What you need to know
- ASUS is finally launching the ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3 and ASUS Chromebook Flip CM3.
- The Detachable CM3 features a 10.5-inch, 1920x1200 touchscreen, MediaTek 8183, up to 128GB of storage and a stylus for $350.
- The Flip CM3 features a 12-inch 1366x912 touchscreen, the same MediaTek processor, 64GB of storage, and an optional stylus starting at $330.
- The detachable version quietly launched in a few markets earlier this spring, but with the official launch, both will soon be available on Amazon.
The best Chromebook tablet right now is also basically the only Chrome OS tablet: the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. It's a little small, with only a 10.1-inch screen, but for $250-$300, it's been an incredibly popular device the last year with Android apps through Google Play plus the reliability of the full desktop Chrome browser. I've been waiting impatiently for other manufacturers to get in on the action and give us a little more variety, and after months of teasing and waiting, ASUS is stepping into the ring.
|ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3
|10.5" (1920 x 1200)
320 nits, LED backlit
|64-128 GB eMMC
|WiFi 5, BT 4.2
|2MP front camera
8MP rear camera
|1 x USB 2.0 Type-C®
1 x combo audio jack
1 x Pogo Pin interface (soft keyboard)
|Dual 5-magnet stereo speakers
|27 Whr, 12 hours
|255.44 x 167.2 x 7.9 mm
Stand: 167 g
Total: 915 g
The ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3 is slightly larger than the Duet — 10.5-inch screen instead of 10.1 — and largely has the same core features and guts: the Duet's HelioP60T and the CM3's MT8183 are almost identical Mediatek chipsets, both have 4GB RAM and 64-128GB storage, both only have one USB-C port, a headphone jack and a pogo pin keyboard, and both are supposed to last about 12 hours on a charge. ASUS brought a few refinements and upgrades to help it earn that extra $100 beyond the extra screen size.
The kickstand on the CM3 is built to fold two different ways, meaning it can fold vertically when you're on video calls or reading at the dinner table, and it can fold horizontally when you're watching YouTube or working with the keyboard attached. This is something I sorely wish the Duet's kickboard did and I hope it becomes standard for Chrome tablets going forward. Additionally, the CM3 has a garaged USI stylus so that it's easier for you to sketch on the go without having to remember and bring along a third-party Chromebook stylus. ASUS also ships the CM3 with a 45W USB-C charger as opposed to the rinky-dink 10W USB-A charger the Duet ships with.
All in all, for $350, the ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3 could be quite the shakeup, a slightly more premium option for those needing something a little bigger and better than the Duet, but I'll tell you right up front, this is not a more powerful tablet. That means if you found the Duet's performance lacking in any way, the CM3 will be the same or worse. We're still waiting on a Pixel Slate 2 that offers a powerful Chrome OS tablet experience while still being sensible enough to put the keyboard in the box.
ASUS is also launching a 12-inch 2-in-1 Chromebook version of the CM3, the ASUS Chromebook Flip CM3 at $330, but the screen is lower quality, it only has one USB-A and USB-C port — plus a microSD slot and headphone jack — and it only comes with 64GB of storage, though there will be an option with 8GB of RAM. There are better 11.6-inch Chromebooks to be had for that money, and you can get solid 13.3-inch Chromebooks for $380-$400 like the Lenovo Flex 5, so it may not be worth waiting for.
Both Chromebooks will be launching on Amazon in the United States —but the Detachable CM3 is already in some places outside the U.S. if you catch them on the right retailer. We'll be testing one as soon as we can and putting it head to head with the Lenovo Duet to see which is worthy of the title Best Chrome Tablet, so stay tuned.
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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.