by no means places number-pads on MacBooks, because it unbalances the design, leaving customers typing to the left of centre, which isn’t perfect.

Plus, the number-pad itself isn’t that straightforward to make use of because of the smaller keys, so it doesn’t absolutely justify the inclusion. To be sincere, attaching a USB number-pad can be a greater resolution and would make the CX5 a a lot nicer machine to make use of however that could be a one other factor to hold round.

The trackpad, once more offset to the left, is easy and spacious, with first rate click on responses and basic accuracy. It’s arduous to discover a unhealthy trackpad on Chromebooks as of late, and this definitely doesn’t change that story. 

Asus Flip CX5 Chromebook: Keyboard

One factor I wasn’t anticipating was a barely raised edge the place the black keyboard faceplate meets the white chassis that holds it in place. This creates a tough floor that you could really feel beneath your palms as you progress them away from the keyboard.

There are additionally two rubber strips, clearly there to maintain the show from touching the keyboard, which can also graze in opposition to the pores and skin, though not whilst you’re typing. It’s not one thing I’ve encountered not too long ago with laptops and does counsel that over time the be part of might open up, which might enable mud and particles to enter the machine. Plus, it simply provides a little bit discomfort to utilizing the machine. It’s not painful or something like that, however feels low cost and poorly designed.

Additionally, the black faceplate is a nightmare for fingerprints, with the matt-surface choosing them up immediately as quickly as you contact it. I observed shiny areas showing on the palm rests and a few of the keys too, after just a few days’ use. This is able to counsel that the floor might put on shortly, leaving it a two-tone aesthetic of shiny and matt areas very quickly in any respect. 

Display & Audio system

  • 15.6in Full HD IPS
  • Skinny bezels
  • Touchscreen

Now, the rationale for this wealth of metallic and plastic is the 15.6in display that greets you once you open the lid. Asus calls this a NanoEdge show because of the skinny bezels that run alongside the 2 flanks of the IPS panel and the marginally fatter on throughout the highest that has to accommodate the 720p webcam, which supplies the CX5 an 81% screen-to-body ratio. 

Asus Flip CX5 Chromebook: Display

The show itself is Full HD (1920 x 1080), with a most brightness of 250 nits. Because of this issues look pin-sharp, with good colors, however you’ll battle to work exterior in shiny daylight. As this can be a touchscreen too, with the compulsory shiny display, you’ll wish to keep away from robust sources of sunshine when you can, in any other case you’ll find yourself doing the hinge-dance to try to keep away from any glares. 

Fortunately, you do have fairly a variety of angles to select from, because the hinges on the CX5 work via 360 levels, permitting you to make use of the machine in the usual laptop computer mode, stand it up in tent mode for watching films on the 16:9 side ratio widescreen show, or wrap it proper spherical to kind a tablet-style machine, albeit one which’s unwieldy and much too heavy to make use of for lengthy. 

Asus Flip CX5 Chromebook review: Tent Mode

A show mode the place the keyboard is going through the desk can also be potential and might be useful in locations like trains the place you could have a small desk to position it on – so long as you don’t want the keyboard.

You should use a appropriate USI 1.0 normal stylus to make notes, annotate paperwork, or doodle away on one of many apps that help such behaviour. It’s additionally a pleasant method to navigate across the working system when you fancy a change. Sure, there’s not an entire lot of essential actions you are able to do with the stylus, however it doesn’t damage that you’ve that as an possibility.

Beneath the keyboard you possibly can see the brand ‘Sound By harman/kardon’ which is an effective signal. That is backed up once you hearken to music or stream video on the CX5 as the amount is loud, simply filling a room, whereas avoiding being shrill.

Asus Flip CX5 Chromebook Review: Sound

Sure, there’s nonetheless an absence of any severe bass like most laptops, however the sound separation means you get a 3D impact that exhibits off the combo in songs and permits film soundtracks to maintain an immersive ingredient. It’s about pretty much as good as you’re going to get in a tool at this worth. 

Specs & Efficiency

  • Eleventh-gen Intel Core i3
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB PCIe SSD

My overview mannequin is supplied with an Eleventh era (Tiger Lake) dual-core Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor clocked at 3GHz that may increase to 4.1GHz. Tiger Lake chips launched again within the Autumn of 2020, and we haven’t seen many in Chromebooks up to now, with the CX5 and HP Chromebook X360 14C being the one two but to reach in our testing lab up to now.

That is paired up with 8GB LPDDR4 and 128GB M.2 NVME PCIe 3.0 SSD, which is loads of area for a Chromebook, as the vast majority of knowledge and software program is meant to be saved within the cloud. To facilitate this, Google provides you 100GB of free storage on its Google One Cloud service for one 12 months, by which period you’ll understand how greatest to make use of the platform.

Asus Flip CX5 Chromebook Review: Lid

The mixture of parts does a great job of retaining every part shifting alongside swiftly. Throughout on a regular basis use, looking the net, streaming leisure content material, penning this overview and different duties of an identical ilk, the CX5 was a strong performer with no stutters or glitches. 

Taking part in video games was a blended bag. PUBG labored properly, with responsive controls and an honest body fee, however as I’ve seen with different Chromebooks, the detection of the Android emulator triggered issues, with the sport periodically throwing me out.

Attempting the gentler Alto’s Odyssey was a disappointment, as the sport stuttered so badly it was fully unplayable. I’m assuming that is because of the Android emulator as soon as extra, so when you’re contemplating shopping for the CX5 as a gaming machine you might wish to stick with companies like Google Stadia (for which you get a 3-month free trial included with the CX5) and Nvidia GeForce Now which each work on Chromebooks.

