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ASUS and Samsung launch flashy premium Chromebooks at CES 2020

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • ASUS and Samsung are debuting new 2-in-1 Chromebooks at CES 2020.
  • The ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 is a verified Project Athena Chromebook that features a fingerprint sensor, backlit keyboard, up to an i7 processor, and Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.
  • The $999 Samsung Galaxy Chromebook has a built-in stylus, 4K screen with Ambient EQ adaptation, the thinnest profile on a Chromebook yet, and a fiery Fiesta Red color option.

CES is here and it brought new Chromebooks for everyone! While last year's CES offerings may have focused more on the affordable and education segments, 2020 is breaking out the good stuff, with both ASUS and Samsung showing off powerful, premium Chromebooks. ASUS continues the Chromebook Flip line with the shiny new ASUS Chromebook Flip C436. The shape should be quite familiar by now, same as the beloved C434 from last year, but it's got a new luster thanks to a new refractive color option.

CategoryASUS Chromebook Flip C436
Display14-inch NanoEdge touchscreen
85% screen-to-body ratio
1920x1080
ProcessorUp to Intel Core i7
Memory8-16GB LPDDR3
StorageUp to 512GB M.2 SSD
Expandable StoragemicroSD card
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Ports2x USB-C USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1
Audio combo jack
Peripheral featuresFingerprint reader
Backlit keyboard
USI Stylus compatible
AudioOmnidirectional Harmon Kardon 4-speaker array
Battery42WHr Li-Polymer
Up to 12 hours
Dimensions319.54 x 205.3 x 13.76mm
Weight2.4lbs
ColorsAerogel White
Transparent Silver
Starting priceTBA
AvailabilityMarch 2020

There are still a few things we don't know about the C436 — most notably the price and the projected Chrome OS update life — but it's looking like a great machine for business, higher education, and for anyone who wants a powerful and beautiful Chromebook. Last year's C434 had a backlit keyboard, but the stylus support and fingerprint sensor are new and appreciated, though I'm a little bummed by the lack of USB-A ports. Oh, well, that's what USB-C hubs are for.

I'm not entirely sure how quickly the appeal of a laptop with a Note 10-esque color-refractive lid is going to last, but I'm also 110% for more pretty Chromebooks, so bring on the Aerogel White! I'm also quite pleased at Samsung's new Chromebook offering at CES, the flashiest red Chromebook I've seen since 2018.

Galaxy Chromebook

Source: Samsung (Image credit: Source: Samsung)

Meet the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, an ultra-thin Chromebook with some unique color, a 4K screen with Ambient EQ, and a built-in stylus. Whether you need that stylus for sketching out your latest designs or jotting down notes during a lecture or contract negotiation, the Galaxy Chromebook is ready to work all day in style. Once the day is done, that 4K screen is great for watching movies or TV shows as you unwind, at home or at the airport as you wait for that redeye.

CategorySamsung Galaxy Chromebook
Display13.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen
3840x2160
Ambient EQ
Processor10th Gen Intel Core i5
MemoryUp to 16GB LPDDR3
StorageUp to 1TB SSD
Expandable StorageUFS/microSD card
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6 (Gig+)
Ports2x USB-C
3.5mm Audio combo jack
Peripheral featuresBuilt-in stylus
Fingerprint sensor
Backlit keyboard
AudioStereo speakers
Battery49.2Whr
Dimensions302.6 x 203.2 x 9.9 mm
Weight1.04kg
ColorsFiesta Red
Mercury Gray
Starting price$999
AvailabilityEnd of March 2020

Ambient EQ automatically adjusts brightness and color temperature levels based on the lighting around you, which means that the Galaxy Chromebook should look better and feel better on your eyes, especially in poor light conditions. The 2-in-1 form factor also makes it easy to prop that 4K screen up in whatever angle or configuration you want while you binge some Twitch streams, as propping a Chromebook in Stand mode is way easier on your wrist than holding up a tablet for hours on end.

Up to 1TB of storage is a rarity even among premium Chromebooks, and that means that even when downloading the highest quality videos in Disney+, Netflix, and Google Play Movies, you should be able to download plenty of content to help you endure cross-country flights. The addition of a fingerprint sensor and backlit keyboard are welcome additions that I look forward to seeing on more and more Chromebooks this year, and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook when it comes out at the end of March.

At $1000, the lower configurations of the Galaxy Chromebook will be more affordable than the 4K version of the Pixelbook Go, but it's unclear how the prices will shake out once the higher configurations come into play.

Chromebook Flip C434

ASUS Chromebook Flip C434

This shiny premium Chromebook is great for college students and salarymen alike, allowing you to split screen research and reports — or split-screen Twitch and Twitter, anyway. The backlit keyboard is a gem here, though the speakers under it will have you reaching for headphones.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.