Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: With a dapper two-tone design and a crisp 15.6-inch touchscreen, the ASUS C536 (also known as the CX5) is a big-screen Chromebook that is ready to serve you for years to come. The larger size also leaves room for a number pad on the backlit keyboard.
15.6-inch 1080p touchscreen
Unique design with great feel
8GB of RAM for better multitasking
White shows everything
Not many ports
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Chromebooks largely come in three sizes: 11.6-inch budget-minded models, 13-inch productivity-minded laptops, and 14-inch business-designed workhorses. While 15- and 17-inch Chromebooks have existed for a while, they mostly weren't worth your time or money. Only one recent 15-inch comes to mind: the Lenovo C340-15, which was average in both performance and looks.
ASUS has delivered some of the most striking Chromebooks in recent years, between the still-popular-two-years-on ASUS Flip C434 and the stunning (with a stunning price) ASUS Flip C436. This year, Asus has turned its attention to 15.6-inch Chromebooks, with predictable results. Here's how ASUS channeled years of premium prowess into the ASUS Chromebook Flip C536, a well-balanced laptop that has joined our best Chromebooks roundup.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 Price, name and availability
ASUS announced the Chromebook Flip back at CES 2021 as the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5, and yes, the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 and ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 are indeed the same laptop sold under two different names. Chromebook naming schemes usually suck, but this is an extra level of "what were you thinking, ASUS?"
The laptop went on sale in the summer of 2021, starting at $569 for the configuration with an 11th Gen Intel Core i3, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of M.2 NVMe SSD storage. Best Buy has been the main US retailer for the ASUS C536, and we've seen it get $100 off a handful of times already, and now ahead of Black Friday, it's down to $399, which is a steal for a 15.6-inch touchscreen Chromebook with an 11th Gen Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a wonderful overall experience.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 Beautiful behemoth
While all 15.6-inch laptops are bound to be a bit big and heavy, ASUS did its best to make the Chromebook Flip C536 feel nice and manageable in your hands. The aluminum lid has been coated with a substance that gives it a pleasant ceramic-type feel while also adding grip. The bottom and sides are white plastic, which helps the C536 stand out amongst a sea of silver and black Chromebooks. This finish type mimics last year's 436, but it's not as delicate nor as expensive.
|Model||ASUS Chromebook Flip C536|
1920 x 1080 px (16:9)
250 nits, USI support
|Processor||11th Gen Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7|
|Storage||128-512GB PCIe M.2 SSD|
Harmon Kardon certified
|Ports||2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2|
USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
HDMI 2.0, microSD
Audio combo jack
|Battery||"Up to 12 hours"|
8-10 hours in testing
|Features||Metal lid with ceramic finish|
MIL-STD 810H durability
Backlit keyboard with number pad
Stadia/GeForce NOW support
|Dimensions||14.08 x 9.48 x 0.73 in|
357.6 x 240.8 x 18.5 mm
|Weight||4.3 lbs (1.95 kg)|
|AUE Date||June 2029|
This stylish impact is doubled once you open the lid and are greeted with an obsidian interior. It's like a reverse tuxedo, and it is undeniably sexy. An extra-large glass trackpad and a full keyboard with number pad greet you with soft backlighting and good key travel. I've been able to bang out my work quite productively on this keyboard, and it's nice to have a numpad after years and years of smaller Chromebooks.
That productivity is definitely helped by the 15.6-inch touchscreen. You can spread your apps out easily, whether you're split-screening or even tri-splitting your screen. It's a 1080p touchscreen, though I kept the Display size at about 120%, so things were easier to tap without a stylus. The colors are vibrant, and videos look crisp — well, as much as they can without an AMOLED screen to make blacks actually black — and the screen can get bright enough for most office and home environments. Touch accuracy is excellent when playing games, scrolling through posts, or pinch-zooming around maps.
Most 15-inch laptops tend to be used exclusively at a desk, where you can plug in whenever you need to top off or always have it plugged in via a docking station. I can't fault them for that — it's a bit big to use on the couch or in bed, though I've done plenty of both anyway — but as a desk-oriented Chromebook, long battery life isn't quite as vital as it would be on a 13-inch laptop.
ASUS claims up to 12 hours in the listings and literature for the C536, but that's a bit much to ask for, especially if you crank the screen above 50% brightness, which I did most of the time. Over my weeks of testing, the C536 usually averaged 8-10 hours, which is good for a 15-inch laptop but not quite what was advertised. While you could maybe stretch to 11 or maybe 12 with the lowest brightness on good consistent Wi-Fi, the usual battery life should be more than adequate for a regular workday.
