Thanks to a quick video over on the ChromeOS Reddit, we’re getting a sneak peek of the new ASUS CM3 Detachable Chromebook keyboard not only by itself, but sat directly next to it’s primary competition in the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. This particular video is of the models in meant for the Asian markets, but there’s little reason to suspect these will be wildly different than the devices we’ll see in other markets – especially with regard to the build quality of the keyboard accessory.
video source: ChromeOS Reddit
Just as we’ve suspected, the build quality and design of the new ASUS CM3 look to best that of the Lenovo Duet in quite a few ways. First up, the keys look less condensed versus the slightly-smaller Duet. According to the post, the keys have more travel as well, hopefully making for an overall-better typing experience versus the Lenovo Duet’s admittedly cramped, short-travel keyboard.
The other big highlight is the fact that the keyboard magnetcially lifts and attaches to the tablet in a Microsoft Surface sort of way, and this means in your lap there will be far less wobble that what we see in devices like the Pixel Slate or Lenovo Chromebook Duet. Between the larger keys, more travel, and a better connection point between the tablet and keyboard, the typing experinece on the CM3 should be far better than other detachables we’ve had so far in the Chrome OS world.
Finally, the video takes a moment to take a look at the very interesting stand on this tablet. Early on, we really thought the multiple orientations shown off by the ASUS CM3 were bad Photoshop renders, but it turned out that this stand backing has a few interesting tricks up its sleeve. With multiple hinge points, this stand can act as both portrait and landscape hinge, further extending the use cases for this particular tablet when the keyboard isn’t attached. It’s a very cool addition to the hardware and I’m excited to finally get one of these in-hand to test.
For now, that’s about all we’re seeing, but the fact that this tablet is on shelves in at least one market tells us that a release isn’t far off. We’ve reached out to ASUS and as soon as we know a bit more about an official launch date, we’ll let you know. With no real increase in performance over the existing – and very popular – Lenovo Chromebook Duet, it will be interesting to see where ASUS ends up pricing this device to compete. We have an inside tip that Costco will sell it for $369, but no official pricing has come out just yet. Outside, the hardware looks like a definite upgrade, but if ASUS doesn’t stay aggressive with the pricing, I’m not sure how many people will be in line to scoop this one up when a $249 Duet is sitting right next to it.
VIA: About Chromebooks