When it comes to CES 2020, there are really 3 devices we’re all talking about after leaving Las Vegas: The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, Lenovo Chromebook Duet, and ASUS Chromebook Flip C436. Each of these new Chromebooks brings something special to the table and each seemed to be a clearly collaborative effort between Google and the respective device manufacturer. Both the Lenovo Chromebook Duet and Galaxy Chromebook were right up front with their pricing. $279 for the Duet and $999 for the Galaxy, but we weren’t told anything about the ASUS’ expected price.
As a matter of fact, on this week’s podcast we were talking about this very thing, making our predictions on how much we all thought the ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 would go for when it is released in March. I’d resigned myself to expecting to be in the dark until the launch date to know the actual pricing as ASUS was rather coy about it at CES when we asked. As it turns out, before ASUS has had the chance to spill the beans on how much its latest, greatest Chromebook will set you back, Google has already let the cat out of the bag.
Thanks to a heads-up by a reader, we’ve learned that Google has done some work on the official Chromebook website and has included most of the new models we saw at CES 2020 last week. The Galaxy Chromebook, Lenovo’s tablet, and the ASUS Flip C436 are all there, and to our surprise, so are all of their prices: including the Flip C436.
Google’s listing has the C436 with a starting price of $799 – a full $200 less than Samsung’s equally-equipped new Chromebook. The listing unfortunately includes all the “up to” language we see far too often, giving us little in the way of firm details on the $799 model. Instead, up to a Core i5 and up to 16GB of RAM are listed as specs. I’d imagine the $799 will get you the bare minimum specs required for Project Athena certification as I’m not convinced ASUS or Samsung will ship versions of these high-end Chromebooks without that distinction initially.
For reference, that means at least a Core i5 (10th-gen), at least 8GB of RAM, and at least 256GB of storage. If that ends up being the case, this Chromebook and its WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5, fingerprint scanner, USI pen support, slim build, backlit keyboard, glass trackpad, and narrow bezels will be an absolute unit and a clear contender against a more expensive Galaxy Chromebook that starts at $999. No, $799 isn’t cheap, but these new Project Athena devices aren’t made to be and they aren’t cutting corners. These will be the most premium Chromebooks most users have ever come into contact with, and $799 for all that in a beautiful package isn’t a ridiculous ask.
As we move closer to the slated March release date for the Galaxy Chromebook and the Flip C436, we’ll obviously know what exactly that $799 get you. Until then, I’m going to assume the internal specs will line up with the entry level Galaxy Chromebook, and that $200 gap could play a very big role in buyers looking for a premium Chromebook to choose this new ASUS over Samsung’s very attractive big red machine. We’ll know soon enough.
Update: Preorder now available
You can now preorder the Core i3 and Core i5 configurations on Amazon. The Flip C436 will be released on February 24th. See it at The Chrome Shop.