The Intel Core i3 and 8GB of RAM help that battery life, as the i3 isn't quite as power-hungry as the i5 in the Acer Spin 713 or Samsung Galaxy Chromebook. We still have to contend with a fan in this laptop, but it's very quiet most of the time. While this Chromebook is advertised as being great for Stadia and GeForce NOW, I don't have a subscription or a Bluetooth controller to use with it; I'm a match-three and Solitaire girl. Even when I had over 40 tabs open across three windows — and even when I was using it with two external monitors at a time — performance was smooth and consistent.
Added all up, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 is a great 2-in-1 with a big screen that's perfect for work or play. Its solid, well-designed body looks great and should last you the rest of the decade if you take care of it. I couldn't find any gaping flaws in it, the way I do with most of my Chromebook reviews. It was a rare, refreshing experience for me.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 Nitpicking
There's generally not much to hate with this laptop. My father wasn't a fan of how the trackpad clicked when I let him try it for a morning, but I thought it was perfectly fine. The trackpad is nice and large, but rather than centering it on the spacebar (like most 11- to 14-inch Chromebooks) or centering it on the laptop as a whole, ASUS split the difference. This may throw off your groove if you're a detail-oriented person, but since the trackpad is still there whether I tap dead center or under the keyboard, I'm okay with this placement.
While the black interior seems super clean, you will notice oils accumulating over time. You'll want to wipe the keyboard and palm rests regularly, both to avoid oils eating away at the soft finish and to avoid the oils transferring to the screen.
My only other complaints on the C536 are minor: as much real estate as you have on this Chromebook, I really wish the speakers could've been up-firing instead of down-firing. But at least they're on the sloped section, so it's harder to cover them up and fully muffle the sound. I also wish the screen was brighter, but 250 nits is the standard for Chromebooks. A 300-nit or 400-nit screen would increase costs — especially on a 15.6-inch screen like this one — so 250 is perfectly fine.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 Competition
The stiffest competition for the C536 comes from within ASUS. The ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5 is the Ryzen-powered alternative to the CX5/C536, and it weighs in under $500 while keeping a blacked-out design with striking orange accents around the WASD keys and power/volume buttons. The only problem is that while the C536 has 8GB of RAM, the CM5 only has 4GB of RAM to match its Ryzen 3 3250C processor, an odd omission given the gaming-centered design.
While I mentioned the Lenovo Chromebook C340-15 at the top of this review as a decent 15-inch model, that was two years ago when it debuted. It has an 8th Gen Intel Core i3, 4GB of RAM, and a price tag that still sits around $400-$500 despite only having four years of Chrome OS updates left. For a much newer processor, double the RAM and double the support life, the ASUS C536 is well worth the extra money; just wait for the next Best Buy sale and get it for $470.
If you're willing to drop down to the 13.5-14-inch range, your options definitely open up. Start with the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2021), which features Thunderbolt 4 ports and a 2K, 450-nit screen that's bright enough to use outside. There's also the Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga with a larger-font keyboard, built-in stylus, and that ThinkPad durability, as well as a sweet Abyss Blue color.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a premium Chromebook with a large screen
- You need a number pad on your Chromebook
- Design is important to you
You should not buy this if ...
- You prefer understated laptops
- 4lbs is too heavy for you
It's wonderful to see the 15-inch segment finally getting the attention it deserves, and the ASUS Chromebook Flip C536 looks like it will be the best 15-inch Chromebook for the foreseeable future. While budget 15-inch models can appease the masses clamoring for cheap big-screen laptops, the C536 offers great quality and longevity in a premium-looking package that starts under $600 — and has already gone below $500 twice.
5 out of 5
If you've been looking for a new Chromebook that's ready to work hard and play harder, ASUS has exactly what you're looking for. Time to take this dapper white tuxedo of a laptop home and split-screen some YouTube while you work.
Supersize your Chrome experience.
With a dapper two-tone design and a crisp 15.6-inch touchscreen, the ASUS C536 is a big-screen Chromebook that is ready to serve you for years to come. The larger size also leaves room for a number pad on the backlit keyboard.
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.
I´ve been using it for a week after almost two years with my Pixelbook Go. I love the keyboard and the big screen and even the weight surprisingly does not bother me. I would like the screen to be brighter because working on direct sunlight you have to but it on max and then battery dies fast if you´re multitasking (I got three user accounts and all have several tabs open, I switch between the accounts + Signal in Linux + 1-2 android apps open all the time). There is one minor detail with the left hinge - it klicks and moves side to side while the right one is perfectly still. It seems just a beauty thing that does not affect the performance of the hinge but I reported it to Amazon and I have few weeks to replace it if I want to... But even though I was a bit reluctant to use CX5 after my Pixelbook Go... I really do like it! Even with 8GB RAM (PBG had 16) - it´s just so fast that even if it needs to reload it takes just a snap.
I haven't had any hinge clicking from my review unit, so you might want to look into that replacement.
Yeah! I ordered the new one and send the old one back as soon as new arrives :)
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