Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 Review

Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 Review

ASUS Chromebook Flip CM3

A surprisingly peppy Chromebook on the cheap
PROS
It comes with a stylus.
Includes several USB-C ports
Lightweight
Excellent performance
CONS
Poorly designed touchpad
Displays with a glossy finish tend to be more reflective.
Lifespan of the battery that is underwhelming

ASUS CHROMEBOOK FLIP CM3 SPECS

Laptop ClassConvertible 2-in-1, Budget
ProcessorMediaTek Kompanio 820
Processor Speed2.2 GHz
RAM (as Tested)4 GB
Boot Drive TypeeMMC Flash Memory
Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)64 GB
Screen Size12 inches
Native Display Resolution1366 by 912
Touch ScreenYes
Panel TechnologyLCD
Variable Refresh SupportNone
Screen Refresh Rate60 Hz
Graphics ProcessorArm Mali-G57
Wireless Networking802.11ac, Bluetooth
Dimensions (HWD)0.7 by 10.6 by 8.5 inches
Weight2.5 lbs
Operating SystemChrome OS
Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)6:23

People who can’t decide between using a tablet or a laptop to perform their everyday internet browsing and email organization tasks may find that a Chromebook with a 2-in-1 convertible screen is a good compromise. While we have seen several outstanding premium convertible options, such as the Acer Chromebook Spin 514, there are still plenty of quality models for customers on a budget. These include both premium and budget-friendly options. One of them is the Asus Chromebook Flip CM3, which has a starting price of $329 and a tested price of $429. You might almost forget you’re carrying something that costs less than $500 after you try out this sleek and economical 2-in-1 convertible laptop that delivers performance of such high caliber.

Beyond the Capabilities of a Standard Chromebook

The Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 creates an excellent initial impression. The shiny silver of the chassis goes pretty well with the black of the keyboard and the screen bezels, and the overall appearance of the device, both as a laptop and as a tablet, is rather attractive. As is typical for low-cost Chromebooks, the review machine we received has only 4 gigabytes of random access memory (RAM) and 64 gigabytes of eMMC storage space. The convertible in its $329 iteration is virtually indistinguishable from the vehicle we evaluated, barring the following two significant distinctions: It employs an older MediaTek MT8183 processor (in contrast to the brand new MT8192/Kompanio 820 in our beefed-up testing) and comes with one-half the storage, bringing the total onboard storage down from 64GB to 32GB.

In place of the more common Intel or AMD choices, the CM3 makes use of a processor manufactured by Mediatek. The performance of ARM-based processors from Mediatek and Qualcomm, which are generally found in low-cost Chromebooks like this one, is normally roughly the same as that of other bottom-rung chips such as the Intel Pentium or the AMD Athlon. ARM-based processors are based on the ARM architecture. However, there is a significant power gap between them and midrange chips from AMD and Intel, and an even larger gap between them and Apple silicon, which is also ARM-based. The majority of them aren’t unacceptably slow, but there is a gap between them and higher-end chips from AMD and Intel. (Here is a guide that will help you pick out the best processor for your laptop.) In spite of this, the CM3 is among the top-performing ARM-powered Chromebooks that we have evaluated, as you will see in the following section.

If you hadn’t figured it only based on the name of the product, the Chromebook Flip CM3 runs on the Google Chrome operating system. If you’re already a Google devotee, you won’t have any trouble syncing your Gmail, YouTube, and Google Play accounts so that everything works together smoothly. At first look, it may appear that many Windows apps are not available, but the Google Play Store makes available plenty of programs that are functionally identical to those available for Android. You’ll be able to match the fundamental capabilities of an inexpensive Windows computer if you perform a few downloads and make heavy use of web-based applications.

Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 Review

The Asus Chromebook CM3 is a featherweight, weighing only 2.5 pounds, which is a half-pound lighter than our previous Editors’ Choice winner, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, and almost a full pound lighter than the HP Chromebook x360 14a. The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 was our previous winner of the Editors’ Choice award. (It should be noted that the screen of the CM3 is two inches shorter than the screens offered by its competitors.) However, those who place a premium on portability will like the item’s little size: The CM3 is only 0.7 inches tall, 10.6 inches wide, and 8.5 inches deep (HWD). Because it is also a full-fledged laptop with a keyboard, it will be a little more cumbersome to use as a tablet than an Apple iPad; nevertheless, don’t forget that it is also more adaptable because of this fact.

You’ll find two rubber strips tucked away underneath the tablet; these are the ones responsible for keeping the device in place on your work surface. The keyboard and the screen are held together by two ErgoLift hinges, which also allow for smooth rotation of 360 degrees and provide just the right amount of resistance so that it doesn’t feel like you’re breaking the machine in half when you do so. The overall construction quality is above and beyond what is required.

The touch screen is excellent, but the touchpad is clumsy.

Now that we’ve got everything out of the way, let’s have a look at the screen. It’s an LCD display that has a ratio of 3:2 and a resolution of 1,366 by 912 pixels. It has a resolution that is a little bit strange, but it is superior to the 1,366-by-768-pixel count that is found in the majority of inexpensive Chromebooks. The brightness provided by the rated maximum of 220 nits is sufficient; nonetheless, it would have been preferable to have a non-glossy display in order to effectively filter out the glare caused by ambient light. Either with a finger or the digital pen provided by Asus, the responsiveness and speed of the touch screen are excellent. A 720p webcam is concealed within the screen’s bezel, bringing the total number of features up to three.

The Asus Chromebook CM3 is already looking like a winner thanks to its decent screen resolution and its quick touchscreen; but, the device does have a few drawbacks, including a cumbersome touchpad. Even while it’s not quite as awful as the pad that comes on the HP Chromebook 11a, the CM3‘s pad is still inconsistent at best and difficult to use. It’s not quite as bad as the one that comes with the Chromebook 11a, though. Even after experimenting with the various sensitivity settings, it still wasn’t tracking my gestures as smoothly as I would have liked it to. It makes even the most minute movements difficult, requiring you to rely on the touch screen or an external mouse for greater precision than you would otherwise have.

Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 Review

To our relief, the keyboard does not share the same destiny as the mouse. The keys on the chiclet keyboard are separated by an appropriate distance from one another, preventing the feeling of being overly crowded, and providing some gratifying feedback while the user types. The top row of the keyboard is dedicated to system functions, and the Control and Alt keys have been enlarged to provide a more comfortable typing experience on compact computers. During the course of the testing, we did not encounter very many difficulties when making use of the keyboard.

The speakers on the Chromebook, which are located right behind the keyboard, provide sound that is particularly crisp and clear when the volume is turned up to its maximum. When I turned up the volume all the way, I did notice that the chassis rattles ever so slightly, but it wasn’t anything that was very annoying.

Surprisingly, despite the fact that the computer does not have a particularly large number of input and output ports (I/O ports), it does contain a wide range of these ports. A single USB Type-C connector can be found on the right side of the device, along with buttons for controlling the volume and turning the device on and off.

There is a socket for headphones on the left side of the device, as well as a USB-A port, an additional USB-C port, and a microSD card reader. Even though you’ll need to use one of the USB-C ports for charging, the fact that there are a total of two USB-C slots is generous and a pleasant surprise to find on a machine in this price range.

Chromebook Flip CM3 from Asus Puts a Strong Arm on the Competition, According to Our Tests

How does the performance of the Chromebook Flip CM3 stack up against that of other Chromebooks? The Chromebook Flip CM3 has already demonstrated that it is an outstanding piece of hardware. To discover out, we put it through its paces in a series of benchmark tests with other Chromebooks, including the Acer Chromebook Spin 311, the Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3, the HP Chromebook 11a, and the HP Chromebook x360 14a. Even while not all of these Chromebooks in this lot are convertible 2-in-1 models, they still have comparable features and pricing to get started.

