ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5, CX9 launched to scratch that premium itch

ASUS has now officially launched two new premium Chromebooks – first shown at CES 2021 – aimed at delivering power and productivity, in the form of the Chromebook CX9 and the Chromebook Flip CX5 from ASUS.

Now both gadgets have quite powerful internal components. Including up to an 11th Generation Intel Core i7 chipset backed by up to 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM. And each can be paired with up to 512GB of PCIe Gen 3 SSD storage. Likewise, each can be configured with up to Intel Iris Xe graphics. And that puts aside support for next-gen networks like Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6.

Additionally, the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 and Chromebook CX9 bundle the hardware under a backlit keyboard attached to a 14-inch display panel. With up to one UHD display panel available on the ASUS Chromebook CX9. Both devices come with all of the features that made Chrome OS great, for starters. But there are also some pretty big differences between these two devices.

ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 is a foldable powerhouse

ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5, as betrayed by its branding and unlike the CX9, is a 2-in-1 foldable Chromebook. This means that its 14-inch display panel and very sleek keyboard are connected by a 360-degree hinge. Allows use in clamshell, dish, shelf, tent or support mode. When used in clamshell mode, this hinge is built on ASUS ErgoLift design. This means that it lifts up at the back for a more ergonomic and comfortable experience, putting aside the added comfort of the standard backlight.

The screen here is built around the ASUS NanoEdge design. It therefore offers FHD resolution and LED backlighting with an 85% screen-to-body ratio.

But ASUS also claims the frame lives up to most of the standards required to meet US MIL-STD-810H standards. Although through internal testing which extends through panel pressure, shock and drop testing. All for a weight of just over 3 pounds and comes with a fast charging ASUS Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) stylus. By the way, this stylus lasts up to 45 minutes on a single 15 second charge.

In terms of ports and connectivity, this Chromebook is also top of the line. Starting with the latest Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 standards. And through the two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports that offer fast charging, data transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps and dual 4K display output. A standard USB-A port is also included for cases where an older cable is required.

Under the hood, the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 is just as powerful as the best devices. That’s thanks, at least in part, to the inclusion of an 11th generation Intel Core i7 processor, backed by up to 16GB of fast RAM. And, of course, up to Intel Iris Xe graphics.

For storage, up to 512 GB capacity via PCIe SSD is available with a MicroSD card slot for those who need a little more space. And, like the Chromebook CX9, the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 uses PCIe M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 3.0 storage. It will therefore be more than fast enough to cope with demanding workloads.

Finally, the battery life of this foldable ASUS Chromebook won’t quite match that of the Chromebook CX9 – as we’ll see in a moment. But it will last all day for most users regardless.

Indeed, ASUS claims that the Chromebook CX5 can last up to 10 hours on a single charge despite the discreet design being just over half an inch thick. At least on paper, that should be more than enough to get you through a full working day with plenty of time for entertainment.

ASUS Chromebook CX9 brings sleek, productivity-focused design to the table

Extending beyond the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5, the ASUS Chromebook CX9 brings even more to the table. And above all, ASUS includes a touchpad, a first on the market, on this 14-inch flatbed Chromebook. And that’s also not because this trackpad is attached to a standard backlit keyboard with an ErgoLift hinge. Or because this keyboard can handle up to 66cc of liquid spill.

ASUS Chromebook CX9 is the first Chromebook to include ASUS NumberPad. This brings an LED-lit numeric keypad directly to the touchpad. This can be turned on or off and even allows full use of the slider when it’s on. In short, allowing more direct input of numbers, as well as mathematical symbols, directly from the trackpad. Without the need for an extended keyboard for a traditional numeric keypad.

In terms of secondary inputs, ASUS Chromebook CX9 includes all the ports a user could ever need, from USB-A to USB-C with display output capabilities. It also supports the ASUS stylus, which is based on the latest USI standards. Just in case an active stylus input is needed.

In terms of performance and durability, ASUS includes up to an 11th generation Intel Core i7 processor backed by Intel Iris Xe graphics. This is supported by up to 512 GB of M.2 PCIe SSD storage. As well as 16 GB of LPDDR4X RAM. Taken in combination with the other attributes already discussed here, this makes this Chromebook a serious workhorse. Just like the design.

ASUS claims that the ASUS Chromebook CX9, like the Chromebook Flip CX5, is made of aluminum alloy. It weighs just 2.31 pounds and is just over half an inch thick. Despite the slim design and compatible with the NanoEdge display, this Chromebook also meets US MIL-STD 810H standards, including internal pressure, shock, and drop testing.

