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ASUS Flip C302CA Review

Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $500 List | $469.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Fast web browsing, sensitive touchscreen,great keyboard and trackpad
Cons:  Expensive
Bottom line:  A great and versatile machine for Chrome fans that want to use a Chromebook as their primary computer
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   ASUS

Our Verdict

The ASUS Flip C302CA blurs the lines between Chromebook, traditional laptop, and tablet. It surfs the web with the speed of a normal laptop, and its 64GB of internal storage is almost enough to make you forget you're using a machine that is optimized for storing things on the cloud. The large, high definition screen is great for watching movies, and its touch capabilities are a pleasure to use when in tablet mode. Because the C302CA lists for a full $500 it is more tailored to someone who could use a Chromebook as their full time computer. If you're looking for an inexpensive, full sized machine to supplement your our desktop computer we would recommend the Acer 14.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Chromebooks of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Max Mutter and Steven Tata

Last Updated:
Monday
April 24, 2017

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The ASUS Flip C302CA delivers top notch performance and the flexibility to be used in traditional laptop style or tablet mode. However, you do pay extra for these features, so it isn't a great choice if you're attracted to Chromebooks because of their relatively low prices.



Performance Comparison


The ASUS Flip C302CA's high performance, versatility, and portable design earned it the top overall score in our testing, as shown in the graph below.


In the following sections we further discuss how the Flip C302CA performed in all of our individual tests.

Performance


The Flip C302CA impressed all of our testers and shared the top score of 9 out of 10 in our performance testing. This was well ahead of the low score of 3.


The Flip C302CA's 4GB of RAM and Intel Core m3 processor delivered great overall performance in our testing. Everyone in the TechGearLab office is used to using a traditional laptop with 8GB of RAM during the work day. When we forced them to switch to the Flip C302CA nobody had any complaints. Even when browsing multiple google docs and sheets while streaming music the Flip C302CA remained responsive and lag free. As I type this now I have a google doc open, a couple of google sheets, 5 tabs I forgot to close form this morning, and a High definition Arctic Monkeys youtube video playing in the background, and the Flip C302CA isn't showing any signs of slowing down. The Flip C302CA also lived up to its manufacturer claim of a 10 hour battery life, as it survived a full day of use on a single charge. The 64GB of onboard storage is massive for a Chromebook, making it great if you like to keep a lot of movies stored on your laptop, just in case the book you brought on your flight gets a bit boring.

Interface/Features


The Flip C302CA again shared the top score of 9 out of 10 in our interface/features metric, which saw scores as low as 5.


The Flip C302CA is able able to fit a full sized keyboard and large trackpad into an impressively thin and light body. Our testers felt typing on the keyboard was nearly on par with typing on a desktop keyboard. Only the Acer 14 was better in this regard. The Flip C302CA also earned some brownie points for its touchscreen. When we compared it side-by-side with an iPad, the iPad's touchscreen was just a tad more responsive. However, the Flip C302CA's screen was still plenty responsive for playing tablet based games, and we highly doubt anyone will complain about it.

The Flip C302CA's touchscreen can be used in any orientation.
The Flip C302CA's touchscreen can be used in any orientation.

One of the few downsides of the Flip C302CA is its lack of an HDMI port. This makes it a bit difficult to attach the B00X4S5C7G to an external monitor, but there are converters available if you like using a larger monitor when you're at home.

The Flip C302CA lacks an HDMI port  but adapters are available.
The Flip C302CA lacks an HDMI port, but adapters are available.

Screen Quality


The B00X4S5C7G was one of the top scorers in our screen quality testing, earning a score of 8 out of 10. This was just off the top score of 9 and decently ahead of the bottom score of 5.


The Flip C302CA has a full high definition 1080p screen that produces true, vibrant colors. This made it one of our favorite models for streaming movies and watching TV shows. Only on other Chromebook that we tested, the the Acer 14, had a high definition screen. We slightly preferred the Acer's screen, only because it is 1.5 inches bigger than the Flip C302CA's. While this size difference is quite noticeable when compared side-by-side, we don't think anyone is going to unhappy when they settle in for some Netflix binging with the Flip C302CA.

Portability


The Flip C302CA is impressively light considering its screen size, and earned a score of 7 out of 10 in our portability testing. This put it in the middle of a metric that had scores ranging from 5 to 10.



The Flip C302CA is incredibly thin and light. Despite its 12.5 inch screen size it weighs only 2.65 pounds, which is on par with most of the 11.6 inch models we tested. While the ASUS Flip C101PA is much lighter and more portable, the full sized Flip offers a much larger keyboard and trackpad. If you'll be doing a lot of long typing sessions but want something lightweight, the ASUS Flip C302CA is the perfect balance.

The 12.5 inch Flip C302CA spooning with the 10.1 inch Flip C100PA. The Flip C302CA has about the same footprint as an average laptop  but is quite thin.
The 12.5 inch Flip C302CA spooning with the 10.1 inch Flip C100PA. The Flip C302CA has about the same footprint as an average laptop, but is quite thin.

Value


With a list price of $500, the ASUS Flip C302CA is the most expensive Chromebook we tested. If you're the type of person that does all of your computing via Google web apps, and thus could use the Flip C302CA as your primary computer, then that is a great value. It also provides the functionality of both a laptop and a tablet, and is much cheaper than buying both. So from that perspective it is also a good value. However, if you're looking for an inexpensive machine to use when you're travelling, you'll get a much better value from something like the ASUS C201.

Conclusion


The Flip C302CA is a great machine if you're looking for a high powered, versatile Chromebook and don't mind paying for that performance. However, if Chromebooks are appealing to you because of their relatively low cost, then this is not the model for you.

Accessories


Cable Matters HDMI Converter
  • Cost: $18
  • Allows the Flip C302CA to be plugged into an external display with an HDMI cable
Max Mutter and Steven Tata

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