Could the ASUS Chromebook Flip be the most well received Chromebook ever? Based on early user and trade reviews, it just might.
The flexible $279 laptop is not the fastest Chromebook ever released, nor the cheapest, lightest or any other -est you can think of. It is certainly not a laptop that will meet everyone’s needs.
Reviewed as a complete package, for what it is, not what it isn’t, the ASUS Chromebook Flip sure seems to be putting a lot of checkmarks in an awful lot of reviewers’ boxes.
But is this a surprise? Unlike most Chromebook releases since 2012, most of which are identikit clamshell notebooks with little distinction, ASUS’ Flip offers novel hardware features that allow fatigued tech reviewers to view it with a ‘fresh set of eyes’.
What is The ASUS Chromebook Flip C100PA?
It’s a convertible; the 360-degree touch display folds back to create a tablet-like experience, only the second such device to do so.
‘The ASUS Chromebook Flip [has] the build quality of notebooks twice the price’
It’s also the smallest Chromebook to be released to date (no, really!) with a 10.1-inch screen. The instant-praise making IPS display also one-ups the washed out TN panels used in competitors.
A solid aluminium body and tight, non-creaky construction lend the ASUS Chromebook Flip the build quality of notebooks twice the price.
The Rockchip RK3288 1.8GHz quad-core processor is not a speed demon but being paired with a healthy 4GB RAM gives it enough grunt to handle the tasks that couch-bound web-surfers will throw at it, including playback of HD video content.
It’s not perfect of course. Some reviewers have found the performance, stability and range of the combo Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip lacking. But, on the flip (ho ho) side, Google has already begun testing and pushing out fixes to resolve these issues in the oft-weekly Chrome OS updates.
For the ultimate review of the ASUS Chromebook Flip I heartily recommend you check out Amazon Vine reviewer Lon J. Siedman’s video review (which is not able to be embedded here).
Where Can I Buy The ASUS Chromebook Flip C100PA?
So far so good — but where and when can you buy one?
Well, here’s where things get a little confusing.
Amazon (and a handful of smaller online PC companies in the USA) have already sold a small number of units to early-bird buyers and pre-orderers. ASUS USA has already loaned and gifted units to tech websites, bloggers and video reviewers.
But it’s only towards the end of this month (July) that the ASUS Flip will go on general consumer release in the USA. Other countries will follow.
Amazon.com currently expects the ASUS C100PA (4GB) to be in stock from around July 27, with shipping from/after this date. The site sold out of a limited number of devices back at the end of May.
If you’re truly impatient you’ll find several third-party Amazon resellers have the unit in stock — but at more than $100 over the MSRP.
Amazon is not the only online retailer to list the 4GB model for sale, including BH Photo and Video (link). Do pay attention to pricing if buying from a site you’re not familiar with: some are selling the device well above its $279 MSRP.
Newegg have the cheaper 2GB RAM ASUS Chromebook Flip in stock, priced from $229.99.
The UK release date for the ASUS Chromebook Flip is currently targeted for early September. This is the date that high street retailers, including Argos and Currys PCWorld, will begin selling it to their customers.
Amazon.co.uk has the product listing page for the C100PA live and is already taking orders. The catch is that the device is ‘temporarily out of stock’. One assumes the e-tailing giant will begin fulfilling orders shortly before/around the same date as high street retailers receive their inventory.
No major Canadian online retailer lists the Chromebook Flip for sale, though many American stores will ship to Canada. If you spot one be sure to let us know.
No major Australian online retailer lists the Chromebook Flip for sale. If you find/spot one be sure to let us know using our tip form.
Things move fast so be aware that the prices, availability and product links quoted above are subject to change at any time.