All this sets aside the available 4K UHD touchscreen variant, offering a viewing angle of up to 178 degrees. Or Harman Kardon certified audio and additional microphones for better sound input and conferencing or video chat capability. And, of course, the HD webcam can be secured via the included webcam shield. Wi-Fi 6, a full HDMI port, and a fingerprint reader round out the extra features that users can expect from this ASUS Chromebook.

Finally, for the battery, ASUS indicates that the Chromebook CX9 has been verified with Intel Evo. And that it can see up to 14 hours of use on a single charge. Which makes it one of the most durable Chromebooks ever released by an OEM, at least on paper.


Now, the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 and Chromebook CX9 will both be powerhouses in their own right. And there are a lot of similarities between the two. But that doesn’t mean they are the same in any sense of the word. The exact specs for both gadgets are included below, as provided by the company at launch.

ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 (CX5400) ASUS CX9 Chromebook (CX9400)
Processor Intel Core i7-1160G7
Intel Core i7-1165G7 (12M Cache, up to 4.70 GHz)
I5-1135G7 processor (8M cache, up to 4.20 GHz)
I3-1115G4 Processor (6MB Cache, up to 4.10 GHz)
Operating system Chrome OS Chrome OS
Display 14 ″ (16: 9) FHD LED-backlit (1920 x 1080) touchscreen
Wide IPS-level display technology
14 ″ FHD (1920 × 1080), anti-glare, 400 nits, 100% sRGB
FHD (1920 × 1080), 400 nits, 100% sRGB, touch
UHD (3840 × 2160), 550 nits, sRGB 95%, touch
RAM LPDDR4x 4266MHz 8GB / 16GB 8 GB / 16 GB LPDDR4X
Dual channel
Storage 128GB / 256GB / 512GB PCIe M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD 128 GB – 512 GB PCIe Gen 3 SSD
Graphic Intel UHD Graphics (for i3 SKU)
Iris Xe Graphics (for i5, i7 SKU)
Intel Iris Xe graphics
UHD Graphics for 11th Generation Intel Processors
Wireless Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.0 Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.0
I / O Ports 2 x Thunderbolt 4.0 Type-C
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
Audio combo jack
MicroSD card reader
2 x Thunderbolt 4.0 with USB 4.0 Gen 3 x 2 Type-C
(Full function, support PD + Alt mode)
2 x USB 3.0 Gen 2 Type-A
MicroSD card reader
Audio combo jack
Keyboard Full-size chiclet keyboard
1.5mm wrench stroke
Chiclet keyboard
1.5mm wrench stroke
spill resistance
audio Harman Kardon certified audio with
Integrated dual speakers
Integrated matrix microphone
With support for Google Assistant speech recognition
Harman Kardon certified
Integrated matrix microphone
Integrated 2W stereo speakers with Smart AMP
Durability, safety and more Certain US standards MIL-STD 810H

Google Titan C Security Chip

American MIL-STD 810H military grade standard
Spill-resistant and tamper-resistant keypad
Mg-Al frame Safety
Kensington lock slot
Titan C Security Chip Certificate
Energy Star Guarantee, UL, CE, CB, FCC
Up to 5 years
Colors IA Blue Black Star
Dimensions Width: 12.633 ” (320.9mm)
Depth: 8.129 inches (206.5mm)
Height: 0.620 ” (15.75mm)
Width: 12.681 inches (322.1 mm)
Depth: 8.066 ” (204.9mm)
Height: 0.629 ~ 0.708 inch (16 ~ 18mm)
Weight 3.10 lbs (1406.1 g) 2.31 lb (1047.9 g)
Battery charging 45W power adapter
Output: 15 V DC, 3 A, 45 W
Input: 100 ~ 240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal
3-cell 48 WHr lithium-polymer battery
Up to 10 hours of battery life
45W AC adapter, plug type: USB Type-C
Output: 15 V DC, 3 A, 45 W
Input: 100-240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal
3-cell 50 Wh lithium-polymer battery pack
Up to 14 hours of battery life

Pricing and availability

Now, while arguably bringing more processing power and features, the ASUS Chromebook CX9, sold as the CX9400 model, costs less than the Chromebook Flip CX5. The foldable Chromebook Flip CX5 will be available under the model designation CX5400 at an MSRP of $ 1,049.99 directly from ASUS.

The ASUS Chromebook CX9, conversely, is available now and starts at an MSRP of just $ 749.99. Which undeniably makes it one of the most valuable offerings at the time of writing. Although there is at least one SKU model – designated CX9400CEA-DS762TU – which will not be available until Q4 2021.

ASUS Chromebook Spin CX5

ASUS Chromebook CX9 – Intel Core i3

Chromebook CX9 – Intel Core i7

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