Though the release of the ASUS Chromebook Flip has been pushed back a bit from the initial listing we found over on Amazon, it is still one of the most anticipated Chromebook releases for 2020 and it is only a month away at this point. There’s little left to learn about this Chromebook aside from the way it will feel to use it on a daily basis, but Kevin Tofel over at About Chromebooks has come across a nice little morsel of info that shows how ASUS plans to allow users to store their USI stylus.
For reference, the Flip C436 doesn’t come with a stylus in the box, but unlike the C434 before it, the Flip C436 does come with a screen that is capable of accepting stylus input. Even better, the stylus protocol ASUS chose is USI (universal stylus initiative), so that means you’ll be able to use any USI stylus you choose once there are a few to choose from on the market. As it stands right now, it is nearly impossible to find even one. With pens promised from HP and ASUS already, we’re hoping that we’ll see a few options later in the year.
Assuming ASUS gets a pen out for purchase around the same time that the Flip C436 becomes available, they’ve already come up with a magnetic pen clip solution that may help users keep up with their writing utensil when on the go. In the manual for the Flip C436, little is disclosed that we don’t already know, but there is a diagram showing a magnetic pen clip that will click on to the side of the C436 and align itself with the SD card slot. The included warning to keep the magnetic clip away from storage media is a clear sign that this accessory isn’t meant for use alongside an inserted SD card, but given the Flip C436’s large internal storage, this shouldn’t be too big of an obstacle for most users.
What is unclear is exactly what type of holder this is. Is it a pen loop or a clip? And in either case, why not just make the pen itself magnetic and dispense with an additional (lose-able) piece? I sincerely hope this is a better solution than Google’s ill-fated pen loop on the Pixelbook. For the most part, I’m not excited in the least about a side-mounted pen unless that magnetic attachment is solid as a rock like we see in the iPad Pro or Surface tablets. Even then, a garaged stylus is still preferable in my eyes. Also unclear is how this accessory will be obtained. Will it come with the ASUS USI pen or with the Chromebook? Or is it separate from both?
All these little mysteries will certainly be cleared up in just a few weeks when the Flip C436 becomes available for purchase. We are eagerly anticipating its arrival alongside a firm date from Samsung on the Galaxy Chromebook. I don’t think there has ever been a March I’ve looked forward to so much.