In a move that is both surprising and a tad bit confusing, ASUS has unveiled yet another new Chromebook with a name that is way too similar to an already-launched device here in 2021. If you remember, ASUS showed up to CES 2021 with a few new Chromebooks and one of them (our favorite so far) was the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5. Technically, this Chromebook also goes by the name Flip CX5500 and/or Flip C536 depending on where you are searching. Either way, this large, 15.6-inch Chromebook is a great device that we liked a whole lot, but it wasn’t the ASUS Flip successor we expected at all.
Going all the way back to the Flip C302, ASUS has made a habit of releasing a new 13-14-inch convertible each year. The Flip C434, C433, and C436 all quickly come to mind as past convertibles we’ve been excited by from the company. When CES came and went with only the larger 15.6-inch Flips being unveiled, we were left a tad bit puzzled. My gut still told me there was a proper 14-inch convertible in the works and it turns out we were right. It looks like ‘Collis’ has in fact emerged as a more-standard ASUS Chromebook Flip successor (based on the ‘Copano’ board) and it is coming in with a jaw-dropping spec sheet and a price that is quite good considering all you get in the box.
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
At this time, there are no smaller-spec variations to this new Chromebook, so it is aimed 100% at the high-end for now. Nearly everything is cranked to 11 here with a Core i7 (Tiger Lake) processor, 16GB of RAM and half a terabyte of NVMe storage. With all the connectivity you want in Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, and Thunderbolt 4 ports, this Chromebook is flat-out ready to smash anything you throw at it. Along with the i7 processor, you’re also getting Intel’s excellent, integrated Xe graphics that will come in handy once Steam gaming on Chromebooks becomes a legit thing later this year.
A couple notable additions are interesting to see, here. First up, the processor is a slight variation on the standard Tiger Lake processors we’ve seen up to this point. Kevin Tofel did a deep-dive into the differences over on About Chromebooks, but the short version is this: the i7-1160G7 is a lower-powered Tiger Lake chip that uses less power than the chips found in devices like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 and won’t require a fan. Remember Intel’s Y-series processors like what we have in the Pixelbook and Pixelbook Go? It’s like that.
Second, we have the surprise inclusion of a stowable USI pen. This is an add-on I wished for in many ASUS convertibles as they went head-to-head with Samsung’s pen-toting Chromebooks over the years. Sure, with it being USI compatible, you can use whatever pen you have around, but I’ll always hold to the fact that the best pen is the one that you have on you. With ASUS providing a pen in the box that always has a place to live, this will likely be the stylus you turn to in most instances.
All that power comes at a price
For now, the only model on offer is this particular one with the highest-end specs. I’d imagine ASUS will release a Core i3 or i5 variation as well, but we have no info on that for now. This beast of a Chromebook comes in at $1049.99 and I think that’s a fair price for what you are getting. Consider the Pixelbook from a few years back at a very-similar $999. That device came with a Y-series Core i5, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage. Sure, the Pixelbook is in a league of its own from an aesthetic and design standpoint, but the specs don’t even come close to this new ASUS CX5.
Also consider what a Core i7, 16GB/512GB Chromebook costs in the enterprise arena. If I hop over to Dell or HP and spec out a similar Latitude 7410 or c1030, I end up with an $1895 quote from Dell and a $1535 quote from HP for only 256GB of storage (there was no 512GB option). Keep in mind both of these devices are equipped with slower 10th-gen Intel processors, lesser UHD integrated graphics, and don’t come with a stowable pen.
Is a $1000+ Chromebook for everyone? Nope, but that’s the beauty of the current crop of Chromebooks. There are great choices across all price ranges, and to see a maxed-out device like this coming in at just over $1000 is frankly a big surprise. If ASUS was showing up with a device similar to the Acer Spin 713 or HP x360 14c, I’d be shaking my head in disgust at this price. That’s not what’s happening, here. Instead, ASUS has gone all-out on this Chromebook and priced it in a very, very respectable way. If you are after a monster Chromebook for a reasonable cost, the new Flip CX5400 might be right down your alley. We’re anxiously awaiting a review unit and obviously will be putting out content around this device when it does arrive – hopefully soon.