The first benchmark that we use to evaluate the performance of our Chromebooks is called CrXPRT 2. This is a downloaded application that determines how quickly a system can complete common tasks like adding effects to images and encrypting information. This test showed that the CM3 can readily manage duties that are required of it on a daily basis because it received the highest possible score.

Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 Review

The browser-based Basemark Web 3.0 is the next benchmark that we will run. This test determines how well a personal computer is able to run web applications. While the CM3 performs admirably in this regard, it cannot compete with the capabilities of the HP Chromebook x360 14a.

When we test Windows computers, we often use UL’s PCMark benchmark. When we test Chromebooks, however, we use the Android version of the benchmark, which is downloaded directly from the Google Play Store. The two tests are similar in that they both imitate common processes such as word processing, online browsing, and data analysis and then offer an overall performance score. Once again, the CM3 comes out on top, which is a tribute to the powerful ARM-based processor that it possesses; however, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is not too far behind it.

The Google Play Store is the source of our next test, which likewise comes to us directly. Geekbench 5, which is available for both Windows and Android, is a CPU-focused test that simulates real-world applications such as PDF rendering, speech recognition, and machine learning. Geekbench 5 for Android is exactly the same as its Windows counterpart. In this evaluation, the Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 comfortably outperformed its rivals and took first place without much difficulty.

Test System Configurations

PROCESSORGRAPHICSRAMSTORAGE
Asus Chromebook Flip CM3MediaTek MT8192/Kompanio 820 (2.2GHz)Arm Mali-G574GB RAM64GB eMMc
Acer Chromebook Spin 311Intel Celeron N4000 (1.1GHz)Intel UHD Graphics 6004GB RAM32GB eMMC
Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3MediaTek MT8183 (2.0GHz)ARM Mali-G724GB RAM64GB eMMC
HP Chromebook 11MediaTek MT8183 (2.0GHz)Arm Mali-G724GB RAM32GB eMMc
HP Chromebook x360 14aIntel Pentium Silver N5000 (1.1GHz)Intel UHD Graphics 6054GB RAM64GB eMMC

The fact that Chromebooks are not particularly powerful gaming laptops is common knowledge, but we are going to proceed with the following benchmark nevertheless. GFXBench 5.0 is a cross-platform GPU benchmark that stresses testing both low-level and high-level game routines. Although the CM3 performed the best, all of the machines in this test had unsatisfactory results in both the 1440p Aztec Ruins test and the 1080p Car Chase test. Both of these tests were conducted at a resolution of 1080p. If you want to get some gaming in while you’re on the go, your best chance is to invest in a dedicated gaming laptop that runs Windows.

Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 Review

The battery will be put through its paces in the final test that we conduct. We play a 720p film of the open-source Blender movie Tears of Steel until the system reaches its limit with the display brightness set to 50 percent, the audio volume set to 100 percent, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth switched off. We will play the video file from an external solid-state drive if the computer does not have sufficient storage to retain it.

Although the CM3 has been successful in practically all of the tests that have been conducted so far, it is unable to withstand the strain of video playback and shuts down long before the 7-hour mark.

A Budget Baron

Finding a diamond in the rough is one of life’s most satisfying experiences, and the Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 could very well be that diamond for individuals who are seeking for an affordable yet powerful laptop that can also work as a tablet. Even while the touchpad, the distractingly glossy display, and the short battery life take away part of this Chromebook’s shine, the device’s impressive performance makes it a pleasure to use.

There is a wide selection of high-end Chromebooks available, such as the Acer Chromebook Spin 713; but, if you are looking for a Chromebook that won’t break the bank, the Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 is an excellent choice. In spite of its flaws, it is a fantastic buy and should satisfy the requirements of instructors, students, and regular internet users who are searching for an inexpensive internet machine.


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