We’re still a bit out from the official arrival of the new ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5400, but it shouldn’t be much longer before this Chromebook begins hitting store shelves. With all the new ASUS hardware on the menu, it is easy to lose track of which is which, so let’s take a second for a quick recap. There are the mid-range CX5 and CM5 Chromebooks that are well-built, convertible 15.6-inch devices that were announced at CES 2021 alongside the Chromebook CX9. That device is a top-tier, enterprise-focused device that brings high-end hardware at high-end (though reasonable) prices.
Then there’s this surprise device – the Flip CX5400 – that showed up last week. This device is the true successor to ASUS’ past few convertible, flagship Chromebooks like the Flip C434, Flip C433, and Flip C436. It showed up with only one configuration and though it isn’t quite the high-end play that the CX9 is, this configuration is pretty close. Check out the specs below.
ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5400 Key Specs
- Intel® Core™ i7-1160G7 Processor 2.1 GHz (12M Cache, up to 4.4 GHz, 4 cores)
- 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and 16GB RAM, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.0
- 14-inch Touchscreen Full HD 1920×1080 NanoEdge Display with Garaged USI Stylus
- 360-degree hinge: flip the touchscreen display to tent, stand, and tablet mode
- 2x Thunderbolt™ 4 supports display & power delivery, 1x USB 3.2 Type-A (Gen 1)
- Micro SD Card reader plus an illuminated keyboard
- Built-in array-speakers powered by Harman Kardon at only 3.10 lb
The only thing that disappointed me in this spec sheet was the lack of more options. After all, there’s a big difference in a Core i7/16GB/512GB device and a Core i3/8GB/128GB one. With only the single fully-spec’d-out variation of this new Flip on offer, that is precisely the gap ASUS was leaving itself between this new CX5400 and the existing (and different/larger) CX5 that is already available. It just didn’t make sense, to be honest.
New configurations, new pricing
Thanks to one of our long-time readers – George E. – we now know that more configurations are on the way as well. Spotted over at shidirect.com, it would seem ASUS is prepping to sell not one extra variant of the Flip CX5400, but two of them. From what we can tell, the majority of the features stay put – like the included, stowed stylus and the 300 nit display – while the processors, RAM and internal storage are adjusted along with the pricing.
The two new additions come with either a Core i3, 8GB of RAM with 128GB NVMe ($699.99) or a Core i5, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of NVMe storage ($899.99). Just as important as the specs are the prices on these new models. As a side note, as we’ve been working on this post, the reseller pushed the prices up a tad, but we feel confident that the MSRP will stay as we’ve listed them above. With these two variations we now have a full range of prices and configurations from ASUS across the board. From the existing CX5 that has been on sale frequently below $500, we now will have a $500, $700, $900, and $1000 price range device for anyone interested from ASUS this year.
It really feels like ASUS is becoming far more aggressive in the Chromebook space than they ever have before. With what ASUS is offering in these devices, I think the pricing is spot-on and from what we’ve seen with the Flip CX5 so far this year, they are finally on board with regular sale prices to keep their Chromebooks in the converstation on a regular basis.
We still need to get both the CX9 and Flip CX5400 in our hands to make sure the build quality lines up with our expectations, but provided that it does, ASUS is primed to make a massive splash in the Chromebook market as we come into a more aggressive buying season in the fall and winter months. Now it’s time for other manufacturers to respond. Will the few iterative devices like the HP x360 14c or the Acer Spin 713 be all we get to battle ASUS or will there be more surprises around the corner? Based on the sheer number of ‘Volteer’ (11th-gen Intel devices) boards we are tracking, my money is on a few more contenders in the coming weeks. It’s going to be a fun second half here in 2021 for sure. Get signed up for the newsletter below so you don’t miss anything!