For those that like benchmarks, the CX5 attained 1123 (single-core) and 2505 (multi-core) on Geekbench 5, 1114 in Basemark 3.0, and 149 on Jetstream 2. This places it high of the listing by way of scores, making it the quickest Chromebook I’ve encountered up to now. 

Do you have to wish to increase these scores even additional, then you possibly can go for the Core i5 or Core i7 variations that include a most of 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. However, I believe it’s secure to say that this Core i3 configuration must be sufficient for many customers.

Ports & Connectivity

For such a big machine, you may count on an enormous number of ports, however Asus has been considerably restrained on this space.

You do get two USB-C ports, one USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, a mi
croSD slot, plus a HDMI port. It’s a great vary of choices that ought to swimsuit most individuals’s wants, and you may at all times connect a USB hub when you want extra connections.  

Asus Flip CX5 Chromebook review: Ports

Should you choose the wi-fi route then you definitely’ll have the ability to benefit from the Bluetooth 5 and WiFi 6 capabilities provided by the CX5. 

Battery Life

  • 57Wh Li-ion battery
  • 45W apapter
  • USB-C Charging port

Buried within the chassis of the CX5 is a 57Wh Li-ion battery that delivers an honest degree of endurance for the laptop computer. In our normal streamed HD video loop check, the Chromebook went from 100% right down to zero in round 9 hours and forty minutes.

That’s a good consequence, which ought to simply see you final all through a full-working day with no need to be close to an influence socket. 

Do you have to handle to exhaust the battery, then plugging the 45W AC adapter into one of many USB-C charging ports for thirty minutes will return you to 45%, whereas the entire cost is replenished in round one hour and fifteen minutes. 

Software program

  • ChromeOS
  • Offline capabilities
  • On-line variations of widespread software program

Should you’ve learn this far then I’m presuming you already know what a Chromebook is. If not, then it’s a laptop computer that runs on Google’s ChromeOS working system. That is primarily targeted on the net, with many of the packages you utilize all being on-line variations.

You received’t get the full-fat Phrase or Photoshop expertise, though you should use stripped again iterations. As a substitute, the Google suite of workplace instruments and the Chrome browser itself opens up an enormous quantity of capabilities for these fashionable machines. 

Asus Flip CX5 Chromebook review: ChromeOS

The interface is very like utilizing Chrome however with a file supervisor connected and that simplicity makes it straightforward to become familiar with them very quickly in any respect.

Should you don’t use pro-level purposes or have very particular software program wants, then you definitely’ll almost definitely discover a Chromebook can do every part you need, all with the safety that viruses and malware are a a lot decrease danger than on a Home windows PC. 

You too can use a variety of the apps once you’re offline, equivalent to Google Docs, which can then sync up any adjustments once you reconnect to a community. For extra clarification on what you are able to do with a ChromeOS machine, learn what is a Chromebook and should I buy one?

Worth & Availability

Asus affords the Flip CX5 CX5500 Chromebook for £649.99 within the UK, however on the time of writing you might solely get the Core i5 model with 16GB of RAM within the USA, with a price ticket of US$869.99 or US$892.99 at Insight.

After all, the Flip CX5 is on the market from plenty of different retailers, with Argos and Very pricing it at £499.99 within the UK. John Lewis has it for a similar worth or the Core i5 for £599.99. Over at Amazon you will get a free FitBit Encourage 2 for £557.98.

Within the US, Newegg has it for US$683 (transport from Canada) and Amazon only has the similar CX5400 at US$724.99 on the time of writing. In the meantime, Finest Purchase has an an identical trying machine, though referred to as the ‘C536EA’, for an incredible US$469.99.

This places it in the identical bracket as the superb HP Chromebook X360 14cc, which once more prices £599.99 within the UK or US$519.99 instantly from HP USA, and Google’s personal Pixelbook which you’ll be able to choose up for £629/US$649

To see the opposite units vying for the highest spot, ensure to try our information to the best Chromebooks

Verdict

The Asus Flip CX5 Chromebook is a blended bag. Its Tiger Lake processor ensures that issues run quick and easy for the overwhelming majority of actions, though I did expertise some odd issues with some video games.

Battery life can also be good, with round ten hours from a single cost, plus the big display is a pleasant measurement for engaged on paperwork, spreadsheets and streaming content material. 

That being mentioned, the display is simply too dim to make use of exterior on a shiny day, plus the reflective nature of touchscreens may also trigger issues in that atmosphere.

Whereas the keyboard is first rate, the small keys on the quantity pad make it really feel too compromised to be helpful, particularly when it spoils the Chromebook ethos of simplicity by skewing the design off to 1 aspect. 

Worst of all is the tough edges across the edges of the keyboard plate, which really feel like a weak level within the building and will shortly develop into a problem. 

If you would like energy and a big display, then the Flip CX5 delivers, however it does so with some curious caveats. One to attempt before you purchase when you can.

Specs

Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 (CX5500): Specs

  • Chrome OS
  • 15.6in IPS FHD show (1920 x 1080), 16:9, 250 nits most brightness, 81% display to physique ratio, touchscreen, stylus appropriate
  • Intel Core i3-1115G4 Processor 3GHz (6M Cache, as much as 4.1 GHz, 2 cores)
  • Intel UHD Graphics
  • 8G LPDDR4 on board
  • 128GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort-A
  • 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort-C help show / energy supply
  • 1x HDMI 2.0a
  • Micro SD card reader
  • Backlit Chiclet Keyboard with Num-key, 1.4mm Key-travel
  • 720p HD digicam
  • Twin harmon/kardon audio system
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5
  • 57WHrs, 3S1P, 3-cell Li-ion battery
  • Titan C Safety Chip
  • 358 x 24 x 19mm
  • 4.3lbs/1.95kgs



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