What you need to know
- The new ASUS Chromebook CX9 and Flip CX5 are work-oriented laptops powered by 11th gen Intel processors.
- The Chromebook Flip CM5 is a gaming-oriented laptop powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 processor.
- Pricing and availability is not yet available for the new Chromebooks.
A few Chromebooks have been announced so far at CES 2021, such as the new Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, and the Acer Chromebook Spin 514. ASUS has just announced a trio of powerful new Chromebooks, powered by Intel's latest 11th gen processors and even a gaming-oriented machine with an AMD Ryzen processor.
The first new laptop is the ASUS Chromebook CX9, which is a work-oriented machine. It features a sleek design with plenty of power under the hood. There are options for Intel's 11th gen Core i5 or i7 processors with Xe graphics, which is more than enough for Chromebook devices that rely largely on cloud computing to get tasks done. The 14" FHD LCD display has a 16:9 aspect ratio with a frameless "NanoEdge" design, with a 91% or 94% screen-to-body ratio depending on the model.
More internal specs include either 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM, and up to 2TB of onboard storage. There are a healthy number of ports, with a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, two Thunderbolt 4 ports with power delivery, two Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, a single USB 3.1 Type-C port, HDMI 2.0b, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card reader. There's also WiFi 6 and ASUS' WiFi stabilizer technology which should keep you on an optimal connection.
The backlit, spill-resistant keyboard has a built-in fingerprint sensor for secure sign in, and there are Harmon/Kardon-certified quad-stereo speakers. Pricing and availability have not been announced, but expect it to cost a pretty penny.
The Chromebook Flip CX5 is also focused on productivity, but with more of a flair. It also features Intel's 11th gen processors but starts with the Core i3 and UHD graphics. The 15.6" touchscreen display is not as bright as the CX9's 400nits, topping out at just 250nits, but the design does allow you to flip the keyboard around for a better entertainment experience.
Internally, the Chromebook Flip CX5 is also a bit more watered down than the CX9, with the same 8GB or 16GB of memory, but only up to 512GB of onboard storage. There are fewer ports, with one Type-A and two Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one HDMI 2.0a port, and a microSD card reader, as well as an audio jack.
Lastly, and probably the most interesting of the trio, is the ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5, which is a gaming-oriented laptop with an AMD Ryzen 3 or Ryzen 5 processor and Radeon Graphics. Chromebooks aren't really known for their gaming chops, but ASUS is highlighting Google Stadia and NVIDIA GeForce Now support, as well as its color-locked WASD keyboard design for an intuitive gameplay experience.
The Chromebook Flip CM5 has a 15.6" touchscreen display with stylus support. Internally, it supports as much as 16GB of DDR4 memory and 512GB of storage. The port selection is similar to the Flip CX5, except with an HDMI 1.4 port for external 4K displays.
All three of ASUS' new Chromebooks feature Harmon/Kardon-certified speakers, 720p HD webcams, and Google Assistant voice-recognition support. Each has met the MIL-STD 810H military standard, so they should be able to withstand some nicks. ASUS claims up to 10 hours of battery life on its new Chromebooks, with the exception of the CX5, which lists 12 hours. And with specs like these, ASUS' latest Chrome OS laptops could be some of the best Chromebooks yet.
Pricing and exact availability have not yet been announced for these new ASUS Chromebooks, but the latter two are expected this quarter while the higher-end CX9 is will be available in Q2 of this year.
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