While Acer was going big with its new Chromebook announcement this week, Asus remains flexible with its launch of a pair of Chromebooks looking to capture some of the 2-in-1 segment of the growing laptop market.
We got a first idea of the new hybrid devices in January, although information leaked at the time pointed to a single Chromebook Flip CM3000 tablet with a removable keyboard. Now it turns out that there is a Return CM3 as well as a Detachable CM3, the latter has the specifications initially disclosed for the Flip CM3000.
As the name suggests, Chromebooks manage their hybridity (hybridity?) In slightly different ways to meet the distinct needs of potential buyers. With the Flip CM3, Asus provides a laptop with a 360-degree hinge that allows it to switch from a traditional laptop to tablet mode, tent mode and even completely flat mode. What the 12-inch touchscreen in resolution (1366×912) lacks, it makes up for in portrait viewing space thanks to narrow bezels and a 3: 2 aspect ratio.
The low-resolution display is indicative of the modest specs of the Flip CM3, which is built around a MediaTek 8183 octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. A microSD slot allows the user to add additional storage capacity, by joining a pair of USB 2.0 ports as I / O connections. Support for the Asus USI-compatible stylus is built in, but the stylus is a optional accessory that would add to the price of $ 329 for the Flip CM3.
With the detachable CM3, Asus clearly has the Lenovo Chromebook Duet in its sights, although its price of $ 350 is higher than that of its competitor. Like the Lenovo, the Detachable CM3 is based on a 1920 x 1200 tablet with a keyboard that magnetically attaches to the slate. Sharing the same processor as the Flip CM3, the Detachable CM3 also comes with 4GB of RAM, but adds a 128GB storage option to the base 64GB drive.
For the extra cost, you get a slightly larger screen (10.5 inches vs. 10.1 inches) with a stylus included, but you have to pay extra for the keyboard. (By comparison, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet with 128GB of storage and the included keyboard is currently on sale at Best Buy for $ 249.) The keyboard offers six degrees of flexibility, so it doesn’t lay flat on a surface while the Tablet stand provides 90 degrees of flexibility to allow the device to be used from a number of viewing angles.