12th Gen Intel-based Chromebooks are right around the corner and when they arrive, Chrome OS will take another massive leap forward in the areas of power and performance. That said, the current family of 11th Gen Intel devices offers up the latest and greatest Chrome OS has to offer along with ample power to handle even the heaviest of tasks. With new models on the horizon, deals are beginning to drop on some of our favorite Chromebooks. Today, I came across a pair of Chromebooks deals on two devices that happen to hold the number one and number two spots on our Best of 2021 Chromebook list.
ASUS Chromebook CX9
The ultra-premium ASUS Chromebook CX9 excels in practically every category when we’re talking about flagship devices. From its 400 nit FullHD display to the onboard fingerprint sensor, there’s nothing I can think of that this Chromebook is missing. The CX9 is purpose-built, beautifully designed, and feels as premium in the hand as it looks on my desk. Along with powerful 11th Gen Intel internals, the CX9 has a Chrome OS-first numeric keypad that’s built right into the touchpad. You can enable and disable it with a simple touch on the top-right of the trackpad.
One other beautiful feature of the CX9 is that it is one of the very few devices that currently have access to Steam on Chrome OS. With the Core i5 or Core i7 models, you get Intel’s Iris Xe graphics that are capable of handling many Steam games with ease. The feature is still in the early stages but you can buy the CX9 and give it a try right now if that tickles your fancy.
Anyway, the mid-tier Core i5 ASUS Chromebook CX9 comes in at $999 and it is more than capable of handling just about any workload you want to throw its way. That’s a hefty price tag but you get what you pay for with this Chromebook. Lucky for you, Costco is one of the few places that frequently offers a discount on higher-end Chromebooks, and this week, that comes in the form of $200 off of the CX9. That brings the price down to $799 which puts it a mere $100 more than devices like the Acer Spin 713 and HP x360 14c. Personally, I’d pay $799 for the ASUS eight days a week before I bought either the Acer or the HP. No offense. They’re great devices but the CX9 is on an entirely different level.
ASUS Chromebook CX5400
While the CX9 took first place on our list, our long-term sentiment is that ASUS’ 14-inch convertible may actually be the better device. Personally, I don’t use the 2-in-1 form-factor very often but many users prefer a laptop that can quickly convert to a tablet and I get that. Other users may want a device that can flip into tent or “presentation” mode and that’s exactly what the ASUS Chromebook CX5400 brings to the table that the CX9 does not.
The ASUS CX5400 offers up many of the same great features as the CX9 but there are some distinct differences that you should know about before you make a buying decision. First, let’s look at what the premium convertible has, and then, we’ll go over what it’s missing. You do get a 14-inch FullHD display, a premium aluminum build, 11th Gen Intel internals, and it even comes with a rechargeable garaged stylus.
The model at Costco has a Core i5 with 16GB of RAM and the same 256GB of storage as the CX9. However, this Chromebook is fanless and therefore uses a slightly less powerful version of Intel’s CPU. For that reason, it currently isn’t on the list of devices that support Steam on Chrome OS. If you’re looking to play your favorite Steam games, you’ll need to go with the CX9. Additionally, you won’t get a fingerprint sensor or that nifty numeric keypad in the trackpad. The screen is also 300 nits which is less than the CX9 but it’s still a very good display and has no trouble performing in well-lit environments.
Those differences aside, this Chromebook is still extremely well-built and very powerful. As long as you don’t care about Steam gaming, the CX5400 will do anything you need it to and do so without breaking a sweat. Both of these devices will get you updates through June of 2029 which makes them a very good value even at their MSRP. Right now, you can pick up the ASUS Chromebook CX5400 for only $699 and that makes it one of the best values around in the convertible Chromebook space. There is one caveat if you decide to purchase one of the ASUS Chromebooks and you don’t have a Costco membership. You’ll have to pay a 5% non-member surcharge but that still puts both of these laptops well below retail. These are very solid deals and I highly recommend either of these Chromebooks.